- Design Technology
Age 9-11 (KS2)Age 11-14 (KS3)
Imperial War Museums tells the stories of ordinary people whose lives have been affected by war and conflict. This resource looks at how the terrible losses of ships and sailors in the First World War led to artists using their creative skills to create some of the most extraordinarily dazzling ships ever seen! Or rather, not seen as this was the ultimate goal behind these colorful and elaborate designs!
Art can save lives!
Art can save lives!
This resource supports the Design and Science curriculum areas for students working at upper KS2 and KS3 and Expressive Arts 2nd and 3rd levels. However, it would also support the teaching of History and Literacy, Social Studies and Languages.
Download the Teacher Notes to give you all the background information you need to introduce your students to this resource with confidence!
Find out more about how this resource is mapped against some of the themes and content topics found in the curricula for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
What form does camouflage take? Is it always about colour? What is its purpose and why is it effective?
Create scrapbooks of examples of Wilkinson’s art before 1917: What type of work did Wilkinson produce? How would you describe his subjects and use of techniques and colour?
After exploring the examples of the dazzle designs and the wooden 1:16 scale models ask students to respond to the Dazzle Section’s designs. What is their response to the way blocks of colour and patterning were used? Are they surprised by the forms the designs take?
How successfully do students think the artworks visually represent Wilkinson’s aims as expressed at the time?
I suddenly got the idea that since it was impossible to paint a ship so she could not be seen by a submarine, the extreme opposite was the answer … to paint her … in such a way as to break up her form and thus confuse a submarine officer as to the course on which she was heading.
The primary object of this scheme was not so much to cause the enemy to miss his shot when actually in firing position, but to mislead him, when the ship was first sighted, as to the correct position to take up.
Download and print the uncoloured reproductions of the Dazzle Section’s drawings – on the prerequisite white paper of course! – students can experiment with different colour combinations and dazzle patterns. Port and Starboard (left and right!) profile views of the ships could be made by tracing the outline and reversing it if students wanted to complete two designs; one for each side of the ship as would have been done originally.
For, as Wilkinson wrote in 1919 ‘A submarine… manoeuvring to get a general view of the ship would obtain an entirely different impression on crossing her bows.’
Port or Starboard designs could be cut out and placed on a static, or screen generated, seascape and students could make their own periscopes and view their designs to test the effectiveness of their disruptive dazzle. A similar effect can also be achieved by viewing the cut-outs through squinted eyes.