Tri-Service

Colourful Ship Dazzles Scotland

Bright colours, sharp lines and swirling patterns. Your eyes aren't deceiving you.

Bright colours, sharp lines and swirling patterns. Your eyes aren't deceiving you. Docked in Leith is a modern-day recreation of a Dazzle ship – first created 100 years ago. 
 
It was a Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander, Norman Wilkinson, who came up with the idea of dazzling ships like this during the First World War.
 
The design was not intended to conceal or camouflage, but rather to confuse the enemy.
 
A replica dazzle ship has been commissioned for Scotland and is part of a project commissioned by the Edinburgh Art Festival and the 14-18 NOW World War One commemorations.
 
It took 1,400 hours and 200 litres of paint to cover the 72-metre long ship. 
 
Edinburgh Art Festival are now taking the story of the dazzle ships out into the community.
 
3,000 ships were painted like this during the First World War, and many of them would have been docked in places like Leith. Local schools are now learning their story. 
 
Hermitage Park Primary school have been using the dazzle ship story for lessons across their curriculum; learning about the science behind the ship, its history and its influences from the world of art. 
 
Scotland's dazzle ship is the fourth in series, after three other ships were commissioned in London and Liverpool. But it's captured the imagination of young people here, as they've learnt about the importance of art and women to the war effort.
 
Timelapse photography courtesy of EAF, Lewis & the BBC.