The story of the black duke so far


Black Duke of Lancaster Graffiti Ship 01

Dudug has brought you the unique history of the Duke of Lancaster cruise liner, but the Duke of Lancaster has never been through quite so much, in such a short space of time, as it has seen in the last 5 months. It’s made headlines in local papers on a regular basis, and this has culminated in national coverage by world renowned BBC News. The last few months is set to change the future of the Black Duke. No longer will it be an abandoned ghost ship, but it is on track to become a real UK landmark and tourist destination once again. Here’s a look at what the last 5 months has held for the Duke and the Dudug team… Black Duke of Lancaster Ship Graffiti Ship 03

The Duke in August: Dudug unleashed their first artist to work his magic on the ship. The chosen artist and ideal man for the job was notorious Latvian Street Artist KIWIE. He attacked in style creating videos under the guise of bombing the ship illegally without permission. He created two pirate characters which perfectly fitted in with the corruption theme. The website was launched on the night the work was unveiled and the local press were quick to cover the story. KIWIE soon followed up with the true video account of what happened – that he wasn’t there illegally and had been invited by Dudug.

Black Duke of Lancaster Ship Graffiti Ship 04

Dudug Step Forward in September: The co-owner, John Rowley, steps forward and confirms his involvement by releasing a statement to the press – that he had been approached by anarchist group Dudug, who wanted to help him bring the Duke of Lancaster back to life. This was at a similar time to up and coming Gallery Artist, Lora Zombie, honouring the ship in her own ‘Grunge’ style by creating a unique piece of art Black Duke of Lancaster Ship Graffiti Ship Vs Lora Zombiewhich featured the Duke – Rise Dear Child. Both activities coincided with the second Street Art Crew bombing the ship. This time they were local boys – Andy Birch, better known as Dime One, and the Cream Soda Crew; Japf, WarPig and Kash, created their piece. As September came to a close, the Duke once again became the subject of another work. This time by artist Andy Mercer, who created a stunning representation of the Duke of Lancaster entitled ‘Shipwrecked’.

Black Duke of Lancaster Ship Graffiti Ship Vs Bungle

More Murals in October: The artist keen to get involved and leave their mark on the Duke of Lancaster begin to come flooding forward and October sees two more artists leaving their ‘corrupt’ statements. Bristolian artist, Bungle, creates his imposing character, ‘The Face of Authority’. This piece was the biggest challenge the artist had ever taken on and the finished result is an intimidating and impressive figure. This was shortly followed by a piece from French Artist, GOIN.

Black Duke of Lancaster Ship Graffiti Ship Vs GOIN

GOIN created a piece which sent a direct message to the Council, spelling out Dudug’s opinion of them. Entitled Council of Monkeys, the piece was by far the boldest statement on the ship to date, not only because of its impressive 121m² expanse, but because of its clear message.

Hidden Beauty in November: More artists continued to step forward in November and in the first few weeks, some new works were unveiled. Mr Zero and Fatheat, part of Street Art Crew, Colored Effects Crew, made the trip to North Wales from their native

Black Duke of Lancaster Ship Graffiti Ship Vs Mr Zero

Hungary. Again there was another clear message to the council with their works entitled ‘The Prophets of Profit’. Mr Zero has created a 12 x 7m pig character and Fatheat created a 12 x 9m mural, which depicts a monster character. Both characters represent a grotesque depiction of authority. This is then juxtaposed with a hidden piece of

Black Duke of Lancaster Ship Graffiti Ship Vs Fat Heat

beauty. Irish artist Fin DAC created ‘Mauricamai’ – a beautiful image, depicting a Geisha Character. His painting is cleverly positioned so it can only be seen from the coastal path. It has been tucked away around the hull side of the ship and can only be seen if the ship’s dock is opened to the public.

Black Duke of Lancaster Ship Graffiti Ship Vs Fin DAC

BBC in December: We have been overwhelmed with the amount of coverage and column inches we’ve received from the local papers, along with specialist art blogs. This was then topped off with the jewel in the crown in December, when we made it on the BBC Wales News and The BBC New Website. Let’s hope they continue to follow the

story. In December we were also honoured with another work which paid homage to the Duke. This time by contemporary Illustrator and Animator, Si Clark. The London based artist created a stunning statement piece work called “Dignified Resilience”.

All of the works have been photographed and documented along the way by annar_50, who is now the resident photographer for Black Duke Art.

As we head into 2013, what will it hold for The Black Duke? The plan is to transform the ship into the largest open air art gallery in the UK. What will the council say? Will they be obstructive, or will they finally overcome their corrupt ways and step aside? One thing’s for sure, The Duke won’t go quietly.

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