Sir Peter Blake, Everybody Razzle Dazzle, 2015. Photo: Mark McNulty
April 2015 – December 2016
Liverpool Biennial, 14-18 NOW: the First World War 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.
Sir Peter’s design entitled Everybody Razzle Dazzle covers the Mersey Ferry Snowdrop with a distinctive pattern in monochrome and colour, transforming the vessel into a moving artwork as it continues its service.
This is the third in the series of Dazzle Ship commissions and the first to be a working vessel. It follows 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 London on the River Thames.
Unlike other forms of camouflage, dazzle camouflage works not by concealing but by baffling the eye, making it difficult to estimate a target’s range, speed and direction. Realised in monochrome and colour, each ship’s dazzle pattern 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 an on-board display curated by Merseyside Maritime Museum and Tate Liverpool. An integrated education programme underpins the project and includes a free digital resource with interactive activities for use in or outside the classroom.
Sir Peter Blake (b. 1932) is a leading figure in the development of British pop art and his work is synonymous with the use of imagery from modern culture, including comic books, consumer goods and advertisements.
You can see Everybody Razzle Dazzle for free from the waterfront or hop on board to explore the curated display. Share your photos with us using #DazzleFerry and visit our blog for exclusive behind-the-scenes content.