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The Wapping Project

On Paper

written by Jules Wright

Black Dog | ISBN 9781908966605

Paperback – 512 pages


Member’s price: $54.00
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This broad and expansive publication is a celebratory retrospective of two decades of The Wapping Project, and the imprint it has left on the arts. The Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, which finally closed in 1977 after 87 years of operation as the last example of its type of building in the world, was taken over by celebrated theatre director Jules Wright in 1993 and would eventually open to the public as The Wapping Project in October 2000.

The conversion of the space was conceived by architectural and design practice SHED 54, and indeed it is this broad approach to both project and space that has helped foster such a diverse combination of challenging contemporary art, performance, fashion, theatre, architecture and even fine food within such an emotive, immersive space. Many luminary figures across the arts have contributed to its history, including Issey Miyake, Nicole Farhi, Joe Kerr, Duncan Macaskill (Acoustic Shadows), Richard Wilson (Butterfly), Jane Prophet (Conductor), Anya Gallaccio (Intensities and Surfaces), Julie Brook, Yohji Yamamoto, Siobhan Davies, Keith Haring (Ten Commandments), London Fieldworks (Polaria), Jock McFadyen (A13), Tracey Moffat, Nigel Coates, Jane Rendell and Jake Treson (A Net of Eels). Each of the Wapping Projects are original, commissioned and site-specific.

The place has always had a sense of flux about it, something that cannot be defined or categorised for the sake of losing the pure spark of invention that has encapsulated its success. It is a multidisciplinary space and one which too has an award-winning restaurant, Wapping Food within its midst, pursuing the same relentless goal of innovation and reinvention as the work that surrounds it. Wright's influence within the building she first noticed in 1991 while scouting for a Women's Playhouse Trust theatre location has remained as dramatic, pioneering and creative as it ever was over the 20 years of its existence.

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