A photo of a performance at AGM 2021, choreographed by Saul Nash.

Somerset House Studios 2021 Round-Up

17 Dec 2021

Let us guide you through just a few of the past year’s highlight from across the Somerset House Studios community, celebrating their work and achievements from the last twelve months for you to read, watch, listen and visit.

Watch: Jenn Nkiru's Grammy award-winning Best Music Video, Beyonce’s Brown Skin Girl

Artist and director Jenn Nkiru opened the year winning a Grammy for Best Music Video for Beyonce’s Brown Skin Girl. The video — directed by Nkiru — features Naomi Campbell, actress Lupita Nyong’o and Kelly Rowland, Beyoncé’s fellow Destiny’s Child. 

The video was released alongside a statement from Beyonce: “It was so important to me in ‘Brown Skin Girl’ that we represented all different shades of brown.” The striking visual clocks in at just over six minutes, featuring debutantes in elegant gowns. 

Watch: Saul Nash at London Fashion Week 

Designer & choreographer Saul Nash featured at both of London’s Fashion Weeks in 2021. In February Saul Nash presented Twist for A/W 21. The film is part of Nash’s ongoing exploration into the ideas of group dynamics, preconceptions, and belonging.  

Then, in September, Nash was the first designer to present on an official runway in London in a year and a half, with a show themed around his memories of going to school in North London.

Listen: Anna Meredith’s Bumps per Minute with Nick Ryan

The Mercury Award-shortlisted composer, producer and musician Anna Meredith collaborated with BAFTA-winning sound artist Nick Ryan to design a bespoke tracking technology, documenting every bump and swerve of 18 dodgems. These dodgems, part of DODGE at Somerset House, result in an ultimate shuffle where high octane music and ideas compete for airtime and each performance is unique.

Visit: Gaika at ICA with Nine Nights: Channel B

Last year the producer, visual and performance artist Gaika co-founded Nine Nights, alongside GLOR1A, Shannen SP and Zara Truss-Giles. The new music concept features thoughtfully curated Black artists from across the world. 

Their exhibition at the ICA, Channel B, is an audio-visual exploration of Black futurism, rooted in the electronically mutated rhythms of the diaspora that pulse through every city, every night. The exhibition features sound and video installations by the founding artists and at the heart of Channel B is a live event series New Syntax.

Nine Nights: Channel B continues at ICA until Sun 30 Jan 2022.

Watch: AGM 2021

In 2021 we marked five years of supporting boundary pushing creative talent with AGM, a muti-room takeover, celebrating the return of community after over a year of displacement and separation.

The line-up was varied, including a new music collaboration from the Studios community, led by artists Paul Purgas and Vivienne Griffin, featuring Flora Yin-Wong, rkss, Joe Namy, Nik Nak and Annie Goh at Baroque church St Mary Le Strand. 

Back at Somerset House we welcomed DJ Nigga Fox, Saul Nash with special guest cktrl, Black Obsidian Sound System and Studios resident Marija Bozinovska Jones b2b with Sommé Farris, each bringing their own unique performances to the building.

Visit: British Art Show 9

British Art Show 9 takes a critical look at art produced in Britain, from 2015 up to the present moment. Responding to this complex time, the 47 artists in BAS9 look at how we live with and give voice to difference, while also extending our understanding of identity to beyond the human.

Of those 47 artists, Studios residents Maeve Brennan, GAIKA, Lawrence Lek, Florence Peake & Tai Shani all featured. 

British Art Show 9 continues in Wolverhampton, 22 Jan – 10 Apr 2022.

Watch: Superflux at Venice Biennale 

Art and design studio and Studios resident Superflux, shared Refuge for Resurgence, as part of Venice Biennale from May to November. This installation was a multispecies dining experience with animals, birds, plants and fungi.

As part of their ongoing mission to explore hope through crisis towards a more-than-human future, audiences were invited to a table around which multiple species gathered as equals. In response to the Biennale’s theme – ‘How Will We Live Together?’ – Refuge for Resurgence considered how all forms of life on earth might come together in a post-Anthropocene world.

Watch: Mel Brimfield on her solo show at The Tetley, Leeds

Visual artist Mel Brimfield’s solo show From this world, to that which is to come ran March to August 2021, and marked the culmination of two years’ work, based on a research residency at a Psychosis Unit and Kings College Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience in 2018–19.

The resulting works explored the alienating effects of mental ill health and treatment at an individual, familial and societal level, whilst presenting a celebration of the radical potential of collective creative action and kindness.

Find out more about our Studios community and stay connected.