A photo of audience members at an event at Somerset House. The audience looks thoughtful and engaged.

Grounding Practice

Somerset House Studios announces Grounding Practice, a new rolling programme to take place from September - November   

Contributors and curators include: Lola Olufemi, Imani Robinson, Florence Peake, The Wire Magazine, Akinola Davies Jr. 

Somerset House Studios’ annual AGM date announced for Friday 15 October 

Today, Somerset House Studios announced the first events in a new year round programme of workshops, presentations, conversations, and peer-to-peer meetups as a resource shaped by and for creative practitioners and critical thinkers. Grounding Practice builds on previous work aimed specifically at supporting artistic practice, and is intended to convene artists, academics, activists and audiences to share methodologies, tools, and experiences for creating and learning. Led by Studios members and guest curators, Grounding Practice is for anyone interested in artistic process and new ways of thinking.  

Feminist writer Lola Olufemi and curator Imani Robinson have programmed the series ‘Abolition: In Defence of Translation’ taking place both on site and online in September, consisting of workshops, talks and presentations. The first of this series will see abolitionists Zoe Samudzi, Jun Pang, and SA Smythe present on the concept of abolition on 9 September. This will be followed by Olufemi and Robinson hosting an in conversation style talk on 16 September with scholar and activist Dr. Gail Lewis who will discuss black radicalism, anti-capitalist place-making and abolitionist geography.  

On 26 September, a three-part evening event will open with a reading group focused on the writing of scholar Ruth Wilson Gilmore. The Carceral Time Working Group will follow the reading group with a presentation on their findings of a research appraisal of Holloway Prison, sharing their understandings of carceral systems seizing time as a form of punishment and  Haringey Anti-Raids will follow with an anti-raids workshop. The series will conclude on 30 September with readings from Lola Olufemi, Samra Mayanja and Ebun Sodipo and a live performance by Imani Robinson focusing on the connections between labour, sweat and criminality. 

As part of Grounding Practice, performance artist Florence Peake leads a session on 25 October that takes movement and the body as a grounding point to explore the notion of liveness. After 18 months of limited live interactions, the workshop considers how we experience live encounters, interrogating and expressing what they can be through physicality. Participants are encouraged to think of an idea for liveness to explore within the group session - inviting imaginings spanning the small and intimate to the epic in scale.  

During the month of October, The Wire magazine will present ‘Music By Any Means’, a series of three performance lectures looking at different strategies and systems for making music and organising sound presented by London based duo O YAMA O aka Rie Nakajima and Keiko Yamamoto on 7 October, People Like Us (audio-visual artist Vicki Bennett) on 20 October and contemporary vocalist and movement artist Elaine Mitchener on 27 October. ‘Music By Any Means’ has been designed to show how anything can become music, from objects to actions, archives to rituals, and how anyone can make it, regardless of any previous musical experience or ability. The series will demystify the process of sound organisation and music making, aiming to empower new creative activity.   

In November, Mutant Promise, a producing and artist development agency, will present their series ‘Going Platinum!’. The takeover will include a presentation and discussion as well as an onsite workshop that looks at video games, interactive storytelling and the audio environments they allow us to inhabit. As part of the series, Taiwanese experimental artist Lucia H Chung will explore the crossover of experimental electronic and video game music on 20 November. Creative computing artist and educator Jazmin Morris will focus on representation and inclusivity within technology, which she follows with an onsite workshop that looks at storytelling through interactive fiction, both scheduled for 27 November. 

Writer, director and moving image artist Akinola Davies Jr. will close the 2021 Grounding Practice programme with a creative show and tell on 4 November. Open to guests who wish to share and discuss work, the event seeks to be a relaxed, informal environment in which a small group are able to meet, socialise, exchange ideas, and provide discussion.  

Somerset House Studios are also pleased to announce the date for their annual AGM to take place on 15 October which will see the building open their doors to the public for the first large-scale Studios takeover with many members getting involved with the programming. The theme this year will celebrate community and camaraderie after over a year of displacement and isolation due to the pandemic. 

Abolition: In Defence of Translation  

9 Sep: In Defence of Translation | 18.45 - 20.30 | Online | Free 

16 Sep: Antagonistic Contradictions 18.45 - 20.15 | Online | Free 

26 Sep: Carceral Geographies |12.00 - 16.30 | Lancaster Rooms | Pay What You Can 

30 Sep – Labour / Sweat / Criminality  18.45 - 20.30 | Lancaster Rooms | Pay What You Can 

Grounding Practice: Florence Peake  

25 Sep: 11.00 - 16.00 | Lancaster Rooms | Tickets: £20 / £15  

The Wire: Music By Any Means  

7 Oct: Accidental Rituals: O YAMA O | Lancaster Rooms / Broadcast Live Online | 18.45 - 20.30 | Tickets: £8 

20 Oct:  Opening Doors: Vicki Bennett (People Like Us) | 18.45 - 20.30 | Lancaster Rooms / Live Online Broadcast | Tickets: £8 

27 Oct: What’s The Score? Elaine Mitchener | 18.45 - 20.30 | Lancaster Rooms / Live Online Broadcast | Tickets: £8 / £5  

Grounding Practice: Akinola Davies Jr.  

4 Nov | 18.45 - 21.00 | Lancaster Rooms | Tickets: £5  

Mutant Promise: Going Platinum!  

20 Nov: Lucia H Chung: Going Platinum! | 12:00 – 13.30 | Online | Pay What You Can  

27 Nov: Jazmin Morris: Representation In Cyberspace | 12:00 – 13.00 Online | Pay What You Can  

27 Nov: Jazmin Morris: Storytelling Through Interactive Fiction | 14:00 – 18.00 Lancaster Rooms | Tickets: £32  

For more information on Grounding Practice, please contact Isis O’Regan - isis@tsf-pr.com 

For general Somerset House queries, please contact press@somersethouse.org.uk