Tag Archives: Thames

The Wapping Project

Unlike the rest of Clapham’s residents I spent the last Saturday, which was blissfully hot and sunny, indoors watching Dial M for Murder and hoping for Sunday fun.

I woke up the next day to discover a rain cloud had descended on London. It was disappointing but I was not deterred. After flipping through Time Out I decided to visit East London.

Arriving in Shadwell is not very exciting but head towards the Thames and within a couple of minutes you’ll discover some of the most amazing warehouses and old factories London has to offer. One of them, The Wapping Project, has been converted into a fantastic exhibition space. Originally an old hydraulic power station it’s guts are still intact with all the machines, tiles, pipes, conduits, dials and grates exactly where they were when the last worker walked out the door. Amongst the heavy plant, you’ll now find designer chairs and tables, and after 7pm an excellent restaurant – according to the barman.

The installation, that has just finished, was by Sam Spenser, a 22 year old Goldsmith’s graduate. In the pitch black subterranean space just off the main hall objects, made of scrap, were plucked out of the blackness like actors on a stage, they told a powerful and foreboding narrative. In the background a soundtrack washed the faint music of a piano in and out set to the creaking of rusty gate blowing in the wind. The experience gave a real sense of place, like being in a horror movie just before the murderer comes back.

Afterward I popped to a nearby pub for a couple of drinks, standing on the balcony, overlooking the Thames I watched seagulls flighting for scraps of food floating on the murky brown water.