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In photos: STUNNING graffiti makeover of a 1956 warship

Last updated on: April 10, 2013 13:07 IST

In photos: STUNNING graffiti makeover of a 1956 warship

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Rediff Newdesk

A 1956-grounded streamer, built by the makers of the Titanic, has been transformed by graffitists from an old, rusting wreck into funky floating art gallery.

Docked in Flintshire, north Wales since 1979, the Duke of Lancaster, was an abandoned ship rusting into pieces. Not any more.

Some of Europe's most talented streets artists are doing all they can to bring it back to life with spray-painted graffiti. The idea is to transform it into the largest open air art gallery in the United Kingdom.

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Image: The ship is docked off the coast of Llanerch-y-Mor, Wales
Photographs: Courtesy: Dudug

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STUNNING graffiti makeover of a 1956 warship

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Built in 1956 by Harland and Wolff, who famously built the Titanic, the ship is said to be involved in the Cold War.

The Duke of Lancastern was later used as a bar and a flea market. But in the mid-80s, the 'fun ship' as it was then called was closed to the public.

The grounded boat would have been lost in the pages of history, had it not been for the local art collective DuDug -- directly translates as 'Black Duke' in Welsh -- by artists, from the UK, Russia, Latvia and Hungary.

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Photographs: Courtesy: Dudug

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STUNNING graffiti makeover of a 1956 warship

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In phase one of the project European graffiti artists painted murals on the ship between August and November 2012. And British-based artists have worked on the second phase, which began at the end of March.

The blank canvas of the old, rusty streamer has now been adorned with colorful graffiti.

Project Director Maurice Blunt, said "At first some were not keen on the artwork and saw it very doggedly as 'illegal graffiti' in the negative sense of the word. However, many now realise that The Duke has been given a new purpose and a new lease of life. I can see no better way to bring the historical plight of this beautiful old lady to the world other than creating a true landmark -- the largest open-air gallery in Europe."

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Photographs: Courtesy: Dudug

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STUNNING graffiti makeover of a 1956 warship

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This mural has been created by Bristolian artist Snub23.

The giant masterpiece named, 'Your Time is Up, The Future is Here', has been created so it appears to be breaking out from the inside of the ship.

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Photographs: Courtesy: Dudug

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STUNNING graffiti makeover of a 1956 warship

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The 3D style character, as the name suggests is designed to look like a futuristic rob. The piece is an impressive 12m x 12m, spanning nearly the full height of the ship.

SNUB23, who is known for his high impact graphics, was quick to get involved with the project, commenting: "Chance to paint a massive boat? Hell yeah. Metal is made for me. Especially the old, rusted and eroded stuff, flaked paint surfaces and battered edges. That stuff is art on its own."

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Photographs: Courtesy: Dudug
Tags: SNUB23

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STUNNING graffiti makeover of a 1956 warship

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This mural has been created by London-based artist Dan Kitchener, which embraces the maritime theme and is entitled 'Opening the Can of Worms'.

It is a depiction of an alien octopus-like monster creature, with worm-like tentacles. The name and theme is clear nod towards the ship owners' on-going council battle over planning permission for the ship.

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Photographs: Courtesy: Dudug

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STUNNING graffiti makeover of a 1956 warship

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Kitchener comments on why he wanted to get involved. "For me it's an incredible opportunity to paint on such an amazing object! The scale is definitely the major attraction. My monsters and characters are always crying out for large walls, so they can loom over the viewer."

"I also love the industrial decay of the ship," he continues. "A great rusting hulk, once living, full of light, life and power, now decaying and deserted. It is the ideal haunt for one of my monsters -- lurking within the decaying ship itself!"

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Photographs: Courtesy: Dudug
Tags: Kitchener

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London-based artist Dale Grimshaw's piece entitled 'When two worlds meet, it's a culture clash' is a gigantic portrait, which depicts a young adolescent, wearing war paint.

Her penetrating and life-like eyes instantly draw you into the piece. The murals name is also incorporated into the work to give a bold statement.

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Photographs: Courtesy: Dudug

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The latest piece, created by photo-realistic graffiti artist Space Hop pays homage to the ship's first Captain, John 'Jack' Irwin, the original Captain Jack. He took delivery of the vessel from Harland and Wolff before taking her on her first sea trails.

The picture is an exact reproduction of a one taken on board the ship, just outside his cabin and it was provided by his nephew, Andrew Veal.

The striking image, standing at roughly 5 meters high shows the dashing captain in his full dress uniform. It has been purposely placed just below the bridge in a fitting tribute to a man who was frequently seen there guiding the ship into port.

 

 


Photographs: Courtesy: Dudug

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STUNNING graffiti makeover of a 1956 warship

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Project Director Maurice Blunt, said "At first some were not keen on the artwork and saw it very doggedly as 'illegal graffiti' in the negative sense of the word. However, many now realise that The Duke has been given a new purpose and a new lease of life."

"I can see no better way to bring the historical plight of this beautiful old lady to the world other than creating a true landmark -- the largest open-air gallery in Europe," he added.


Photographs: Courtesy: Dudug

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