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Razzle-dazzle! (1.)

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Walking along the South Bank in London during the Xmas holidays I came across the result of German artist, Tobias Rehberger’s transformation of HMS President which was achieved by covering it entirely in ‘dazzle camouflage’ designs as part of ’14-18 NOW’, the official cultural programme to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. The work was completed back in July but it’s the first time I’ve had a chance to view it – and it looks dynamic, stunning!

‘Dazzle camouflage’, also known as ‘dazzle painting’ or ‘razzle-dazzle’, was used extensively during the First World War as a means of camouflaging a ship, making it difficult for the enemy to target it accurately. As one of the last three surviving warships of the Royal Navy built during the First World War, the HMS President (1918), the first type of warship built specifically for anti-submarine warfare, was originally ‘dazzled’ in this way.

I’d like to know more about razzle-dazzle so I’m thinking it may form the subject of an occasional ‘Razzle-dazzle’ post.

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If you’ve not come across the effect before, here’s just a few samples of what’ll be explored more fully in future posts.

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An antidote to the dull late-Winter days perhaps?

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