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OMD to ‘dazzle’ at Museum of Liverpool

20 October 2014 by Lucy

On 1 & 2 November, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark are set to play two sell-out gigs at the Museum of Liverpool.

Here, Andy McCluskey of OMD tells us of the band’s links and love for Dazzle Ships:


 

Andy McCluskey and boat

Andy McCluskey with the Dazzle Ship

What began as a humble request for us to be allowed to put a musique concrete installation into the ‘dazzled’ Edmund Gardner has somehow, and rather wonderfully, escalated  into two concerts, a display case full of our history and memorabilia, and a mini film festival.

Our interest in Dazzle Ships began in 1983 when artist and sleeve designer Peter Saville showed us a Vorticist painting by Edward Wadsworth entitled ‘Dazzle Ship in dry dock at Liverpool’ and asked if we could write some appropriate music as he wished to create an album sleeve inspired by the fractured imagery. We duly obliged with a record that not only contained a title track Dazzle Ships, but also reflected the dark and fearfully disjointed mentality of early eighties geo-politics.

The subsequent tour featured a Dazzle-themed constructivist-style stage set and weirdly wonderful presentations of some of the songs that involved semaphore flag mimes by the band and the moving set ‘playing’ the title track without the band onstage. Unsurprisingly, the whole spectacle confounded and enraptured both audience and critics in equal measure.

The intervening 30 years has seen the knowledge of Dazzle camouflage expand across the globe and filter into a variety of art forms as diverse as dance, fashion, architecture and film. The latest manifestation has been the ‘dazzling’ of two ships. The Edmund Gardner in Liverpool and HMS President in London as part of the 14-18 NOW commemorations.

We have created new Dazzle sounds to be played inside the engine room of the Edmund Gardner; the first Dazzle Ship in a Liverpool dry dock for one hundred years. Also, we have curated a mini film festival in the Museum of Liverpool’s theatre that includes documentary, product branding, contemporary art and animated films reflecting the broad cultural infusion and influence of Dazzle Camouflage.

The Museum of Liverpool is displaying many items from Orchestral Manouevres in the Dark’s early career, such as our first synthesizer, the drum machine that played the intro to international hit Enola Gay, and the tape machine called Winston that was effectively the reason why two teenagers from the ‘other side of the river Mersey’ were able to countenance the crazy idea of being a band of only two musicians. This whole series of events culminates in OMD playing two concerts in the Museum of Liverpool on 1 & 2 November where many tracks from the Dazzle Ships album will be performed, including two that have never been presented live before.


 

Liverpool’s Dazzle Ship is a co-commission by 1418 NOW WW1 Centenary Art Commission, Liverpool Biennial and Tate Liverpool, in partnership with the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Renowned artist Carlos Cruz-Diez worked with the idea of dazzle using the historic Edmund Gardner pilot ship owned and conserved by the Merseyside Maritime Museum. The work has been realised by painters from Cammell Laird.

The title of the work is ‘Induction Chromatique à Double Fréquence pour l’Edmund Gardner Ship / Liverpool. Paris, 2014′.

 

 

Legacies of Slavery: A Writer’s Reflection on Blackness and Queerness

16 October 2014 by Andrew

Professor Thomas Glave

How does a group of people come to terms with the legacy of centuries of enslavement? What is the effect of this legacy on the creation of an identity, and how does this group treat its gay and lesbian members?

Professor Thomas Glave (SUNY-Binghampton) has gained international praise for both his historical and literary work on race and sexuality studies, with a focus on the gay experience in Jamaica. Read more…

Half-Term Howlers

16 October 2014 by Megan

Family in Big art

Family in Big Art

Wondering what to do with the kids this October half term? Why not come and enjoy a free action packed week at National Museums Liverpool!

With plenty of activities and exhibitions taking place, the whole family will be happy this half term. Read more…

John Moores Visitors’ Choice: your vote counts!

14 October 2014 by Laura

Voting cards

Visitors have been voting in their thousands for their favourite painting

Rose Wylie was announced the 29th winner of the John Moores Painting Prize at the Walker last month, but do the public agree with the jurors’ decision?

Visitors to the exhibition have been voting in their thousands for their favourite work to win the £2,014 visitors’ choice jack pot, sponsored by Rathbones. But with voting open until 2 November there is still plenty to time to make a difference! Read more…

Dazzle ship prints at the Walker

13 October 2014 by Lisa

Dazzle ship prints

Curator Alex Patterson with the dazzle ship prints.

You might already know that there is a bold ‘dazzle ship’ of ours in Liverpool’s docks at the moment, but did you know about our set of striking dazzle prints at the Walker? Assistant curator of fine art, Alex Patterson, gives us the story behind the art…

“As we commemorate the centenary of World War I, we thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to display our rarely seen ‘dazzle’ prints at the Walker Art Gallery. These fantastic images were made by the British artist Edward Wadsworth (1889-1949) and are inspired by the concept of ‘dazzle camouflage’. Read more…

Now + then: Three Decades of HIV in Merseyside

10 October 2014 by Lucy

Image of display

The Now + then display can be seen in The People’s Republic gallery

A new display has opened today at the Museum of Liverpool, in The People’s Republic gallery.

‘Now + then: Three Decades of HIV in Merseyside’ uncovers how local people and communities have responded to the challenges of HIV from the 1980s to the present day. It includes a powerful new short film, interviews, photography and objects, all exploring people’s own remarkable stories and experiences.  Read more…

Tabitha Moses – artist guest blog

9 October 2014 by Laura

Hand embroidered illustration

Detail of hospital robe, hand embroidered by Tabitha.

‘Tabitha Moses: Investment’ is on display at the Walker Art Gallery until 26 October. In this guest blog the artist gives some background to this beautiful, intimate and moving work: Read more…

How leaving a legacy in your will could help others

8 October 2014 by Lynn

As it’s “free wills month” throughout October, Abby Jones, from our Development office, talks here about how leaving a gift in your will could help others.

Smiling visitor with childLeaving a gift in your will, also known as a legacy, is not something that is usually on the top of people’s conversation lists. I mean it isn’t the easiest thing to talk about is it? – Leaving money to something after you are no longer here to enjoy it yourself?  But wouldn’t it be great to leave something in your will to National Museums Liverpool and experience the benefits of that gift now? Read more…

Penny Lane and the legacies of slavery

7 October 2014 by Sam

Penny Lane street sign in Liverpool

Kayleigh, a third year history student at Liverpool University who has a keen interest in slavery studies and African history, has written this guest blog post for Black History Month.

There is currently a series of free seminars at the Centre for the Study of International Slavery at the University of Liverpool, including several for Black History Month. You can also get involved in a number of free Black History Month talks and events at the International Slavery Museum and Museum of Liverpool throughout October.

“Though the mentioning of Penny Lane usually brings up thoughts of The Beatles, the famous street in suburban Liverpool has a lesser known history. It is believed to have been named after James Penny, an eighteenth century slave ship owner, merchant, and prominent anti-abolitionist. Read more…

Bug House photography competition 2014 winners!

1 October 2014 by Lisa

Bug laying eggs on a leaf

Bug laying eggs, Phoebe Jones, age 5.

The jury at World Museum has had a tough time ‘beetling away’, looking at all the entries into our 2014 Bug House photo competition!   Read more…

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.