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.