Thinking about the theme for S&N’s 5-year birthday bash at the Canadian War Museum, we knew we’d be linking up with the Camouflage: From Battlefield to Catwalk exhibit.
When we toured the exhibit a couple months ago looking for inspiration, we were surprised to find that camouflage isn’t all about brown and green motifs. There’s also another type of camouflage, called “dazzle” or sometimes “razzle dazzle”, which caught my eye and which inspired the poster and some of the projects for the event.
Instead of using colours to try to blend in with the background, dazzle camouflage uses bright colours and contrasting diagonal stripes. It was painted on naval ships in World War I by the Allies not so much to hide the ship from enemy weapon operators but to distort the ship’s size and direction.
Really nice photos of dazzle camouflage ships can be found at this recent post at Twistedsifter and on the Rhode Island School of Design, which last year held an exhibit of its collection of dazzle camouflage ship drawings. A great post on the influence of modern art on dazzle camouflage can be found at Dark Roasted Blend.
Here’s some contemporary takes on this type of camouflage (including the first ship below designed by Jeff Koons):