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Liverpool Biennial, 14-18 NOW WW1 Centenary Art Commissions and Tate Liverpool have commissioned one of the major figures of British pop art, Sir Peter Blake, to ‘dazzle’ a Mersey Ferry in partnership with Merseytravel and National Museums Liverpool.
This is the third in the series of Dazzle Ship commissions, following Induction Chromatique à Double Fréquence pour l’Edmund Gardner Ship / Liverpool. Paris 2014 by Carlos Cruz-Diez on the Liverpool Waterfront, and Tobias Rehberger’s Dazzle Ship on the River Thames in London.
Sir Peter’s design entitled Everybody Razzle Dazzle will cover the Mersey Ferry Snowdrop with a distinctive pattern that can be seen for the next two years, as the passenger vessel continues its commuter service, River Explorer and Manchester Ship Canal Cruises. This is the first of the Dazzle Ship commissions to be a working vessel.
Unlike other forms of camouflage, ‘dazzle’ works not by concealing but by baffling the eye, making it difficult to estimate a target’s range, speed and direction. Artist Norman Wilkinson, credited with inventing the technique, explained that dazzle was intended primarily to mislead the enemy; each ship’s dazzle pattern, realised in monochrome and colour, was unique in order to avoid making classes of ships instantly recognisable to enemy U-boats and aircraft.
As well as being a moving artwork, visitors who board the Snowdrop can learn more about the history of dazzle and the role that the Mersey Ferries took in the First World War in a display developed by curators from National Museums Liverpool and Tate Liverpool. An integrated education programme underpins the project and includes a digital resource for schools, online commissions by artists and writers, with opportunities for groups and individuals to visit and participate in the project.
The 'dazzled' Mersey Ferry can be seen on the river from 2nd April 2015 until the end of 2018. There are two terminals in Wirral: Seacombe and Woodside.
Taking a River Explorer Cruise aboard Snowdrop the Dazzle Ferry is the best way to appreciate the artwork in all its glory whilst learning more about dazzle history. The 50 minute cruise also offers the best way to see Liverpool’s world class waterfront whilst listening to on-board commentary about the river, city and its surrounds - see the 'Further Information' tab to book. You can also check the Dazzle Ferry sailing calendar under the same tab for sailing dates.
‘River Explorer Cruise (duration 50 minutes) – check the Dazzle Ferry sailing calendar under 'Further Information'
Everybody Razzle Dazzle, 2015 is commissioned by Liverpool Biennial, 14-18 NOW WW1 Centenary Art Commissions and Tate Liverpool in partnership with Merseytravel, who own and operate Mersey Ferries, and National Museums Liverpool (Merseyside Maritime Museum). Supported by Arts Council England, National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Department for Culture Media and Sport.
(Design motifs from Sir Peter Blake’s Everybody Razzle Dazzle, 2015)
|Dazzle Ferry (31 Mar 2015 - 31 Dec 2018)|
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