Edinburgh Libraries is keeping kids entertained this Easter with its Dazzle the Forth project, a partnership with City of Edinburgh Council Arts and Creative Learning to commemorate the important role played by the Forth in the war at sea.

During the First World War, the artist Norman Wilkinson was stationed on minesweepers in the Mediterranean when he came up with a clever idea to confuse and misguide U-Boat crews who wanted to sink ships.

© Imperial War Museum (Art IWM PST 4624)

Using striking patterns and clashing colour schemes, Dazzle camouflage was put on thousands of ships, many of them stationed at Leith. The Dazzle Unit, stationed at the Royal Academy of the Arts, was composed mostly of women who were students at the RA and who produced designs on paper and onto models.

During the Easter holidays, specially designed templates will be available at  events in Central Library, Fountainbridge, Balgreen, Muirhouse, Granton, Sighthill, Wester Hailes, Stockbridge, Ratho and South Queensferry, giving children the chance to create their very own dazzle ship design.

Imperial War Museum (Art.IWM DAZ 46)


Edinburgh Libraries is also welcoming suggestions on where to take the project next, such as how the designs might be scaled up and where they might be displayed.

You can get more information about the project and the dates, times and locations of individual workshops here.

Leith will also have its very own dazzle ship in May as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival’s 2016 Commissions Programme, with Turner Prize-nominated artist Ciara Phillips working her magic on iconic vessel MV Fingal, currently berthed in the historic port. Running alongside a series of national commemoration events, the project will mark the centenary of the Battle of Jutland.