Opening Saturday – the extraordinary James Cameron’s CHALLENGING THE DEEP

This Saturday, 23 March 2024, the WA Maritime Museum opens its doors to JAMES CAMERON – CHALLENGING THE DEEP, an exhibition by acclaimed explorer and award-winning film-maker James Cameron – yes, the same extraordinary guy who made the blockbuster films Titanic and Avatar, amongst others.

But before he became the Mr Hollywood type, and before he decided New Zealand was the best place on the planet to live, James Cameron had an extensive career as a deep-sea explorer and engaged in many history-making expeditions, which are the subject of this exhibition. Wow!

Developed by the Australian National Maritime Museum, JAMES CAMERON – CHALLENGING THE DEEP takes visitors to the depths of our oceans through the lens of Cameron’s underwater cameras, as well as his other incredible technological innovations that have enabled us to see one of the least known places on Earth.

Entering the exhibition through a recreation of a MIR submersible, visitors will encounter a single immersive environment of cinema presentations and artefacts from Cameron’s careers as an explorer and filmmaker.

The exhibition includes the technical innovations Cameron developed to make the pioneering underwater feature film The Abyss in 1988, including the unique diving helmet he wore during the shoot and the filming model of the alien Manta Ship from this classic science-fiction feature film.

you will also get to watch as Cameron explores the wreck of RMS Titanic on three expeditions, and see models, hand props and costumes from Titanic. Highlights include the dress worn by Kate Winslet’s character Rose, the boarding outfit worn by Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Jack, the iconic ‘Heart of the Ocean’ necklace, and a copy of Jack’s sketches drawn by James Cameron himself.

Visitors will vicariously accompany young scientists on some of their 43 dives with Cameron on his Aliens of the Deep expedition to examine thriving deep ocean life, spectacular volcanic vents, and geology that unlocks the potential secrets of life on other planets. 

There is also an opportunity to watch survivors from Bismarck, as they join Cameron on his expedition and revisit the last resting place of their comrades and the giant battleship.

On top of all that, you can voyage with Cameron to the deepest known point of the earth’s surface on his historic solo dive, over 10,000 metres down, to the Challenger Deep of the Mariana Trench in the revolutionary DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible. Cameron designed this submersible and built it in secret in Sydney and California. 

The exhibition includes artefacts from the design and development of the vessel, specimens collected on its expeditions, and the Explorers Club flag he took with him on the history-making solo voyage to the deepest part of the ocean.

James Cameron has had a lifelong fascination with the deep oceans. He has led eight major deep-sea expeditions and many submersible dives, setting world firsts including the first solo dive to the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, the first exploration of the interior of the wreck of RMS Titanic, and the first seafloor-to-surface live broadcast.

Cameron’s expeditions, in collaboration with oceanographic and scientific institutions, have documented the shipwrecks of the RMS Titanic and the German battleship Bismarck, explored deep ocean phenomena such as black smoker hydrothermal vents and discovered new species from the lowest point on Earth. They have been chronicled in his documentaries and now, for the first time, in this major exhibition.

The exhibition has been developed by the Australian National Maritime Museum in collaboration with the Avatar Alliance Foundation, is toured internationally by Flying Fish and was funded by the Museum’s USA Bicentennial Gift Fund.

You really won’t want to miss this amazing exhibition.

For tickets, public programs, and more information look here.

The exhibition runs from this Saturday, 23 March until Sunday, 28 July 2024 at the WA Maritime Museum, Victoria Quay, Fremantle


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