The Client

Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial, 14-18 NOW: the First World Centenary Art Commissions and Tate Liverpool. In partnership with Mersey Ferries, National Museums Liverpool and Imperial War Museum North

The Opportunity

In April 2015, to a great fanfare, the Snowdrop Ferry was launched on the Mersey River, Liverpool decked out in a multi-coloured 'dazzle' pattern designed by Sir Peter Blake who, of course, has a long connection with Liverpool and her most famous sons, having designed the cover of the Beatles Sergeant Pepper Album.

As a working ferry, the Snowdrop has a large number of windows so, in order to incorporate the windows and maintain the integrity of the design, the commissioning team chose Contra Vision®. Applying Contra Vision® one-way vision film over the windows of the vessel ensured a more dramatic transformation of Sir Peter’s take on “everybody razzle dazzle” while maintaining great through-vision for passengers.

The design elements were also carried onto the doors and windows of The Pierhead, Mersey Ferry Terminal, along with information about the “Dazzle Ferry” to further increase awareness and to offer passengers an opportunity to understand more about the project as a whole. Applying Contra Vision® created a striking design element with through-vision for passengers embarking and disembarking from the ferries.

The Solution

On 25th May 2015, to mark the 175th anniversary of the Cunard Line, 3 Cunard Liners, the Queen Mary 2, the Queen Elisabeth and the Queen Victoria, sailed up the Mersey and then performed their own 'river dance' to line up in formation.

In recognition of the stunning design and integral association with Liverpool, the “Dazzle Ferry” was invited to lead the three enormous ships up the Mersey and into the Liverpool Dock. The Snowdrop, wrapped in a colourful 'dazzle' pattern, made a wonderful eye-catching addition to the collection of ships in the procession.

Once the ships were in formation, the Red Arrows Squadron flew over the Mersey, trailing red, white and blue smoke adding an air of excitement to a spectacular event. The event garnered lots of coverage on national TV news and in the media and we were very proud to have played our own part in this fabulous event.

The Snowdrop or “Dazzle” Ferry will stay wrapped for the next two years bringing a brilliantly colourful element to the famous Liverpool waterfront and Contra Vision® materials will continue to perform even when lashed by tides, wind and rain!