The amphibious 'Mudskipper' will sail down the Thames... and walk out at low tide
Above: drawing of the mobile sculpture
British artist James Capper will unveil his new large-scale mobile sculpture Mudskipper at Nine Elms this Spring.
From mid-May 2019, Mudskipper will be moored at the Battersea Power Station pier directly in front of the iconic riverside building. The sculpture will put on special performances throughout May and June, when it will travel down the River Thames and walk out of the water at certain points of low tide.
The amphibious Mudskipper is this year's Powerhouse Commission, an annual commission at Battersea Power Station.
With the ability to move across water and land on-shore through the use of two step-type propulsion legs, Mudskipper is a fully-mobile sculpture (9.2 metres in length and 12 tons in weight). Inspired by the ingenuity of early invertebrates, Mudskipper challenges and invigorates the definitions of engineering and art and the interconnections between the two.
Honor Fishburn, Placemaking Director at Battersea Power Station Development Company, said, "We are delighted to announce James Capper's Mudskipper as our 2019 Powerhouse Commission. The Powerhouse Commission is an annual commission honouring our ongoing commitment to support British and international artists by providing them with a unique outdoor platform to show their work.
"This work is particularly relevant to the Power Station given its location on the Thames, where once hundreds of workboats would have delivered coal to the building. It will be great to see Mudskipper moored in front of the Power Station and we hope to make the sculpture a long term fixture on our jetty in due course."
Supported by Nine Elms on the South Bank and in conjunction with the 2018 Year of Engineering, StudioRCA in the Riverlight building at Nine Elms is hosting a special exhibition of James Capper's work and a visual synopsis of the Mudskipper project in its Walking Ship exhibition.
Researched, drawn and developed over the course of a decade, the exhibition brings together drawings, maquettes and component sculpture to chronicle the conceptual, aesthetic and technical evolution of Mudskipper as it becomes a fully-realised mobile work.
Cllr Ravi Govindia, Leader of Wandsworth Council,added, "We’re excited to welcome this interesting mix of engineering and art to the riverside at Nine Elms. This area of Wandsworth is undergoing its own evolution from an industrial area into a new town centre, so it is wonderful that we have co-commissioned this transformation of a fishing boat into a walking sculpture. I'm sure it will prove as fascinating to local residents as it will to people visiting Battersea Power Station pier where it will be moored between performances."
April 2, 2019