Somerset House

Somerset House Announces Highlights for the First Half of 2022

Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court Installation ​

  • Arks of Gimokudan by Leeroy New (5 - 26 April 2022) - For Earth Day, Filipino artist-designer Leeroy New’s first major UK installation transforms plastic waste into a fantastical fleet of ships docked in Somerset House’s courtyard​

Exhibitions and Festivals ​

  • ​Now Play This (8 - 10 April 2022) – A weekend festival of independent and experimental games​
  • Sony World Photography Awards 2022 (13 April - 2 May 2022) – An exhibition of some of the world’s best photography from the past year, with a special presentation by the renowned Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky ​
  • Eternally Yours: An exhibition about Repair, Care and Healing (16 June – 18 September 2022) – A show to celebrate the history and emotional value of the objects we hold on to, rather than discard, highlighting the hopeful and healing stories that repair reveals, with a live repair shop 


  • ​Collect (25 – 27 February 2022) - The leading international fair for contemporary craft and design ​
  • Photo London (12–15 May 2022) - The leading international photography fair ​

Somerset House Studios ​

  • Grounding Practice (1 – 11 March 2022) - A series of artist and curator-led workshops, talks, and demos, shaped by and for creative practitioners and critical thinkers  ​
  • Gallery 31: Piece of Mind (1 April – 17 July 2022) - An exhibition curated by Harlesden High Street, an art space which celebrates ungentrified neighbourhoods of London, and provides resources for underrepresented artists, exploring the challenge of true rest - or peace of mind - and its psychological effect, at a time when the boundaries have blurred between work and rest in our homes ​


  • ​Somerset House Podcast: The Process (Launching 16 February 2022) – A new podcast series, taking listeners behind the scenes with some of today’s most exciting creatives on their journey to create new works ​
  • Upgrade Yourself (Relaunching March 2022) - Aimed at people aged 18-30, a series of interactive talks and workshops connecting young creatives and high-profile creative industry gamechangers to unpick alternative career pathways in the creative industries 


​The Arks of Gimokudan ​
By Leeroy New   ​
5 - 26 April 2022 ​
Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court ​
Free Admission ​

This Spring, Filipino artist-designer Leeroy New presents his first UK large-scale installation, The Arks of Gimokudan, a major new commission by Somerset House to mark the occasion of Earth Day 2022, a worldwide event which takes place on 22 April championing transformative environmental change.   

This striking outdoor installation features a fleet of three ships, constructed using reused and recycled materials and plastic waste. Docked within the centre of Somerset House’s famous courtyard, the arks appear to float, elevated up to three metres from the ground, inviting visitors to imagine they are underwater themselves, looking up at these fantastical forms.  ​

Leeroy New moulds and manipulates the plastics by hand, transforming waste into something of mesmerising delight and beauty. Addressing the often-problematic life cycle of everyday objects we use, the forms also confront audiences with the scale of single use plastic waste impacting the UK, and the globe today. The plastics used within the installation will be collected and recycled following their time at Somerset House.    

Through each vessel, New draws upon the history, culture and mythologies of his home nation of the Philippines, the country most at risk from the climate crisis according to a report published in 2019 by the Institute for Economics and Peace. Through his work, New seeks to reimagine and create alternative futures for himself, his peers and community. Occupying a central space in London, the commission brings attention to the communities and countries which face irreversible damage from the effects of rising sea levels and temperatures, but which are oftentimes an afterthought in today’s climate change debates.   

Commissioned with support from Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, The London Community Foundation and the UK Government’s Culture Recovery Fund ​
With funding from Westminster City Council and additional support from Mercedes U. Zobel and Outset Contemporary Art Fund


​Now Play This  ​
8 - 10 April 2022 ​
New Wing ​
£9/£6.50 concessions /£25 family ticket (two adults and up to three children) ​

​London’s leading festival of experimental games Now Play This returns to Somerset House, as part of the city-wide London Games Festival, showcasing the very latest in independent and experimental game design from the across the globe.

