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Underwater art gallery

popular dive site has been transformed into exhibition

Barbados’ premier dive site, the SS Stavronikita, has been transformed into an underwater art exhibition by Austrian photographer, Andreas Franke.

BHTA’s executive vice-president, Sue Springer, explained that the exhibition, which runs until April, is a plus for the island.

“This is only the second time that this has been done. Last year Franke, a well-known Viennese artist, created the world’s first underwater transformative art exhibit on an artificial reef on the USS Vandenberg in Key West, Florida, and now he has chosen Barbados.

“This definitely enhances our dive product and is an added bonus to our attractions offering, especially for the dive community. It is also a new and exciting activity for Barbadians to experience as well.”

Springer added that the photographs were mounted with magnets and fastened onto the ship.

“Great care was taken to ensure that the ecological balance of our marine life was not disturbed or that the outer skin of the ship was not damaged,” she added.

For the exhibition, Franke, who is famous for his meticulously construed photographic displays, created surprisingly bizarre and equally bewitching images by combining photographs of the wreck with sceneries produced in a studio.

From three young ladies court gossiping during a lavish picnic, to a woman in a blue dress obliviously indulging in a piece of cake surrounded by an extravagant amount of over elaborate pastries and confectionaries, the pieces present one of the most flashing and flamboyant eras of European style and cultural history.

The SS Stavronikita is a Greek freighter which was purchased by Barbados in the late 1970s to be used as dive site after it was overwhelmed by fire bringing cargo to Barbados.

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