Glimpse an underwater gallery

It’s a shiny new year, so why not make a plan to do something amazing? Travel and art are always top of my list when it comes to inspiration-seeking, and there’s an exhibition coming up soon that ticks both those boxes.

Little Red Riding Hood cr Andreas FrankeThe art world is full of architectural gems that enhance the qualities of the works they showcase and are creative masterpieces in their own right. But what if the gallery itself isn’t so much a building as a sea floor? That’s the premise Andreas Franke’s ‘Fantasy Fairytale’ exhibition has been devised around.

Artist Andreas Franke brings together his passions for photography and diving to stage and photograph dreamy scenes drawing inspiration from familiar fairytales, including The Snow Queen, Little Red Riding Hood (shown above) and Snow White.

The pictures shown here offer just a glimpse of what’s on offer. To see the exhibition in full, flit over to NIYAMA and Huvafen Fushi in the Maldives with Exceptional Travel this spring. The two Per AQUUM properties both boast extraordinary underwater structures ideal for showcasing Andreas Franke’s creations.

Niyama, The Maldives_AerialAt NIYAMA, the artworks will be viewed from SubSix (pictured below), the resort’s underwater music club, where you’ll be able to appreciate the images while dancing the night away, or, more sedately, while taking your time over a leisurely sub-aquatic lunch.

Over at neighbouring Huvafen Fushi, The LIME Spa will offer the chance to lose yourself in Franke’s artworks while being pampered under the sea.

SubSix, Niyama, The Maldives

How the artworks are created

The images are created by Andreas undertaking two separate photo shoots; one using an underwater backdrop followed by a secondary studio shoot with real life models that bring the final visual to life. These secondary shots are then superimposed onto the original images to create the finished Phantasy Fairytale. To secure the art underwater, they’ll be encased in Plexiglass and suspended from the underwater structures of Subsix at NIYAMA and the LIME Spa at Huvafen Fushi.

Andreas says his creative input is just the first part of the process. Once the images are submerged, it is up to the sea and nature to create the final finished product. Together with algae and microorganisms, the salt water adorns the pictures from the world above. It is the individual signature of the ocean that embellishes the photographs, a bizarre and beautiful touch of impermanence.

“With my photographs, I want to pull the spectators into unreal and strange worlds; mystified scenes of a fairytale play within a fictional space; dreamworlds you can get lost in or that you can identify with,” says Andreas. “This creates a new and unexpected atmosphere. This work shows very much of myself, since I am always on the lookout for stunning themes to create new images that have never been seen before.”

Star Money cr Andreas Franke

Happily, resort owners Per AQUUM are committed to environmental awareness within the Maldives, with coral regeneration programmes in place at both NIYAMA and Huvafen Fushi. Andreas’ Phantasy Fairytale will be sensitively and carefully hung from the underwater structures in order to maintain the harmony of the underwater environment. Following the exhibition, guests will have the opportunity to purchase the art, and a percentage of all proceeds will go to Per AQUUM‘s coral regeneration programme.

See it for yourself

Phantasy Fairytale will be on display from 4th March 2014 till the end of May 2014.

Arrange your trip with UK-based luxury tour operator Exceptional Travel. For more information visit www.exceptional-travel.com or call 01608 638 777.