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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′.

 

 

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…

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…

“Roll in splender” with poetry pottery

1 October 2014 by Liz

God Speed The Plough

“Let the wealthy and great, Roll in splender and state, I envy them not” verse on pottery fragment

National Poetry Day is on 2 October, and to celebrate, the Museum of Liverpool is displaying some pieces of pottery from the Regional Archaeology Collection which are decorated with verses. Read more…

‘Millionth find’ of archaeological objects

26 September 2014 by Liz

Late Saxon tongue-shaped copper alloy strap

Late Saxon tongue-shaped copper alloy strap end

Today we have a guest blog from Vanessa Oakden, Finds Liaison Officer for Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

“Museum of Liverpool is home to the Portable Antiquities Scheme for the region, and we have been busy recording finds brought in by members of the public, often metal-detector users.

Today the scheme has announced that nationally over a million finds have been recorded! Read more…

Conflict in Context

9 September 2014 by Liz

Evidence for out military past: flint from a post-medieval musket or gun found by volunteers working on a community excavation in Rainford, near St Helens

Evidence for our military past: flint from a post-medieval musket or gun found by volunteers working on a community excavation in Rainford, near St Helens

A conference held at Museum of Liverpool on 27th and 28th September will explore the history of warfare from the 17th to the 20th centuries.  ‘Conflict in Context’ is being organised by the Society for Post Medieval Archaeology Read more…

Research First World War family history

4 September 2014 by Lucy

Image of boy trying on helmet

Our City Soldiers gallery features a range of military headware to try on

Come along to the Museum of Liverpool on Saturday from 10:30am – 4:30pm for a free First World War Family History Event.

There’s loads going on, including a trench erected in the Museum’s atrium, and an Edwardian School Mistress will also be on hand to teach people about the causes of the First World War.

Our Family History Events can help you search for relatives who served in the war, and give insight into people’s experiences on the Front and at home. This year, the event is more poignant due to the Centenary of the First World War and our new exhibition ‘First World War: reflecting on Liverpool’s Home Front’, which is being displayed to mark 100 years since the outbreak of war.

At the Museum of Liverpool, we look after the collections of The King’s Regiment displayed in the ‘City Soldiers’ gallery, which features a research database for visitors to use to find out more about family members who served with the King’s. The Devereux Database currently contains the biographical details of more than 81,500 men who served in the King’s Regiment during the First World War, along with approximately 5,000 images. This year’s Family History Event will be particularly special because the compiler of this database will be attending from the U.S.A.

We are also working with local experts and societies to assist visitors’ research of soldiers from the area, including:

  • Liverpool Medical Institute
  • Liverpool Medical History Society
  • WO1 (RSM) Bob Dixon from 208 Field Hospital
  • Local King’s Regiment experts
  • The Western Front Association
  • Liverpool and South West Lancashire Family History Society
  • The Liverpool First World War Research Committee
  • The Liverpool Pals
  • The King’s Regiment Association
  • John Moores University

There will be a range of family friendly activities on offer throughout the day including handling sessions, poetry performances and arts and crafts for younger visitors. Visitors can also meet the Museum’s own King’s Regiment ‘Tommy Atkins’ and see what his life in a trench was like, or learn about the embroidered postcards he sent home.

 

Antiquarian collections

29 August 2014 by Liz

St Menas flask

St Menas flask

The Museum of Liverpool is always expanding its collections in many different ways. This includes contemporary collecting items which reflect current lifestyles or events and acquiring finds from archaeological excavations undertaken before new construction work. Read more…

Blog it! Vote for the Museum of Liverpool!

22 July 2014 by Lucy

Image of Paul Martin

Paul Martin from Flog it! thinks you should vote for the Museum of Liverpool. Image courtesy of BBC

With the deadline fast approaching to vote for the Museum of Liverpool for a National Lottery Award, we’ve had another famous face tell us just how much they love the Museum.

Paul Martin from ‘Flog it!’ has visited Liverpool several times with the show, and we’ve welcomed him and the team to the Museum of Liverpool twice. ‘Flog it!’ were lucky enough to get inside the Museum when it was still under construction, so Paul has seen it grow from the beginning.  Read more…

Rainford Elizabethan Extravaganza

21 July 2014 by Liz

Excavations underway at Rainford Library

On 2 August the Rainford Elizabethan Extravaganza will celebrate heritage crafts, celebrating the early industrial heritage of the village of Rainford, near St Helens. The Museum of Liverpool Archaeology Department have been working with the Merseyside Archaeological Society for the last year and a half on the Rainford’s Roots project, investigating the development of industry in the village. Read more…