Now in its eighth year, the festival hosts a weekend of engaging interaction and play for all ages to enjoy.  This year’s festival explores the relationship between democracy and game design, with power, decision-making and representation serving as inspiration for thought-provoking solo and multiplayer gaming experiences. The festival showcases both a curated selection of works and submissions from pioneering creative voices gathered from around the world as part of the festival’s annual open call. A powerful creative medium, the games featured seek to make even the most complex political questions of our time accessible, from how elections are influenced through the shape of voting districts (The Redistricting Game by Chris Swain & Peggy Weil) to understanding parliamentary procedure via fantastical realms (Rules & Roberts by Molleindustria).  

As well as an interactive exhibition open to the public, the 2022 festival will also host a dedicated conference and design camp for game and politics enthusiasts from 2 - 8 April. 

Sony World Photography Awards 2022
13 April - 2 May 2022 
East & West Wing Galleries 
£15.00/£11.00 concessions  

The internationally acclaimed Sony World Photography Awards returns to Somerset House this April, presenting some of the world’s best photography from the past year.  This major exhibition celebrates photography in all its diversity from landscape to portraiture, wildlife to fine art, by leading talents from around the globe. 

All works are selected from the winning and shortlisted entries to the Sony World Photography Awards 2022 competition. Also on display is a special presentation by this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Photography, the renowned Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky. Best known for his sweeping images of industrial landscapes and the wider environmental crisis, Burtynsky presents over a dozen large-scale photographs, highlighting key works from his 40-year career.  


Eternally Yours: An exhibition about Repair, Care and Healing     
16 June – 18 September 2022   
Terrace Rooms, South Wing   
Free Admission 

This summer, Somerset House presents Eternally Yours, a free exhibition exploring ideas around repair, care and healing. Showcasing diverse examples of creative reuse, from historical samples of the Japanese art of Kintsugi and Boro, which embrace upcycling and repurposing, to works from contemporary artists who put repair at the heart of their practice, the exhibition explores the unexpectedly hopeful and healing stories that repair reveals.  

The exhibition offers a timely chance to reflect on how ‘repair’ can guide both our individual and collective healing.  Visitors will have the chance to see the talents and skills of designers and makers in action first-hand at the Beasley Brothers’ Repair Shop as they transform discarded objects to give them a new lease of life. The brainchild of designer Carl Clerkin, the installation is modelled on traditional East End repair shops of old, that could (and would) repair anything. Sitting at the heart of the exhibition, the shop will also run live workshops and skills training.   

Bringing together everything from textiles and ceramics to furniture, the exhibition reflects upon the hope and healing which can be found in the memories and stories that objects in our everyday lives hold. Celebrating the history and emotional value of the items we hold on to, rather than discard, Eternally Yours highlights works from creatives including textile artists Celia Pym and Angela Maddock, designers Studio Propolis, artist and researcher Ellen Sampson and maker Peter Marigold (with many more to be announced).  


25 – 27 February 2022 
£24/£20 concessions

Collect, the leading international fair for contemporary craft and design, will return to Somerset House on 25-27 February 2022 (previews on 23-24 February) alongside a virtual fair in partnership with global platform 

For the first time ever, Collect is a hybrid fair with international exhibitions both being represented physically and online. Now in its 18th edition, the Crafts Council-produced fair provides unique access to recent work by living artists, when the desire for the authentic and handmade craft is at an all-time high. 


Photo London 2022 
12–15 May 2022 
£29/£19 concessions.
Other ticket options detailed online. 

Photo London, the leading international photography fair, returns to Somerset House this May, showcasing the best of photography, from emerging to iconic. Alongside the main section for established galleries, the Discovery section spotlights new talents and spaces less than five years old, and the Publishers section brings together independent publishing houses as well as household names.  

Photo London Digital will also return alongside the fair at Somerset House. In the lead-up to the event, the Photo London Academy promotes year-round digital initiatives, including a magazine, regular artist talks and a monthly photography book club. 


Grounding Practice  
1 - 11 March 2022  
£5 per event 

Grounding Practice, Somerset House Studios’ series of events shaped by and for creative practitioners and critical thinkers, returns online this March with a programme of artist and curator-led workshops, talks, and demos.

