The British Pop-art pioneer Sir Peter Blake has permitted his imagery to be used for a new app called Dazzle It, which allows users to ‘remix’ artwork by the father of pop art best known for designing the 1967 Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, is launched today. Dazzle It is commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the official First World War Centenary cultural programme with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The new app is one of a number of innovative commissions marking the First World War Centenary made possible with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Arts Council England. Today, HLF is also confirming another £5 million of investment which will enable 14-18 NOW to make additional new commissions in 2016, adding to the ambitious programme that has already reached 19 million.
The app is inspired by early 20th century artists who painted British vessels in dazzle camouflage to confuse enemy U-boats. Sir Peter recently dazzled the Mersey Ferry Snowdrop, in a new commission by Liverpool Biennial, 14-18 NOW and Tate Modern, in partnership with National Museums Liverpool and Merseytravel.
Now, aspiring artists around the world can remix his Everybody Razzle Dazzle design and apply it to their own photos or gallery images. The dazzle image remix can then be applied to a 3D model.
Sir Peter Blake said: “Dazzle It uses cutting-edge technology that allows aspiring artists everywhere to remix my desgin and discover more about the way in which early 20th century artists participated in the war effort.”
Dazzle It users can also choose Tobias Rehberger’s Dazzle Ship London monochrome pattern, which feature on the HMS President (1918) vessel on the Thames, and share their unique 3D artwork across social networks or upload it directly to a gallery which features more information about dazzle ships.
Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW said: “Dazzle It is a way of bringing the world of dazzle to the digital community, allowing audiences to experience dazzle beyond the installations in Liverpool and London. The app allows people to explore, create and share their own responses to the rich history of dazzle. I would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund for their additional grant to 14-18 NOW, which will help more people make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about the lasting impact of the First World War.”
Tracey Crouch, First World War minister, said: “The newly launched ‘Dazzle It’ app is a brilliant way for young people to learn about how 20th Century artists disguised war ships in order to confuse enemy U-boats during the First World War. It’s initiatives like this that bring the First World War to life for younger generations and I’m delighted that 14-18 NOW has received a further £5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund for further arts projects.”
Sir Peter Luff, Chair of the HLF, said: “During and in the aftermath of the First World War, culture played an important role in helping people make sense of this conflict. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to support 14-18 NOW’s hugely popular commissions like LIGHTS OUT and Letter to an Unknown Soldier, enabling a new generation to explore the far-reaching legacy of this war through moving and thought provoking art.”
The app follows the series of three Dazzle Ship commissions: Induction Chromatique à Double Fréquence pour l’Edmund Gardner Ship / Liverpool. Paris 2014 by Carlos Cruz-Diez on the Liverpool Waterfront; Tobias Rehberger’s Dazzle Ship London on the River Thames; and Everybody Razzle Dazzle by Sir Peter Blake. The three dazzled vessels are available to see throughout 2015. The series of Dazzle Ships have been co-commissioned with Liverpool Biennial and Tate Liverpool.