final destination: atlantic ocean

WHO would have thought that what many consider to be the bain of all commuter misery may actually end it’s life as a vision of majestic beauty?

At first glance I recoiled slightly at the apparent ‘dumping’ of these disused vehicles, but upon learning of their purpose I was pleasantly surprised.

Stephen Mallon has spent three years documenting the final journey of the NYC decommissioned subway car, which sees it being re-appropriated for use as refuge to many species of fish and crustaceans as part of a an artificial reef building program on the East Coast of the US. Mallon’s documentation of the final stage of the project is now being presented in an exhibition at Calumet Photographic in Florida.

The dramatic images of individual carriages plunging into the ocean  are strangely haunting, the water gushing into their empty hulls. However what I quite like with these striking pictures is the contradiction; for on the one hand it seems to jar observing the rusty old cars sinking into deep dark depths, but on the other, it must be remembered that they are in fact embarking on a journey that is of great benefit.

As I have said before, I am not usually the first in line to actively champion environmental matters. But I will always take note – as I’m sure many other people do too – when the work of projects like this one are presented to the public in such a beautiful manner. To echo the words of Above Magazine: ‘beauty will save the world’.


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