Here, Andy McCluskey of OMD tells us of the band’s links and love for Dazzle Ships:
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′.
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…
150 years ago on 19 September 1864 John Clint, a Liverpool seaman and ship-owner, and Mayor Charles Mozley called a public meeting at Liverpool Town Hall, ‘for the establishment in the River Mersey of a training ship for the children and orphans of seafaring persons and other poor and destitute boys’. By mid November the Admiralty had agreed to their request to provide a suitable ship. They granted the loan of the 50 gun frigate ‘Indefatigable’. On 9 February 1864 the ship left Plymouth for the Mersey to be fitted out at Coburg dock.
The Maritime Archives and Library hold many of the archives of the training ship Indefatigable including minute books, cadet register books, visitor report books and photographs, which give insights into the lives of the cadets there. Read more…
In the lead up to Merseyside Maritime Museum marking the centenary of the sinking of Lusitania on 7 May 2015 with our upcoming exhibition ‘Lusitania: life loss, legacy’, it is worth flagging up some other significant dates in the history of this world famous passenger liner. Read more…
Ben Sheeran, Head Chef at National Museums Liverpool, looks ahead to the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival which takes place on 19, 20 and 21 September.
Anyone visiting us down at the Liverpool waterfront this week might have noticed a distinctive red flag flying above the old Liverpool Pilotage building next door to the Museum of Liverpool. Bright red, with the Union flag in the top left corner, it’s known as a Red Ensign. Yesterday myself and a couple of colleagues had the slightly hair-raising task (it looks a lot higher up once you get up there!) of climbing up to the roof and raising the flag in time to mark Merchant Navy Day on 3 September. Read more…
7 August 2014 by Jen
Next month sees the exciting announcement of the John Moores Painting Prize winner for 2014. The shortlist has been drawn up and we’re all excited to see who the next winner of this prestigious competition will be.
Here at the Maritime Museum though we’ve been focusing on the man who founded the Painting Prize. Sir John Moores was a local businessman and founder of the Littlewoods Pools; by the mid 1930s he had made his fortune and could easily afford one of the great luxuries of the age, seeing the world on the magnificent passenger liners. Read more…
31 July 2014 by Jo
Nine year old Toby Sherwen received a great surprise today when he turned up with his parents and brothers to the Merseyside Maritime Museum.
His Mum and Dad were in on the secret, but Toby had no idea that he was one of the winners of our Lego prize draw.
Back in May Toby and his family had taken part in our ‘Building on the past’ activity, where visitors helped to recreate one of the colourful posters in the current Sail Away exhibition, using thousands of small Lego bricks. You can see the Lego poster building up in our photo gallery with progress shots from each day of the workshops.
Everyone who took part in the May workshops was entered into the prize draw to win one of two Lego ships, kindly donated by Lego.
Toby didn’t know he had won a Lego ‘Lord of the Rings’ ship until he arrived at the Museum. He was thrilled with his win and couldn’t wait to show it off to his friends. His Mum said “See, wasn’t that worth getting out of your pyjamas for!” Toby had to agree.
The last of our winners has already been chosen and will be announced next week.
In May visitors helped to make about half of the huge poster, but there’s still more to do! If you would like to have a go yourself, our ‘Building on the past’ activity is back again on Monday 4 August, Tuesday 5 August, and Wednesday 6 August at Merseyside Maritime Museum. There are no more prizes this time, but there’s lots more of our Lego poster left to make.
No need to book, just drop in from 1-4pm each day.
18 July 2014 by Anne
The Queensway Mersey Tunnel, connecting Liverpool with Birkenhead beneath the River Mersey, was officially opened 80 years ago, on 18 July 1934 by King George V, accompanied by Queen Mary. The distinguished company of Stewart Bale Ltd, a Liverpool based firm of commercial and industrial photographers, was selected as the photographers to officially capture this prestigious event.
The Stewart Bale collection is now part of the Maritime Archives and Library, including some 195,445 negatives and a souvenir photograph album recording the opening ceremony of the Queensway Mersey Tunnel. Read more…