White Hart Dock is located between Lambeth and Vauxhall bridges at the junction of Albert Embankment and Black Prince Road. The Dock is on the land side of the Embankment, and was believed to have been used by the nearby Doulton’s factory until 1956 when they relocated the Staffordshire Potteries area. We don’t think the dock was “owned” by Royal Doulton, and it had been around long before that as a parish dock. It will have existed in different forms, shapes and sizes over the centuries, but now just the slipway and under-road tunnels remain.
In 2004 the London Borough of Lambeth received a Section 106 payment from Berkely Homes, the developers of the site adjacent to dock (9 Albert Embankment). The 106 agreement specifies that the payment should enhance the White Hart Dock and Crescent Area, and such a scheme shouldl consist of environmental improvement works long the frontage of Black Prince Road and the adjoining roads of the Albert Embankmnt.
The Transport, Planning & Strategy (TPS) division of Lambeth led on the development of a package of environmental improvements, part of which involved the commissioning of public art for White Hart Dock.
A Public Art Panel was been assembled to oversee the White Hart Dock Public Art and Community Engagement Project, and comprised Lambeth Arts, TPS, a ward councillor, and representatives from the local community and arts sectors.
Six shortlisted artists’ proposals were exhibited in the nearby Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel (18 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7TJ), and public feedback formed a basis for selection, along with the Public Art Panel interviews.
Handspring Design, a small interdisciplinary practice from Sheffield, were chosen to produce the artwork, and worked through 2009 designing, making, researching, fabricating, engaging, managing, constructing and installing.
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