Perched atop the Kodiak Queen, a former WW2-era Navy fuel barge, this 80-foot ‘Kraken’ now serves as the base of an artificial reef and marine research station on the ocean floor near the British Virgin Islands. The project, entitled BVI Art Reef, accomplishes a range of goals all at once: saving a decorated ship from destruction, transplanting coral to a new site in the hopes that it will flourish, creating an epic dive site and underwater art gallery, and providing a new habitat for marine life.
Photographer Owen Buggy documented the process, from the early stages of building the massive sea monster to sinking it in April 2017 to checking out the results a few months later. Sunken off the coast of the island Virgin Gorda with the help of tugboats and helicopters, the installation is already helping to rehabilitate heavily over-fished marine populations. Filmmaker Rob Sorrenti also got some great footage, presented as a documentary entitled ‘The Kodiak Queen,’ which is due for release in early 2018.
“This is the story of learning from past lessons and coming together to create something greater; rooted in joy and fueled by the power of play,” reads the BVI website. “This is the story of a group of friends from around the world who fell in love with the BVIs… and turned a weapon of war into a platform for unity – and a catalyst for new growth. This charitable kick-off in the British Virgin Islands combine art, ocean conservation, world history, marine science and economy… to solve a series of challenges in the BVIs by asking: how can we use play and collaboration to install permanent solutions that boost the local economy, secure the prosperity of these pristine islands for generations to come?”
“Our solution: a fantasy art eco-dive and ocean conservation site that puts the BVIs on the map as having one of the most unique and meaningful dive sites in the world… and one of the most forward-thinking approaches to creative problem solving that secures the education of its youth, and the health and prosperity of this island nation.”
Get updates on the project at the BVI Art Reef Facebook page.