Curtin University researchers Dr Andrew Hutchison (School of Design and Art), Andrew Woods (Centre for Marine Science and Technology) and Dr Petra Helmholz (Department of Spatial Sciences) are working on an ambitious project to document, conserve and interpret the World War II shipwreck sites of the HMAS Sydney II and HSK Kormoran for future generations.
The two ships, which sank each other on 19 November 1941, were found in water 2,500 metres deep, 200 km off the coast from Shark Bay in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, in 2008. For the past two years the team has been developing plans to return to the site to capture an extensive collection of 3-D photography and 3-D video content for a high-quality museum exhibition.
The Australian Government recently granted $483,000 to the project through the Your Community Heritage program.
Woods says the project is a joint venture between Curtin University, iVEC@UWA, the Western Australian Museum, DOF Subsea, the Australian National Maritime Museum and other partners. Museum exhibitions in Geraldton, Perth and Sydney will tell the story of the unlikely battle. Curtin’s newly established ‘HIVE’ (Hub for Immersive Visualisation and eResearch) at the John Curtin Gallery will be used to prototype some of the exhibition content.
“State-of-the-art visualisation technology will allow visitors to experience the reality, diversity and tranquillity of these two nationally significant shipwreck sites,” Woods says.