Dazzle was invented in 1917 by marine artist Norman Wilkinson. Wilkinson’s ‘Dazzle’ designs were used to disrupt and disorientate German U-boats at sea during the First World War by painting British and Allied ships in striking geometric patterns.
The masterful and dazzling effect this had on its onlooker – questioned where they were positioned, its scale, its shape and distance. So much uncertainty of what we are seeing and where we are positioned, draws comparisons to our current emotions towards the pandemic and feelings of isolation and the unknown in 2020 and 2021.
The new commissions form the main exhibition in the West Gallery with sculptural works, film, installations and wall murals. Works on paper by the artists are located in the cafe area – making further exploration into the line, drawing, shape and form, referencing their installation works.
The Clayden Gallery will become a research and learning space, providing information on the story of Dazzle and its relationship to the Island’s maritime heritage, together with the artist’s preparatory works, revealing their creative processes through sketchbooks, maquettes and research notes.