Dockside Automata at Gallions Reach

Drop anchor at Gallions Reach and visit us at our three month residency with Bow Arts at their fabulous new dockside arts hub – the RAW Lab.

  • Join small community workshops to build a large docks-themed kinetic sculpture (see information below)
  • Rare chance to see Cabaret Mechanical Theatre’s exhibits in London
  • Press buttons and turn handles to trigger the machines into magical life
  • See work in progress at Fire the Inventor’s temporary on-site workshop
  • Enjoy a coffee or tea and sup in the kinetic atmosphere – and stunning views of the docks and low-flying aircraft!

Exhibition opening times 10am – 4pm
All weekends from Sunday 21 May to 23 July 2017

Community workshop sessions 1 – 4pm (please email us if you are coming to give us an idea of numbers)
Sunday 21 May
Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 May
Saturday 3 & Sunday 4 June
Sunday 11 June
Saturday 17 & Sunday 18 June

Bow Arts RAW Lab, 1 Upper Dock Walk, London, E16 2GU (Gallions Reach DLR station five minutes walk away)

About the workshops
A community project to build a large kinetic sculpture in the guise of a dockside crane that mechanically animates the life and history of the docks.

The workshops offer adults and families the opportunity to try making kinetic art and contributing to a communal project with like-minded enthusiasts. We envisage a small group regulars will emerge working over several sessions. A sort of automata-making club.

Artist in Residence Stephen will build the main infrastructure and workshop participants can focus on creating smaller automata that link into the main mechanism. Think here themes like ships and cargoes, planes, fish, birds, local industries. The automata exhibition will spark inspiration and ideas!

A variety of materials, components and tools will be available (you are also welcome to bring your own) and Stephen will be there to guide, teach, inspire and coordinate the collaborative process.

You can come as often as you like and develop your work over the whole period.


  • They are free with no need to book, but if you intend coming, please email Stephen so we can get an idea of numbers
  • You can drop-in anytime within the session
  • Places are limited and offered on a first come first served basis
  • There’s only room for a small group at any one time, so at times it could full up
  • Please note there is NOT any formal instruction or structure to the workshops: it is up to participants to generate ideas, experiment, do hands-on trials and make the best of the facilities and time available
  • Moderate crafting skills required
  • Be prepared to work to exacting standards as engineered art requires precision and accuracy. The machines need to be robust and reliable.
  • Machines, components and materials cannot be taken away
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult. Not suitable for young children.

For more information, questions, or to tell us you’re coming, please contact: