Liverpool Biennial, 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions and Tate Liverpool 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’ (2015) 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. Snowdrop will remain dazzled until it is taken out of service.
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. Share your photos using #DazzleFerry and create your own 3D dazzle artwork with the free Dazzle It app.
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. Sir Peter Blake has a strong relationship with Liverpool that extends beyond his famous design of The Beatles’s album cover, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967.
See Everybody Razzle Dazzle for free from the waterfront or hop on board to explore the curated display.
Pier Head: Dazzle FerryPier Head Ferry Terminal, Georges Parade, Liverpool L3 1DP View venue
Sir Peter Blake: Dazzle Ferry
Timelapse: Everybody Razzle Dazzle by Sir Peter Blake
In Conversation: Sir Peter Blake
To celebrate the two-year extension of Liverpool’s iconic Dazzle Ferry, Sir Peter Blake visited the city in April 2017 to reflect on his largest artwork to date. Discussing his commission and wider practice with art historian and writer Richard Cork, Blake takes us on a journey of his artistic career. From the iconic connections he has, and inspirations that influenced works such as the cover for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, he describes the difficulties he has overcome to evolve into the major figure of Pop art he is today.
This event took place at the Museum of Liverpool on 23 April 2017. Everybody Razzle Dazzle is commissioned by Liverpool Biennial, 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions and Tate Liverpool, in partnership with Merseytravel and National Museums Liverpool.
You can see Sir Peter Blake’s Everybody Razzle Dazzle for free from the Liverpool waterfront, or hop on board for a ride and explore the curated display about dazzle camouflage.
Video: Carl Davies, FACT Video Production Services
Everybody Razzle Dazzle: Manchester Ship Canal
Sir Peter Blake’s moving artwork, Everybody Razzle Dazzle, strays from the Mersey waters to take a special 6-hour cruise down the Manchester Ship Canal. Watch Snowdrop the Dazzle Ferry sail past the Imperial War Museum North down one of the UK’s great waterways.