Last Chance to See Scotland’s First Ever Dazzle Ship: Ciara Phillips’ Every Woman

Press Release 

Ciara Phillips’ Dazzle Ship Scotland Every Woman, created to commemorate the centenary of the First World War, will be on display for its final few weeks in Prince of Wales Docks, before closing on 31st January 2017. This large-scale artwork, co-commissioned by Edinburgh Art Festival (EAF) and 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, is the fourth in a series of 'Dazzle Ships’ created by contemporary artists to commemorate the First World War.

Turner Prize-nominated artist and long-term resident of Scotland, Ciara Phillips, developed a striking design for a new Dazzle Ship – the first ever in Scotland – to adorn the iconic vessel MV Fingal, celebrating the role of women during the First World War and commemorating the battle-ready ships that were docked at Leith 100 years ago.

The ship has proven to be an incredibly popular attraction, becoming a much-loved part of the Leith landscape as part of celebrations for the 70th anniversary year of Edinburgh, The Festival City. Since its launch in May 2016 when the ship journeyed down the Firth of Forth as part of the centenary commemorations of the Battle of Jutland, the ship has attracted an estimated 461,000 views, with thousands of local residents, festival audiences and international visitors sharing images and memories online.

EAF is delighted to have been working with so many project partners to create and present an artwork that is already such a key part of the festival city’s history and future. The important engagement work will carry on across the communities of the city until April 2017. The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust worked with EAF to extend the project beyond the original planned closing date of 28 August 2016. The artwork will now be de-installed to allow preparatory works to convert the ship into a boutique hotel to commence.

Saying goodbye to the first Dazzle Ship in Scotland leaves behind an enduring legacy. Over 7500 Edinburgh residents - locals, school children and community groups young and old - have explored the history of Dazzle and the themes of this particular work – highlighting the role of women in the First World War. Through a dedicated programme of workshops and community events specifically developed around the artwork, Every Woman, inspired creative responses across the city.

Highlights of engagement have included:

  • A new poetry collection called ‘Signal’ written by local writers and poets in the city in response to the artwork and its themes.
  • A new zine on female empowerment and an associated exhibition with Stills created by young BME women of the Young Saheliya Group.
  • A collection of short stories is to be launched on 18th January, created after working with elderly residents from Port of Leith Housing Association and Citadel Arts Group. The publication ‘Women At Work’ is a reminiscence project around working lives and wartime memories.
  • In late December a replica dazzle ship was designed, built and festooned with dazzle decorations as part of the city-wide Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations and the family event Sprogmanay at the National Museum of Scotland.
  • The Schools’ Programme focuses on the opportunities for interdisciplinary learning inherent in the project. Working with pupils from early primary through to high school age, thousands have participated in a range of activities including: producing a 360° film, coding and encoding in morse code workshops, creating stunning wall murals and an all-school Dazzle-focus week (Trinity Primary) that manifested in many ways including dance workshops and a miniature Dazzle boat for the playground.

Sorcha Carey, Director of Edinburgh Art Festival, said:
“We are delighted to have been able to work with Ciara Phillips and so many project partners to bring such an ambitious artwork to life - I know that Every Woman will live long in the memory of residents and visitors to the city.”

Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW, said:
"Every Woman is an amazing piece of visual art that also gives occasion to reflect on a crucial moment when art contributed to saving lives in the First World War. I am delighted that so many people have experienced Ciara’s extraordinary design in the place where the first dazzled war-ready ships were docked 100 years ago.”

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said:
“The Dazzle Ship is a powerful and distinctive piece of public art that has encouraged its many visitors to reflect on the impact World War One had on Scotland and our people. The Scottish Government has been proud to support the project through the World War One centenary commemoration programme and our support for the Edinburgh Art Festival. Ciara Phillips clearly put a lot of thought into this work – expertly merging the location, the ship’s historical significance and highlighting the vital role women played at home during the conflict. The project has captured the imagination of thousands and inspired artists and writers to create further work, which I look forward to seeing.”

Councillor Richard Lewis, Edinburgh’s Festivals and Events Champion, said:
“The Edinburgh Art Festival is renowned for showcasing incredible artworks in unusual places with Every Woman a prime example. Turner Prize nominee Ciara Phillips’ commission faithfully married Edinburgh’s artistic culture with its seafaring past. It has been a dazzling addition to Leith Docks as we sail into the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh - The Festival City and prepare for a staggering year celebrating our city’s distinctive and deeply embedded festival culture.”

Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts at Creative Scotland, said:
“The Dazzle Ship has been a most extraordinary project that is testament to the vision and ambition of the Edinburgh Art Festival and the many stakeholders and partners involved.  We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to them and to the artist Ciara Phillips for delivering such a powerful and important artwork.  In a relatively short time the project has touched the lives of many thousands of people, encouraging their reflections on the First World War and generating new knowledge and fresh perspectives.”