Spanning practice, process, and skill sharing alongside artist development sessions, Grounding Practice will see contributions from Nkisi, Keiken, Shama Khanna / Flatness, Phoebe Davies, Marta Salogni and Aja, convening creative audiences to exchange methodologies and experiences for creating and learning. 

This series of Grounding Practice has been programmed in conjunction with Amplify Digital Arts Initiative (DAI) 2022, an online programme bringing together an international network of female-identifying and non-binary artists and professionals working within the fields of digital arts and electronic music, produced in partnership with British Council, MUTEK, Oi Futuro and Artlab

Gallery 31
Piece of Mind, Curated by Harlesden High Street 
1 April – 17 July 2022 
New Wing 
Free Admission 

Featuring Ocean Loren Balcombe-Toppin Y A + Casandra Burrell, Farrah Riley Gray, Tyreis Holder, Koyejo Oloko and Anna Sebastian

Gallery 31’s fifth season Piece of Mind is a new exhibition curated by Harlesden High Street, an art space which celebrates ungentrified neighbourhoods of London and provides resources for underrepresented artists. Curated by Lucía Ríos González and Jonny TannaPiece of Mind explores the effects of the changing functions of our intimate domestic spaces, where we increasingly carry out more work, social and leisure activities. 

Presenting a range of multi-media works, the exhibition draws its focus on the bedroom, a space which is often the main environment for these activities. Abstractly evoking a suspended instance inside the mind of an individual, a hypothetical worker of late capitalism, the show seeks to unpack how a space once intimate, private and familiar, can become increasingly contested by outside influences, from long working hours and temporary contracts to virtual social currency, warping the divisions between productive and resting times.  

As these boundaries increasingly blur, Piece of Mind explores the challenge of true rest - or peace of mind - and its psychological effect, as our minds are increasingly required to compartmentalise our lives in a way our spaces no longer can.

Supported by the Foyle Foundation 


Somerset House Podcast: The Process 
Launching 16 February 2022 

Somerset House releases a brand new six-part podcast series, The Process, which takes listeners behind the scenes with some of today’s most exciting creatives on their journey to create new works. 

Uncovering the stories of artists, musicians, writers and creators connected to Somerset House’s cultural programme and its experimental artist workspace Somerset House StudiosThe Process provides listeners with a fascinating glimpse into the artistic process behind some of the most inspiring works we experience in galleries, on stage, or through our headphones today. 

Released weekly, the series touches on a wide range of pertinent and thought-provoking topics, with the creators selecting one big idea emerging from their work in progress, from protest, economics and astrology to music, language, identity and colonialism. Each episode gives listeners a look behind the curtain to the world of the artists it features, capturing the absurdity, joy, and innovation at the heart of the creative process as they explore these ideas. Curator Andy Holden and performance artist Mark McGowan talk politics and performance from the back of a taxi, artist and writer Gary Zhexi Zhang delves into the world of financial astrology, and La Réunion born activist Françoise Verges and Mauritian artist Shiraz Bayjoo discuss survival and resistance in relation to colonialism in the Indian Ocean region and much more.  

The Process is produced by Alannah Chance as part of the Creators in Residence Programme, supported by The Rothschild Foundation. 

Upgrade Yourself
Launching in March 2022

A space to hear from trailblazing creatives and industry experts, pick up the hacks and be inspired, Upgrade Yourself  is a series of interactive talks and workshops produced by Somerset House.  Streamed live monthly, the sessions unpick alternative career pathways in the creative industries – whether behind the scenes or at the forefront – connecting young creatives and high-profile creative industry gamechangers. Upgrade Yourself is aimed at people aged 18-30 who are looking to unlock their creative potential and work out what their next steps are. 



Dipna Anand at Somerset House  

Dipna Anand at Somerset House in partnership with Restaurant Associates is Somerset House’s newest restaurant in the South Wing, joining its vibrant food scene. Heroing the authentic Punjabi and South Indian cuisine that Dipna is known and loved for, the new restaurant brings signature dishes, a new brunch menu and beautiful Thali’s to diners, amidst the stunning interiors and overlooking the River Thames.   

