BJ Price blends art and nature in his first-ever underwater art gallery, inspired by the Great Barrier Reef.
Close your eyes and picture an art gallery. If you’re anything like us, you might have pictured a museum-like room filled with paintings, sculptures and other artwork. What you probably didn’t picture is a wall-less, underwater space whose floor is not granite or wood but rather sand. To enjoy this 13-feet deep underwater art gallery, you’ll need a snorkel, an oxygen mask and a brief understanding of underwater diving.
While a few underwater art exhibits have emerged over the last couple of years, the concept of an underwater art gallery is still relatively new. In this particular exhibit, Australian artist and Great Barrier Reef enthusiast B.J. Price, has created each piece of art. Every morning during the exhibit, divers placed the six prints on the seabed, securing them with weighted easels. These divers then returned each evening to collect the pieces and to prevent any negative environmental impact.
Price’s work is characterized by his use of colorful, abstract patterns that are cheerful and bold. He created each underwater art piece by infusing dyes into specially coated aluminum, and then treating the aluminum to prevent damage from salt water and other harsh irritants.
To alert potential viewers to the underwater art gallery’s location at sea, Price floated a massive turtle sculpture (covered by his painting “Alpha”) over the site. The turtle sculpture floated for the duration of this quick, four-day underwater art gallery.
Price draws much of his artistic inspiration from the Great Barrier Reef, and his reasons for exhibiting work underwater are altruistic. Price hopes that by literally blending the lines of nature and art, he will be able to draw attention to the conditions that threaten to destroy the Great Barrier Reef.
Over the past three decades, more than 50 percent of the reef’s hard coral structure has disappeared, occurring so quickly that scientists wonder how long the UNESCO World Heritage site will remain. Price hopes that his innovative underwater art gallery will help change the fate of the natural landmark he loves so much.
Check out this video of the underwater art gallery, which was exhibited in December 2013: