Anna McNay

Review of Simon Faithfull: REEF at Fabrica, Brighton


Simon Faithfull: REEF

Fabrica, Brighton

4 October – 23
November 2014

An amazing building in its own right, the interior of
Fabrica, a gallery housed in a former Regency church in the centre of Brighton,
is currently submerged 25 metres beneath the surface of the sea. Or so it seems
to the visitor, standing in the pitch black, surrounded by five monitors,
gleaming with an eerie green light, and to the sound of bubbles and crashing
metal, echoing through the depths, with the odd seagull’s cry penetrating –
although whether this is from the soundtrack to the work or simply from outside
the gallery, it is hard to establish.

Simon Faithfull’s project REEF – a joint commission by
Fabrica, Photoworks, the Musée des Beaux Arts, Calais and the FRAC Basse Normandie
(Caen) – began in August 2014 with the discovery of an abandoned boat, the
Brioney Victoria, off the coast of Weymouth in Dorset. An artist who seeks to
explore the planet as a sculptural object and report back from its extremities,
Faithfull set out to sink this boat and create an artificial reef – an
underwater sculpture and lasting legacy for marine conservation and

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