Optimus Brine! Marvel At This Transformers-Esque Boat As It Walks Along The Thames

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 13 months ago
Optimus Brine! Marvel At This Transformers-Esque Boat As It Walks Along The Thames
This boat was made for walking: James Capper with his ingenious contraption, Mudskipper © tommophoto.com

Is it a sculpture? Is it a boat? Has it got Transformers-esque hydraulic-powered legs? Yes, yes, and yes.

Mudskipper is a zany mobile sculpture that's set to turn heads along the Thames this summer. It can 'walk' in the water and on the foreshore, propelled by two powerful mechanical legs.

Mudskipper walks on land © tommophoto.com

Created by artist and draughtsman James Capper, the former Thames workboat — repurposed into an amphibious work of art — will be put into action with two public demonstrations outside Battersea Power Station on Friday 23 July and Saturday 31 July.  

If you can't make any of these, you'll find Mudskipper moored up by the Battersea Power Station Uber Boat pier from 18 July.

There'll then be a further four demonstrations at the Royal Docks (exact location TBC) on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 August, and Friday 3 and Saturday 4 September. These Royal Docks events, although free, require booking ahead.

© tommophoto.com

Says Capper — whose craft takes inspiration from the evolution of invertebrates, as well as eccentric movie characters like Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo and Wes Anderson's Steve Zissou:

After two years of building and 16 months of a pandemic, the great unknowns of Mudskipper's abilities are about to be investigated and discovered...

Sounds like it could be the most joyous thing to take to the Thames since the Monty Python tug boat.

Mudskipper demonstrations are free to watch, and last approximately 45 minutes. Find more information on the Mudskipper website. Details on exact locations should be released nearer to the time.

Last Updated 16 July 2021