I would be really happy if (my work) starts conversations about these histories, if it opens something up rather than presents the work as a kind of fait accompli.Ciara Phillips
The brilliantly coloured contemporary Dazzle Ships docked on the rivers of Liverpool and London have been some of the most striking symbols of the commemoration period from 2014 to 2018. These unmissable floating artworks became part of the landscape for millions of residents and tourists, a visual connection to the hundreds of Dazzle Ships that crossed the seas during the First World War. The extraordinary Dazzle Ship project moved to Scotland, with a fourth commission, titled Every Woman, by the Turner Prize-nominated artist Ciara Phillips to light up the city of Edinburgh.
The launch of our fourth Dazzle Ship coincided with commemorations of the First World War on 29 May and 1 June 2016, timed to mark the centenary of the Battle of Jutland. Ciara Phillips, a long-term resident of Scotland, ‘dazzled’ the MV Fingal, berthed at the Prince of Wales Dock in the historic port of Leith. As an artist with a longstanding interest in the history of signs and symbols as they relate to print media, Phillips put her own unique spin on the astonishing camouflage patterns that adorned battle-ready ships in the Port of Leith one hundred years ago. The ship was a central element of Edinburgh Art Festival 2016.
Previous commissions have seen Sir Peter Blake cover the Mersey Ferry Snowdrop with a distinctive pattern entitled Everybody Razzle Dazzle, which you can still see the ship on the River Mersey today. The HMS President (1918) was ‘dazzled’ by the German sculptor Tobias Rehberger, which adorned the river Thames in London. And Carlos Cruz-Diez painted the Edmund Gardner with orange, yellow and green striped design, which was situated in a dry dock near Liverpool’s Albert Dock.
Dazzle Ship series co-commissioned with Liverpool Biennial
Dazzle Ship Scotland is co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and Edinburgh Art Festival with support from Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council, The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust, Forth Ports, Sherwin-Williams and Bloomberg Philanthropies