Chris Byrnes studied art with Joe Osser at The Cape Town Art Centre, but diving was always his passion. This became his primary focus when he discovered a VOC shipwreck in Table Bay, which was subsequently identified as "the Oosterland". “The Oosterland” was wrecked in 1697 and became the first shipwreck officially worked archeologically.
In Sept, 2012 Chris was issued a permit by SAHRIS to recover salvage from the wreck. During the long Cape winter months, however, Chris could no longer dive and had time to focus on his art.
He creates unique, one of a kind, works of art incorporating Kangsxi Dynasty porcelain, along with artifacts such as the wood and copper sheathing which he personally salvaged from the wreck.