Art At 9:30 this morning I was stood at the ferry terminal at the Pier Head in Liverpool for the press launch (literally in this case) of Everybody Razzle Dazzle, or what's otherwise known at the Dazzle Ferry, Sir Peter Blake's new dayglo design for Snow Drop one of the boats which commonly shifts commuters across the Mersey in the morning and tourists for much of the rest of the day. Unlike some people there for whom its a daily means of transport, the last time I ferried across the Mersey (got there in the end) was for the Doctor Who exhibition at Spaceport in Seacombe in 2006 (review) (this happened later that same day) so I was more than a little excited about this short cruise.
The ship itself is very pretty. I've always been a fan of visual chaos, of apparently otherwise relatively formal objects becoming canvases for patterns and shapes and colours. That's why I like Sinta Tantra's work so much, why I much prefer it when otherwise blandly corporate vehicles are covered in sponsorship and advertising. In his design, Blake applies some of the iconic symbols which have appeared in his art since the 60s, the target shapes and green/red/yellow/blue check whilst applying the wavy lines which are more traditionally part of Norman Wilkinson's original dazzle ship design. Wouldn't Liverpool be a much jollier place to live if we let artists run creative riot like this on the surfaces of our buses?
After speeches we eventually embarked for a quick trip around the Mersey. Living where I do, I have a permanent view of the Wirral side of the river so this was a welcome chance to see it from a different perspective. Back in 2006, I was able to see the place where I do live but recent developments, especially the arena have blocked those views. But it's still visually thrilling the mix of old and new architecture, the various towers contrasting with one another, distracting enough that there wasn't really time to see the display on board about the original dazzle ships and this particular project. Snow Drop will look like this until the end of December 2016, so there's plenty of time to go back and have another look.
Sir Peter Blake.
Isle of Man Ferry.