Boat sculpture scuppered to create artificial reef

Artist Simon Faithfull jumps from the sculpture after setting it alight

Artist Simon Faithfull jumps from the sculpture after setting it alight

First published in News
Last updated

A BOAT sculpture was set on fire and sunk off Dorset’s coast as part of an art project.

Onlookers said the specially created concrete sculpture took around 40 minutes to sink in Ringstead Bay on Monday.

The idea of the REEF project, created by artist Simon Faithfull, is that an old ‘boat’ at the end of its life, sinks from the surface world we know, to the underwater one, to provide a home for marine life on the sea bed.

Video cameras on board captured the underwater sculpture’s last ‘voyage’ to the bottom and will spend the next 12 months sending back video as the sculpture is slowly taken over marine plants and other other aquatic life.

People will be able to tune in via the ‘boat’s’ website every day from 9am to 6pm for the next year to watch the project’s progress into an artificial reef.

The project was commissioned by the visual arts organisation, Fabrica, and the images will be part of an exhibition that premieres at the Brighton Photo Biennial Festival this October, before heading to Calais and Caen in France.

The REEF project took three years to organise and was backed by a number of partners, including the non-profit organisation Wreck to Reef, which seeks to regenerate an area of seabed in Weymouth and Portland.

The concrete sculpture boat was sunk on an area within the Wreck to Reef site designated for community projects.

The ‘boat,’ called Brioney Victoria, was originally brought on eBay for £75 and it underwent careful preparation to remove any toxic content before being scuttled in Ringstead Bay.

Dorset Echo:

Mr Faithfull said he was delighted with how the project had gone.

He said: “The cameras are going to transmit for a year. The idea is anybody can watch something from our world that has crossed over into this other realm. Over that year it will transform into an artificial reef.”

He said under the waves was still a mysterious place and said the arts project was a ‘little porthole into a different world.’ Weymouth and Portland Borough councillor for Tourisim and Culture Rachel Rogers, said the project brought an international focus to Weymouth Bay.

To watch the sculture’s progress to an underwater artificial reef click here.

Comments (10)

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7:01pm Tue 5 Aug 14

caapprentice says...

This couldn't have been possible if it was not for the hard work and time given by the Weymouth and Portland Wreck to Reef, a non-profit community group whose website is http://www.wrecktore
ef.co.uk/. They are the ones who applied for the licences and arranged for the material which forms the basis for the reef.
This couldn't have been possible if it was not for the hard work and time given by the Weymouth and Portland Wreck to Reef, a non-profit community group whose website is http://www.wrecktore ef.co.uk/. They are the ones who applied for the licences and arranged for the material which forms the basis for the reef. caapprentice
  • Score: 5

9:49pm Tue 5 Aug 14

PossumGoose says...

Another "Art" project. I think I want to cry.
Another "Art" project. I think I want to cry. PossumGoose
  • Score: 4

8:06am Wed 6 Aug 14

arlbergbahn says...

And does this nonsense get any public funding?
And does this nonsense get any public funding? arlbergbahn
  • Score: -2

8:29am Wed 6 Aug 14

FerryFan says...

Come on chaps, this is a good idea, be interesting to watch. Marine life usual gathers in and around sunken vessels very quickly, sometimes within days you might get something calling it home.
Come on chaps, this is a good idea, be interesting to watch. Marine life usual gathers in and around sunken vessels very quickly, sometimes within days you might get something calling it home. FerryFan
  • Score: 6

9:15am Wed 6 Aug 14

Preston North End says...

I saw them painting this boat red at the Ferrybridge boatyard over the last month. All becomes clear now. Good luck to them.
I saw them painting this boat red at the Ferrybridge boatyard over the last month. All becomes clear now. Good luck to them. Preston North End
  • Score: 4

10:01am Wed 6 Aug 14

JonnyT says...

arlbergbahn wrote:
And does this nonsense get any public funding?
So what if it did? I'm happier for my money being spent on something useful like preserving wildlife rather than the building of unnecessary council offices and the claiming of expenses by overpaid public servants!
[quote][p][bold]arlbergbahn[/bold] wrote: And does this nonsense get any public funding?[/p][/quote]So what if it did? I'm happier for my money being spent on something useful like preserving wildlife rather than the building of unnecessary council offices and the claiming of expenses by overpaid public servants! JonnyT
  • Score: 6

11:48am Wed 6 Aug 14

scubadude says...

Anyone get the Lat/Long so we can go and dive it :-)
Anyone get the Lat/Long so we can go and dive it :-) scubadude
  • Score: 3

12:36pm Wed 6 Aug 14

caapprentice says...

scubadude
http://www.wrecktore
ef.co.uk/location-ch
art/
scubadude http://www.wrecktore ef.co.uk/location-ch art/ caapprentice
  • Score: 2

12:48pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Dorsetdumpling says...

Scubadude - hint - look for the bright yellow wreck marker buoy.....
Scubadude - hint - look for the bright yellow wreck marker buoy..... Dorsetdumpling
  • Score: 4

10:59am Thu 7 Aug 14

notweymouth says...

Hopefully a good step to boost the local diving economy, well worth £75!
Hopefully a good step to boost the local diving economy, well worth £75! notweymouth
  • Score: 0

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