Sculptures Beneath the Sea: Part 1 â€“ Art as Reef or Horseshoe Crab as Wreck
The plan for a new artificial reef was wonderful, and beautifully executed until the very last minute. ArtistÂ Chris Wojcik had constructed aÂ 47-foot-long, 25,000-pound concrete sculpture of a horseshoe crab, which was welded to two barges and was to be sunk in the Atlantic off the New Jersey shore as a new artificial reef, providing both a new habitat for sea life and a destination for recreational divers. The project was dubbed “Art as Reef.” (See our previousÂ postÂ here.)
The crab sculpture was towed out to the reef site in the Atlantic on Axel Carlson Reef, in 80 feet of water, 4.4 miles from the Manasquan Inlet.. The plan was to flood the barges while stabilizing them with straps from a crane barge to ensure that the barges sank on an even keel. Everything went well until the after crane strap broke. Instead of a level sinking, the barge dove unexpectedly, cracking and crushing the concrete sculpture. Â AsÂ reportedÂ by the Asbury Park Press: â€śItâ€™s cut in pieces and unrecognizable,â€ť artist Chris Wojcik said early Friday morning, after making dives Thursday on the artificial reef structure intended to be the sculptureâ€™s home.Â â€śIâ€™m devastated, is a pretty accurate way to put it,â€ť Wojcik said.
While it may not be the work of art intended, the broken crab and barge will still serve as an artificial reef, providing an new habitat for marine life.