This past weekend was historic once again in the world of water. On Saturday, September 7, 2013, near Sanibel Island on the west coast of Florida, the USS Mohawk, (a World War II warship and Coast Guard Cutter) now a fully flourishing artificial reef, had the underwater art gallery 'lifted' that had been on exhibition for the past few months.
In just a short amount of time, the USS Mohawk CGC has become a thriving reef complete with its own marine habitat, and strangely enough, intriguing artwork. Scuba divers eagerly delighted in this underwater showing. Andreas Franke of Austria was the creative force behind this incredible idea, and this past Saturday, led the way with his experienced team, to bring up the artwork that had been featured in the ship's inner spaces.
The photographs are approximately 2.5 x 3.5 feet and are carefully encased in steel-framed Plexiglass. They have rested in the depths of the ocean for three months now and have formed character and a kind of charisma as marine life has decided to claim ownership to the frames. Leaving the artwork in this current state gives each of the photographs a touch of 'seaworthiness' to forever treasure in the scuba and art world.
For this project, Franke dedicated himself exhaustively to researching the history of the USS Mohawk, which survived 14 attacks against German U-boats and rescued 300 torpedoed ship survivors between 1942 and 1945. One of her most famous deeds was being the last ship to radio Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower that the weather was clearing for the D-Day invasion. Based on his research, he envisioned the life of sailors in that past age aboard the USS Mohawk – their daily lives and dreams of home – and superimposed images of models in period clothing onto original photography.
Although the artwork was 'lifted' on Saturday, September 7, 2013, the USS Mohawk CGC is a fantastic wreck dive to experience and record in your dive log at least once but hopefully more.