location River Thames, London Jul 2014 – 31 Dec 2015


Tobias Rehberger

The HMS President (1918), one of only three surviving Royal Navy warships from the First World War, has been ‘dazzled’ by Tobias Rehberger. One of the most respected European artists of his generation, Rehberger is a German sculptor whose work blurs the boundaries between design, sculpture, furniture-making and installation.

HMS President (1918) served as a Dazzle Ship during the First World War under its original name HMS Saxifrage. This eye-catching vessel reminds Londoners and visitors of the crucial role ships played in the country’s wartime survival.

The dazzle style in which the HMS President (1918) is painted, takes its inspiration from the famous glaring colours and jagged lines of the ‘dazzle’ camouflage, designed to confuse enemy U-boat captains. The geometrically patterned boats would have been a familiar sight during the First World War, when hundreds of shipping convoys sailed to and from Britain’s ports.


HMS President (1918)
Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0HJ

The ship is located on Victoria Embankment close to Temple. Go to Blackfriars Bridge or the South Bank of the river Thames for the best views.


Get on board HMS President (1918) to see the artwork up close during the following events this Autumn:


Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, WW1 Centenary Art Commissions and Liverpool Biennial in association with the University of the Arts London Chelsea College of Arts, HMS President (1918) and Tate Liverpool, in partnership with National Museums Liverpool (Merseyside Maritime Museum).Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Dazzle Ship London supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Goethe-Institut London and Schroder Charity Trust.


Dazzle Ship, Tobias Rehberger, 2014. Image credit - Chris Wainwright
Dazzle Ship, Tobias Rehberger, 2014. Image credit - Stephen White
Dazzle Ship, Tobias Rehberger, 2014. Image credit - David kew