11 years ago the New York City Transit Authority joined the artificial reef building program off the East Coast of the USS to help the sports fishing and to create interesting locations to go diving to, the best & most affordable way for this… to transform subway cars into barrier reefs…
And photographer Stephen Mallon was there to follow & capture how they sent those stripped and decontaminated subway cars off on barges to be dropped into the Ocean in order to build refuge for many species of fish and crustaceans which would colonize the structures.
We could say Stephen was kind of lucky. He had spotted Weeks 297 (the number of the barge) parked by Bayonne with a bunch of old subway cars stacked on top of it. He had read about the red birds being retired in the ocean but wasn’t aware that the program was still ongoing. The gate to Weeks Marine’s yard was open so he drove in and got the contact info for the yard manager who introduced him to Jason, the senior manager on the project. Fortunately for Stephen Jason is a fan of photography and so after showing him his existing work on the recycling industry Jason told him to come on down.
The photographs that are presented in this exhibition capture the grandiosity of this journey; the weight of these 18-ton train cars can be felt as they are ferried off and plunged into the water.
Stephen has been exhibiting his Next Stop Atlantic series in several galleries and for the next couple of weeks you’ll still have the opportunity to see his solo exhibition @ New York’s Calumet Photographic (22 West 22nd St, 2nd Fl).