Sunday, 10 May 2009

Guy Bourdain - The Wapping Project

Having never been to The Wapping Project or even Wapping I was pleasantly surprised by how much easier it was to get to than I had been led to believe. One stop on the DLR to Shadwell from bank and a short 8 minute walk, which passes the moderately attractive Shadwell Basin on route to the river. The Wapping Hydraulic Power Station (built 1890) has since become a grade II listed building and a rather good restaurant (or so I'm told) and exhibition space. It's 'intentionally' confusing as you go in, without a formal entrance area, you stumble immediately onto dinners, creating an awkward need to assert yourself (look beckoningly the busy waiting staff to aim you in the right direction for the gallery space) to the far right of the building down some steps!.

Inside you encounter a vast dark room, beneath you, you glide down the stairs until your feet hit the spongy, rather comfy astro turf (most gallery spaces have hard concrete flooring). Julia from the Wapping Project has a history in theatre, cue the dramatic lighting that cleverly draws focus to the prints. The exhibition in itself was a bible to current advertising campaigns and highlighted the influence Guy has on today's fashion images. I encourage you to make the journey and seek out the space, unfortunately we timed our visit badly as they were only serving from the desert menu and ended up eating at The Prospect of Whitby a potentially charming pub dating from the 1520's, the food was below par, perhaps due to it belonging to a souless chain.

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