James Capper walking ship performances on Thames

Published: Tuesday, April 16, 2019

(Updated 23 May 2019) British artist James Capper will unveil his new large-scale mobile sculpture MUDSKIPPER in Wandsworth.

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As this year's Powerhouse Commission, an annual commission at Battersea Power Station, MUDSKIPPER is a fully-mobile sculpture (9.2 metres in length and 12 tons in weight) which has the ability to move across water and land on-shore through the use of two step-type propulsion legs.

The walking ship will take up residency at Battersea Power Station Pier directly in front of the iconic riverside building, travelling down the River Thames and walking out of the water at certain points of low tide. 

Unfortunately, performance demonstrations of MUDSKIPPER (scheduled for May 25 and 30 and June 9 and 10) have had to be postponed due to technical issues identified during final testing.

The launch of the artwork and performance demonstrations on the river and foreshore will be rescheduled in due course.

We apologise for any disappointment this causes and look forward to inviting you to see this exciting and innovative sculpture in the near future. 

Inspired by early invertebrates, and echoing the brave leaps made by those into a new and unknown world, MUDSKIPPER challenges the definitions of engineering and art and the interconnections between the two.

A Walking Ship exhibition at StudioRCA showed how the boat evolved to become an amphibious sculpture. 

James Capper and artists converting the Thames boat into a walking ship


James Capper's mobile public sculpture MUDSKIPPER is the Battersea Power Station Powerhouse Commission for 2019. MUDSKIPPER is co-commissioned in 2019 in partnership with Battersea Power Station, Nine Elms on the South Bank and The Royal Docks; it is produced by Illuminate Productions. Albion Barn acquired the original workboat with James Capper and published the MUDSKIPPER maquette. The project is also supported by Arts Council England, Hannah Barry Gallery, Perkins Engines and Thames Clippers, with additional support from the Science Museum Group. The mobile public sculpture will engage and integrate with the life of the River Thames, undertaking a series of tests and demonstrations on the River and its foreshores in 2019.

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