Grenada Dazzle

Grenada Dazzle 2015

Grenada Dazzle

Digital Inkjet print on handmade Somerset paper produced by Coriander Studio, London. 

Artist’s proof created for Grenada Contemporary 2015 (Susan Mains Gallery 10-28 December, 2015) 

“Grenada Dazzle” is a print design that is ready to be screen printed onto a cotton bandana or scarf and worn in Grenada in lieu of “combat” camouflage. The law (Act Number 9, 2000) states that it is illegal to wear camouflage clothing (regardless of colour) including decorative items such as bags, hats et al so that “anyone convicted of an offence under the law could face a fine of $10,000 EC or imprisonment for a year.”[1]

As an act of deliberate subversion, Adam has taken the red-green-yellow pantones of the Grenada national flag and used them in a camouflage pattern made up exclusively of the silhouettes of Grenada, Petite Martinique and Carriacou to create a new type of “dazzle” camouflage.

Dazzle (or “disruptive”) camouflage is designed to confuse the person looking at it rather than conceal the person or object wearing the pattern. This type of military camouflage concept was developed by British zoologist John Graham Kerr and artist Norman Wilkinson during the First World War to confuse German U-Boats as to the speed a British ship was traveling.

This pattern was inspired first and foremost by the kind of camouflage you would find in nature rather than the obvious military patterns.  By bringing together Grenada’s colours and silhouettes to evoke national identity and nationhood, a tension arises when national pride of being Grenadian are then confronted by the fact that it remains illegal to wear camouflage in Grenada (and in most Caribbean countries).

In particular, it is during Carnival that civilians wearing camouflage or “combat clothing” are treated with “zero tolerance” and the law is enforced with greater urgency. The potential to print this design to be worn as a bandana during Carnival or even to wear on Independence Day (7 February) demonstrates how the “Grenada Dazzle” pattern is creating the intended confusion and instead of an aesthetic of taboo, responses by the younger generation shows that this is a design that evokes celebration and national pride. In presenting Grenada Dazzle at Grenada Contemporary 2015, the intention is to create a space for a new generation of Grenadians to think about why wearing camouflage remains illegal  and talk about complex and difficult subjects in an open and creative space.

For Grenada Contemporary 2015, Adam’s print was produced at Coriander Studio. Coriander Studio is one of the most famous fine art print studios in the UK (digital, silkscreen and hand finished printing) and along with the Curwen Studio (printing and publishing) and Huguenot Editions (etching) make up the new Worton Hall Studios, Isleworth, London.

For information about Grenada Contemporary

[1] (Accessed 10 December, 2015).