The Ghosts of Vessels Past: A Collection of Shipwreck Art

Earlier this week, I was reading an article about a diver who found a cluster of shipwrecks off the coast of the Island of Skillagee, between Cross Village and Beaver Island in Lake Michigan. 

The reporter describes the waters as particularly hazardous in the days before advanced navigation tools, because a "pair of treacherous underwater tentacles in the form of shallow gravel shoals" stretch out from the island in otherwise deep waters, causing ships to founder.

The diver, Ross Richardson, theorizes one of the wrecks is the 150-foot brig Julia Dean, which foundered in 1855, and the other was the 226-foot-long A.D. Patchin, a wooden steamship that was lost in 1850.

I've always been eerily fascinated by shipwrecks. I don't feel that way about plane crashes or train wrecks, so I have to attribute it to the fact that it's the whole concept of the vessel's remains being hidden from view in a watery grave, waiting to be discovered for centuries. It really gets me.

I think about being a diver, coming around the bend inside a wreck, scared out of my wits by a shark hiding in the wreckage, or the sight of a long-decayed skeleton trapped in some compartment. 

I went so far as to start searching for more shipwreck images to share, because, well, they're beautiful.

Please enjoy this collection I've gathered for you from the Interwebs. 

"Unknown Shipwreck" (Photo: Jakub Sisak)

This shot is of photographer and diver Andreas Franke installing his photo
exhibit. The images are of living actors layered over scenes from a shipwreck
off the coast of Florida. He installed the images on the shipwreck itself, creating
a creepy, meta underwater photo gallery of what life might have been like
on the ship. It was called "The Vandenberg: Life Below the Surface."

"Shipwreck in Mediterranean Sea," oil on canvas by A.A. Orlinski

"Shipwreck," drawing/digital art by Rodolfo Guerreiro

Photograph of the cargo vessel Plassey, shipwrecked off the coast of Inis Oirr in the 1960s.

"Inverness Wreck," photo by Athena Carey

Read more posts in the Fine Art Friday series here.

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