NORTH WALES TO BE HOME TO EUROPE’S LARGEST OPEN AIR ART GALLERY

WORK has continued on a decommissioned cruise liner, setting it on track to become Europe’s largest open air Art Gallery. The Duke of Lancaster, which is docked in North Wales, has been transformed with an 11th original piece of artwork which has been added to its shell.

The 8 x 8m mural has been created by London based artist Dan Kitchener. It joins 10 other pieces which have been added to the ship since August 2012. The work is part of phase two of a project, which will see the ship transformed from an abandoned venture, into a stunning new living, breathing art gallery.

This latest mural 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.

Kitchener comments on why he wanted to get involved and leave his mark on the ship: “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!”

The project to transform the ship was the brainchild of anarchist group DuDug, which is headed up by Project Director Maurice. Maurice has handpicked a series of artists, who have come from across Europe to help transform the Duke.

Maurice comments: “Kitchener is a real catch for the DuDug project. He has exhibited his work at venues across the UK and all over the World, including the USA. His sought after works attract collectors from worldwide, including New York, Japan, Australia, and Europe. He has even produced a limited edition album poster for the infamous band, The Prodigy.

“We were delighted when he was interested in coming to North Wales to leave his statement work on The Duke of Lancaster.”

The Duke of Lancaster was originally bought by the owners in the 70s with the intention of transforming it into the Funship, which would have been a local tourist attraction. However, many publicised battles with Flintshire Council, prevented this from happening.

The DuDug group intend to once again breathe life into the abandoned boat. Phase one saw 8 different murals being created on the boat, between August and November 2012, with a clear message about corruption.

Phase 2 began on the 22nd of March 2013 and has so far seen 3 different artists, including Kitchener, leaving their expansive and impressive murals. Phase 2 is set to be concluded on the 31st March, with a final piece being left by spray paint portrait artist Spacehop.