The First Dazzle Ship in Scotland

Dazzle Ship Scotland, the first in Edinburgh Arts Festival’s programme of public art commissions, has been ‘dazzled’ by Turner Prize-nominated artist and long-term resident of Scotland, Ciara Phillips.

Entitled Every Woman, the striking pattern adorning the iconic vessel MV Fingal is Phillips’ own spin on the decorated battle-ready ships that were docked at Leith 100 years ago and celebrates the role of women during the First World War.

Every Woman is co-commissioned by EAF and 14-18 NOW on the iconic vessel MV Fingal in Edinburgh’s historic port of Leith. The Glasgow-based Turner Prize nominee was announced earlier this year as the fourth artist in a series of Dazzle Ship designs commissioned as part of the centenary commemorations of the First World War.

Dazzle was a technique invented by the British marine artist, Norman Wilkinson, during the war where ships were covered in abstract designs and disorientating shapes to prevent the enemy from determining their range, speed and direction of travel.

In developing her design for Dazzle, Ciara Phillips was drawn to the largely untold histories of women in the First World War, inspired by the team of women who worked under Wilkinson to develop the dazzle designs. Women also worked as telegraphists and signallers, and Phillips’ design includes a message in Morse code embedded within the design in retro reflective paint reading ‘Every Woman a Signal Tower’. The message will shine out in the darkness, celebrating the ship’s former role as a supplier to remote lighthouses.

Dazzle2Ciara joins a number of artists including Sir Peter Blake, the Godfather of pop art, best known for designing the 1967 Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, to undertake a dazzle ship commission. And from today the public can use their smartphones to learn about the role of dazzle ships in WW1 and create their own dazzle designs using brand new artwork.

Dazzle It allows smartphone users to use the new artwork, as well as that of Sir Peter Blake, as inspiration to create their own dazzle designs then apply their creations to a 3D model, including a ship and a rubber duck, and view it via an augmented reality scene.

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW said: “The Dazzle It app and the new artwork allows smartphone users around the globe to get creative and make their own dazzle designs, using the  rich history of dazzle combined with cutting-edge digital technology… the app will allow more people than ever make the most of this unique opportunity to learn about the lasting impact of the First World War.”

 About 14-18NOW

14-18NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War, as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. It aims to engage as many people as possible with the First World War, exploring how the war has impacted on the society we live in now. 14-18NOW commissions new work by leading contemporary artists from all art forms, inspired by the period 1914-1918.  The commemorative period is marked by three key seasons – the first season centred around 4 August 2014 (Anniversary of the Declaration of War), the second is March to November 2016 (anniversary of the Battle of Jutland and the Battle of the Somme) and the last in 2018 (centenary of Armistice Day).

About Edinburgh Art Festival

Founded in 2004, Edinburgh Art Festival is the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art, offering the chance to experience the best contemporary Scottish, UK and international artists in the context of exhibitions of some of the most important artists and movements of the 20th Century and historical periods. Attracting nearly 300,000 attendances in 2015, Edinburgh Art Festival (EAF) brings together the capital’s leading galleries, museums and artist-run spaces, alongside new public art commissions by established and emerging artists and an innovative programme of special events. Edinburgh Art Festival is a charitable organization supported by Creative Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.

The Dazzle Ship is located at the Prince of Wales Dock, a short walk (signposted) from Ocean Terminal and The Shore. There is no access on board. Exhibition runs til 28 august 2016.

More information at: http://edinburghartfestival.com/dazzle

Dazzle It is available on iOS and Android devices from the iTunes and Google Play stores.


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