Dipna’s dishes include Samosa Chaat Blast, Dehli Makhani Chicken, and Dynamite Wings. Vegetarian and classic Thali plates are available alongside a wider selection of traditional dishes on the à la carte menu such as South Indian prawn curry. Drink highlights include fragrant Indian wines such as Maharashtra, Akluj Sangiovese/Cabernet Franc/Shiraz, classic Indian beverages such as refreshing Mango lassi, plus a wide selection of contemporary cocktails including Passionfruit mojito.   


Skye Gyngell’s restaurant Spring brings acclaimed seasonal, ingredient-led cooking to the elegantly-restored 19th-century drawing room of Somerset House’s New Wing. With its high ceilings, cloud-like chandeliers and blush palette, the stage is beautifully set for elegant dishes, made with biodynamic produce from Fern Verrow farm, which Spring has been in a farm-to-table partnership with since 2015. 

Sustainability is at the heart of Spring. In 2019 the restaurant pledged to go single-use plastic-free, and the team serve a daily changing Scratch Menu, comprised of ingredients that would normally be discarded as waste, or unsuitable for service. The skill and innovative approach of Scratch captures the teams' dedication to making the simple, delectable and memorable. 



Set just off Somerset House’s courtyard, the planet friendly café EAT TEN (formerly e10) champions sustainably designed plant forward menus for breakfast, lunch and mid-day treats.  Menus celebrate vegetables as the hero ingredients and use local sourcing where possible, including from Somerset House’s home-grown crops of mushrooms, however a small number of dishes feature British organic eggs and fish that is Marine Stewardship Council certified 1-3.  

The café’s ‘Coffee for Causes’ artisan beverages will also be available, where every hot drink purchased supports a wide range of charities from the Outside Project to Off the Streets.  The seed-to-plate philosophy extends to transparent traffic-lit menus to inform customers of the comparative volume vs footprint their food choice carries.


Modern coffee experts WatchHouse welcome guests to its stunning light-filled space inside Somerset House’s East Wing.  During the day, it’s the perfect place to grab a coffee, ethically sourced and roasted by WatchHouse, and a delicious accompaniment from the equally well-sourced selection of House made savouries, pastries and seasonal bakes. 

As the day draws in, choose from a carefully curated wine, cocktail and locally crafted beer list alongside an assortment of appetising nibbles. 

As the warmer weather makes an appearance in London, WatchHouse will be re-opening its popular brunch kitchen for full brunch service, and resume its Lates service from Thursdays – Sundays, featuring an extended drinks and small plates menu, available both inside and at tables in the spectacular surrounds of Somerset House’s courtyard. 



Address:  Somerset House, Strand, London, ​WC2R 1LA ​

Transport:  Underground: Temple, Embankment  Rail:  Charing Cross, Waterloo, Blackfriars​


​Somerset House Facebook: ​

Somerset House Twitter: @SomersetHouse ​

Somerset House Instagram: @SomersetHouse

London’s working arts centre 

Somerset House is London’s working arts centre and home to the UK’s largest creative community. Built on historic foundations, we are situated in the very heart of the capital. ​ 

Dedicated to backing progress, championing openness, nurturing creativity and empowering ideas, our cultural programme is ambitious in scope. We insist on relevance, but aren’t afraid of irreverence, and are as keen on entertainment as enrichment. We embrace the biggest issues of our times and are committed to oxygenating new work by emerging artists. Where else can you spend an hour ice-skating while listening to a specially commissioned sound piece by a cutting-edge artist?  ​ 

It is this creative tension—the way we harness our heritage, put the too-often overlooked on our central stage and use our neo-classical backdrop to showcase ground-breaking contemporary culture—that inspires our programme. Old and new, history and disruption, art and entertainment, high-tech and homemade, combined with the fact that we are home to a constantly shape-shifting working creative community: this is our point of difference. It is what we are proud of. And it is what makes the experience of visiting or working in Somerset House inspiring and energising, urgent and exciting.  ​ 

+44 (0)20 7845 4624