@EdArtFest #DazzleShip #1418NOW

For media enquiries, please contact:

Flora Macfarlane, SUTTON                            
+44 (0) 20 7183 3577

Notes to editors: 

Edinburgh Art Festival worked with independent audience research agency Culture Republic, to measure attendance data.

Founded in 2004, Edinburgh Art Festival is the UK’s largest annual festival of visual art, offering the chance to experience the best contemporary Scottish, UK and international artists in the context of exhibitions of some of the most important artists and movements of the 20th Century and historical periods. Attracting over 360,000 attendances in 2016, Edinburgh Art Festival (EAF) brings together the capital’s leading galleries, museums and artist-run spaces, alongside new public art commissions by established and emerging artists and an innovative programme of special events. Edinburgh Art Festival is a charitable organization supported by Creative Scotland and the City of Edinburgh Council.

14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War, as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. It aims to engage as many people as possible with the First World War, exploring how the war has impacted on the society we live in now. 14-18 NOW commissions new work by leading contemporary artists from all art forms, inspired by the period 1914-1918.  The commemorative period is marked by three key seasons - the first season centred around 4 August 2014 (Anniversary of the Declaration of War), the second is March to November 2016 (anniversary of the Battle of Jutland and the Battle of the Somme) and the last in 2018 (centenary of Armistice Day). 14-18 NOW is responsible for the UK tour of the iconic poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper. 14 -18 NOW is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and by additional fundraising.  14-18 NOW has commissioned over 140 artworks to date that have been seen by more than 30 million people.

The Scottish Government Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund recognises the exceptional creative talent that exists in Scotland and gives it an international platform on which to excel. It is available to the Edinburgh Festivals to support the development of Scottish-based work. The Scottish Government is proud to support the Edinburgh Art Festival via the Expo Fund and provided £140,000 in 2016-17 to bring innovative work from artists in Scotland and internationally to new audiences and venues. The Scottish Government contributed a further £50,000 towards the Dazzle Ship Dazzle Ship project Every Woman.
Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit

Follow us: @creativescots &

The City of Edinburgh Council is a funding partner for Edinburgh Art Festival. The Council accommodates the organisation at City Art Centre and provides regular use of Trinity Apse and other Council owned property for festival activities. The Council aims to maintain and build on Edinburgh's reputation as the ideal location for major events and festivals. Working with the city’s cultural sector, the Council’s arts development team ensures that arts play a vital and lasting role in Edinburgh by developing strategic policy, offering advice on cultural projects and awarding cultural grants.

The Queen’s former floating palace, The Royal Yacht Britannia, in Leith, Edinburgh, has been Scotland’s Best Attraction (VisitScotland) for 10 years’ running and in TripAdvisor’s top 10 in the UK for 4 years. One of the most famous ships in the world, for over 40 years, sailing a million miles around the globe, on a thousand official visits, Britannia played host to glittering state banquets and official receptions, as a majestic symbol and trade ambassador for the Commonwealth. To The Queen and 220 crew, Britannia was home. Now with 5 fully accessible decks, visitors can follow in the footsteps of royalty, with an audio tour in 27 languages. Britannia is owned by a charitable trust and all surplus funds are reinvested in preserving the Royal Yacht for future generations.

DCMS: 4 August 2014 marked 100 years since the start of the First World War. In recognition of this significant milestone the Government is leading a five-year commemorative programme of national ceremonial events, cultural and educational activity and community engagement. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, DCMS, manages this cross government programme working with key delivery partners including Imperial War Museums, 14-18 NOW, Arts Council, Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England.

First World War Centenary Partnership: 2014 - 2018 marks the centenary of the First World War, a landmark anniversary for Britain and the world. IWM is marking the centenary by leading a vibrant, five-year programme of cultural activities across the world. This year is the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. IWM will be announcing its programme to mark the anniversary later this year. For more information visit

WW100 Scotland: The Scottish Commemorations Panel was appointed by Scottish Ministers in 2013 to recommend key dates and events in World War One which had a particular significance for Scotland. Comprising experts from the military and veterans communities, community leaders, clergy, media, historians and education specialists, the Panel was tasked with creating a programme of events that would honour the sacrifice of Scottish servicemen and women, reflect on the global impact of WW1 and on the domestic effects of the war during 1914-1918. By balancing remembrance with encouraging a spirit of research and inquiry (through education and genealogy), the aim is to leave a lasting legacy.

Heritage Lottery Fund: Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. @heritagelottery #UnderstandingWW1

Other HLF-funded First World War projects include:

- First World War Galleries, Imperial War Museum London - £6.5m

- The Yorkshire Film Archive – £52,400

- HMS Caroline, the last surviving First World War battleship - £12m

- Herts at War - £98,400

- 1914 London B-type ‘Battle’ Bus, which drove out to the Western Front - £750,000 

Programme Partners & Supporters

The Scottish Government 
Creative Scotland
The City of Edinburgh Council  
14-18 NOW
The Royal Yacht Britannia, Edinburgh 
Forth Ports
Citadel Arts Group
Young Saheliya
Port of Leith Housing Association
Edinburgh's Hogmanay