Somerset House Studios

Somerset House Studios is ONE

Marie McPartlin

Director, Somerset House Studios

19 Oct 2017

In the last year, we’ve brought together a community of artists. It’s a community that’s international, culturally diverse and, we feel, truly representative of the best work being made in London right now.  Over 75 artists and their teams have been welcomed into the former Inland Revenue building as residents and collaborators, and we’re in the early stages of a programme, devised with those artists, putting nightlife, subcultures, community, activism, technology and experimental work at the heart.   

We’ve been to Sonar in Barcelona, Mutek in Montreal and next month, to Peru, where three residents will begin an ongoing exchange between practitioners in London and Lima. Regular critical salons have seen composer Jennifer Walshe explore the impact of hip-hop memes on sound art, design studio Superflux debate future models of power and Music Hackspace platform artists working with software and electronics. A new, annual partnership with King’s College London has also enabled artists and academics to collaborate, researching topics from black queer club spaces and consent, to the ongoing refugee crisis.

Nocturnal City, Photo by Sanne Glasbergen

Next month, a number of artists we’ve long admired join the community, including electronic composers Beatrice Dillon and Venus Ex Machina, radical publishing collective OOMK and ALBUM CORP, a new curatorial platform for new music from South London producer Klein and musician Jacob Samuel. So opening a new music studio here is timely and hopefully, over time, it will capture just some of what’s been stirring behind the scenes.

Venus Exmachina, Photo;Wilf Speller
OOMK cover

2018 will see the first major installation, By the deep, by the mark, at Somerset House from a resident artist, the culmination of a year of Studio-supported research by Eloise Hawser. We’re proud to have Studio artist Larry Achiampong’s Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers Alliance flying high above the building, there’s no more fitting a way to celebrate a year of building a new kind of artistic community in centre of the city. Shouts to all the artists who came with us into the unknown, and here’s hoping for a bigger and bolder year two.

Pan African Flag for the Relic Travellers' Alliance - Larry Achiampong