Leading artist ‘Dazzles’ ship to mark First World War Centenary

17 July 2014 | Kate Clements

Leading artist Tobias Rehberger has transformed London’s HMS President (1918) by covering it entirely in ‘dazzle camouflage’ print, as part of the 14-18 NOW special commissions programme to mark the centenary of the First World War.

The work was co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW with Chelsea College of Art and Design, Liverpool Biennial and Tate Liverpool.

One of the last three surviving warships of the Royal Navy built during the First World War, HMS President (1918) would have originally been decorated in this way. Now moored permanently on the Thames near Somerset House, Rehberger’s art work will see this London landmark return to a state similar to that of almost one hundred years ago.

‘Dazzle camouflage’, also known as ‘dazzle painting’, was used during the First World War as a means of camouflaging a ship, making it difficult for the enemy to target it accurately. This visual technique has been a recurring theme in Tobias Rehberger’s work.

Find out more about Dazzle Ships and 14-18 NOW.

Watch a time lapse video of HMS President being dazzle painted: