Dazzle ship

ship painted in bright contrasting colours

From 13 June 2014

Canning Graving Dock, opposite the Museum of Liverpool

Dazzle Ship is a co-commission by 1418 NOW | WW1 Centenary Art Commission, Liverpool Biennial | and Tate Liverpool, | in partnership with the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Renowned artist Carlos Cruz-Diez | is working with the idea of dazzle using the historic Edmund Gardner pilot ship owned and conserved by the Merseyside Maritime Museum. The work has been realised by painters from Cammell Laird. 

The quayside next to the Dazzle Ship is usually open 10am-5pm every day for visitors to get a closer look at the Edmund Gardner. Please note that the quayside will not be open on Saturday 26 or Sunday 27 July. The dazzle ship will still be visible from the area in front of the Museum of Liverpool and when looking across Canning Dock from Merseyside Maritime Museum. The quayside will reopen on Monday 28 July. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Free tours of the ship itself are also available on Thursdays over the summer, see the What's on listings| for booking details.

painting of a ship painted with a geometric design in contrasting colours

'Mauretania in dazzle paint' by Burnett Poole

Dazzle painting

The commission transforms the historic pilot ship the  Edmund Gardner |  into a ‘dazzle ship’, using a painting technique introduced as a way of camouflaging ships during the First World War. Dazzle's contrasting stripes and curves create an optical illusion that break up a ship’s shape and obscure its movement in the water, making it difficult for enemy submarines to identify and destroy.

Painted in bright colours and a sharp patchwork design of interlocking shapes, the spectacular dazzle style was heavily indebted to Cubist art. The inventor of dazzle painting, Norman Wilkinson, was influenced by avant-garde British painters such as Wyndham Lewis and David Bomberg. 

The Edmund Gardner pilot ship is situated in Canning Graving Dock opposite the Museum of Liverpool.

The ship can be seen during the International Festival for Business. It will be returned to the original livery in late 2015 and the attention the vessel will receive during the project will help in her long term preservation.

Further information

Transforming the dazzle ship

Watch the Edmund Gardner being transformed into a dazzle ship in this timelapse video, courtesy of Liverpool Biennial.

Timelapse: Dazzle Ship | from Liverpool Biennial | on Vimeo | .

See photos of the Edmund Gardner being painted and artist Carlos Cruz-Diaz visiting the ship in our gallery below.

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