One of the last three warships built during the First World War has been given a dazzling makeover

Royal Navy war vessel

HMS President has been transformed into a dazzle ship to mark the centenary of

the First World War.

German artist Tobias

Rehberger has covered the vessel in ‘dazzle camouflage’ as part of the 14-18

NOW project, a cultural programme commemorating the war.

The work was

co-commissioned with Chelsea College of Art and Design, Liverpool Biennial and

Tate Liverpool.

Dazzle painting was

used throughout the First World War to camouflage many ships.

Painting them in such

a way optically distorted their appearance, making them difficult for enemies

to target.

HMS President, which was

built in 1918, is one of the last three surviving Royal Navy warships built

during the First World War.

14-18 NOW spokesman said: “One of the most respected

European artists of his generation, Rehberger is a German sculptor whose work

blurs the boundaries between design, sculpture, furniture-making and


“These eye-catching vessels remind local people and

visitors of the crucial role ships played in the country’s wartime survival.

“Perceptions of the war have been

shaped to a great extent by the artists of the time, including poets, writers,

painters, sculptors, photographers and film-makers, many of whom served, and

who reflected on the war and its effects. 

“Now, one hundred years later, we

are inviting contemporary artists from the UK and around the world to explore

the resonance of the First World War today.”

HMS President, which

is permanently moored on the Thames, was one of two ships given a camouflage

makeover. The other was pilot ship Edmund Gardner, based in Liverpool.