Ian Rolls Dazzle Ship

The Great War Fund
Dazzle Ship ‘Elektra’

As a result of funding from the Great War Fund, Jersey artist Ian Rolls painted his largest blank canvas to date… a 1953/4 ex-US Army tugboat. The tugboat ‘Elektra’, which is moored in St.

Helier’s Harbour, was transformed into a Dazzle Ship by Rolls to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War.

Tugboat ‘Elektra’

An uplifting mark of remembrance

Ian’s concept was based on distorting form, a consistent theme in his work, so that the tugboat appears crumpled with strong linear elements, reinforcing the play of light and dark to create false planes. A single red line descends in a twisting spiral from the funnel, wraps itself around the vessel and dips below the waterline to merge with the solid red of the lower hull. The symbolism of sinking ships, but conversely the rising out of the red field of war to a higher place, is implicit. The design is an uplifting mark of remembrance for all those lost beneath the waves during the Great War.

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