Artist Simon Faithfull’s new commission, REEF, began in August 2014 off the Dorset coast, where a boat made a last voyage out to sea and was sunk to become an artificial reef – serving as an underwater sculpture and a lasting legacy for marine conservation and biodiversity.
Five cameras were mounted on the boat and transmitted live to the world as the boat sank and then remained transmitting for the next 6 days from the seabed – capturing the beginning of a slow process of metamorphosis from defunct vessel to artificial reef.
“The camera is fascinating to me as a counterpoint to the subjective act of seeing – an external eye. A more reliable, objective, non-human recording device.” says Simon Faithfull.
A team of marine biologists has worked with the artist to realise his most ambitious project to date. “You could say that all my major works over the years have come into being as the result of complex collaborations and the assembling of unexpected teams.” REEF poetically explores the idea of collapse and renewal. It is not uncommon for vessels to be deliberately sunk to create more diverse underwater eco-systems. Faithfull has harnessed this practice to create an extraordinary artwork, embracing and celebrating the often unforeseen outcomes of working in collaboration.
REEF is a co-commission with Fabrica, Photoworks, Musée des Beaux Arts, Calais and the FRAC Basse-Normandie (Caen).
REEF premieres at Fabrica for Brighton Photo Biennial before touring to FRAC Basse-Normandie (Caen) and Musée des Beaux Arts Calais as part of two larger exhibitions of Faithfull’s work.
REEF forms part of the project Time and Place has been selected within the frame of the INTERREG IV A France (Channel) – England cross-border European cooperation programme, part-financed by the ERDF.
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A short Artist interview with Simon Faithfull
Accessible to wheelchair users via the Duke Street entrance.