British, Berlin-based artist Simon Faithfull set his boat on fire off the coast of Dorset in Southwest England on Monday, letting it sink to the ocean floor, the Independent reports. The boat, the Brioney Victoria, will now become a basis for an artificial coral reef as part of a trio of UK exhibitions by the artist, including the Brighton Photo Biennial.
Using cameras both above and below water, Faithfull filmed the boat’s demise and will continue to stream its new life underwater over the next year to the exhibitions in Brighton, Calais, and Caen and via an app.
“Rather poignantly it took longer for the boat to sink that we thought. Now it is beginning the slow journey of becoming a reef,” Faithfull told the Independent. “A whole ecosystem will grow around the vessel soon. We’ll see plants starting to grow and fish swimming through the apertures. Something which was part of our world until today has now entered a different realm and is starting a new life. The whole process will take years.”
Faithfull purchased the Brioney Victoria on eBay and had initially planned to sink it in Brighton but was thwarted by maritime restrictions, according to the paper. He subsequently consulted with various conservation authorities and joined forces with the Wreck to Reef organization which is attempting to restore reefs off the Dorset coast.
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