Somerset House Studios announces May - July 2024 programme

Highlights include:

The Artists’ Fair on Saturday 1st June

  • Rare opportunity to connect with the current cohort of residents
  • Panel talks taking place throughout the day include: Tai Shani, Hannah Perry, Larry Achiampong, and Juliet Jacques
  • Key topics affecting artists to be explored include parenting, censorship, financial sustainability and accessibility
  • Original artworks on sale from Studios’ artists including Ilona Sagar, Louis Morlae, Maeve Brennan, Paul Purgas, Sian Fan, Zein Majali
  • 100% of sales to directly benefit the artists
  • A pop-up creche will be available to support artist-parents to attend (limited capacity)

Somerset House Studios’ project space, G31 hosts a new collaboration, Dono, by Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom and Harun Morrison opening 19th July, exploring the potential of percussive sound

New residents joining Somerset House Studios and Jerwood Residency recipients include Turner-prize nominee Jasleen Kaur, Jemma Desai, John Costi, Sophia Al-Maria, Lydia Ourahmane, Deborah-Joyce Holman, Che Applewhaite, Noah Bador, and Parwana Haydar

The Artists’ Fair | 1st June 12.30 - 19.30 (DJs until 21.00) | Lancaster & River Rooms New Wing | Pay What You Can | Book tickets here

After the success of its first The Artists’ Fair in 2022, Somerset House Studios will host a second expanded iteration. The day-long artist-led market is a rare opportunity to connect with the artists directly around their works and will be held alongside a programme of talks. This will include: exploring what is needed to secure a better and more sustainable future for artists, navigating parenthood and artist practice, censorship, funding, and accessibility.

The fair provides a framework for artists to sell new and existing work directly to audiences, much of which has been produced on-site with 100% of proceeds going straight to the artists. 

Artists’ Fair, The Lancaster Rooms (all day)

This artist-led market celebrates the cross-disciplinary community at Somerset House Studios. Residents and artists will be selling wares such as jewellery, limited edition prints, merchandise and more and those involved include Ilona Sagar, Louis Morlae, Maeve Brennan, Paul Purgas, Sian Fan, Zein Majali. Friends of the Studios such as Arcadia Missa Publishing, Fieldnotes, Montez Press, Silver Press will also have stalls. Offering audiences a unique opportunity to purchase original artworks, objects and wares directly from the resident creatives.

There will also be food and drink vendors and an on site pop-up creche for children ages 1-6 years old will accommodate artist-parents who might not be able to attend otherwise. See website for details.

Afterparty, New Wing Bar (6-9pm) | Free entry

Studios residents will take over the bar with DJ sets until 9pm.

Talks Programme, River Rooms

  • Parenting and Artist Practice | 12.30 – 13.30

A panel discussion with current and past Studios artists Hannah Perry, Larry Achiampong and Imran Perretta, exploring the realities of navigating parenthood and artist practice, and how artist-parents can be better supported. Hosted by Marie McPartlin, Director of Somerset House Studios.

  • Inclusive and Accessible Working | 14.30 – 15.30

How can we remove barriers and improve working conditions and opportunities for d/Deaf, Disabled and Neurodivergent artists and audiences? This panel invites artist, curator, & d/Deaf activist Hannah Wallis, choreographer Alexandrina Hemsley and Director & CEO of Project Art Works Kate Adams to consider different strategies and approaches to accessible and equitable working. Chaired by Curator, Maggie Matic.

  • Side Hustling for a Sustainable Practice | 16.30 – 17.30

A conversation unpicking how artists fund and support their work, considering the changes artists and institutions can make to foster more financially sustainable futures. Artist, writer and filmmaker Juliet Jaques will be joined by Studios resident Philomene Pirecki and artist-run organisation Industria, exchanging experiences around the financial precarity artists face in today's challenging cultural landscape.

  • Navigating Censorship | 18.30 – 19.30

With a rise in artists being silenced due to their personal politics and politically-engaged practices, Studios resident Tai Shani and artist and director of Queer Direct Gaby Sahhar join director, producer, and performer Taghrid Choucair-Vizoso to discuss ways to navigate and oppose censorship within the arts sector.

Dono: Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom & Harun Morrison | 19th Jul - 20th Oct (PV 18th July) | G31 | Free Entry

Studios resident artists Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom and Harun Morrison have collaborated to create the next G31 exhibition: Dono. Taking its title from an Adinkra symbol used by the peoples of Akan in Ghana and name for a double-skin talking drum, Dono expands on the artists’ shared interest in sound, the untranslatable and non-linguistic forms as tools of meaning-making.

A collaboration initiated by curator Jareh Das, and developed in dialogue between the two artists, these new works loosen and contest the confines of language, drawing out the communicative potential of percussive instrumentation and interior architecture. ​​Together, Boakye-Yiadom and Morrison explore how bodies interact with and relate to one another, their surroundings, and the designed environment. The artists further interrogate the legacies of colonial and carceral enclosure, and their relation to the surveillance, documentation and regulation of bodies. The project will include a programme of live public events, to be announced soon.

The G31 project space focuses on connecting the work of the Studios residents - at all stages of development - with new audiences, allowing them an opportunity to ‘look behind the curtain’ and to interact with the risk-taking work that’s flourishing within the building. 

New Somerset House Studios Residents

The Studios welcomes current Turner Prize nominee Jasleen Kaur, Jemma Desai, John Costi, Sophia Al-Maria, Lydia Ourahmane and Deborah-Joyce Holman as new residents, as well as a new cohort of Jerwood Residents: Che Applewhaite, Noah Bador, and Parwana Haydar.

  • Jasleen Kaur is a Scottish artist and Turner Prize 2024 nominee. Exploring cultural inheritance, solidarity and autobiography, Kaur creates sculptures from everyday objects. Her work reflects her life growing up in Glasgow’s Sikh community.
  • Jemma Desai is a cultural worker, facilitator and artist (in as much as they see being an artist, as James Baldwin did as being on an ongoing search for integrity). Their work spans artistic and administrative practice, writing, curation, performance and other forms of articulation.
  • John Costi’s practice addresses systemic social inequalities by challenging class roles and refusing to play servile artist-cum-jester. Themes of criminality and street culture are present performances, using the artist's upbringing and autobiography for anecdotal and conversational happenings; often driven by their hoard of found objects and curios.
  • Sophia Al-Maria is an artist working primarily with film and narrative text, their multidisciplinary practice includes references to pop culture, anime, Arabic poetry, and sci-fi.
  • Lydia Ourahmane’s research-driven practice spans spirituality, contemporary geopolitics, migration and the complex histories of colonialism, through video, sound, performance, sculpture and installation. Often drawing on personal experience, the work centres surveillance, logistics and bureaucratic processes and the ways these forces are registered.
  • Deborah-Joyce Holman’s practice is concerned with the relationship between popular visual cultures, capital, and the intertwined politics of representation. They are interested in the exploitative potential of how images collide with capital and contrast this with approaches of artistic and cinematic subversion, repetition and refusal across media such as video, sculpture and painting.

The Jerwood Somerset House Studios Residency Programme

This ongoing residency programme, developed in collaboration with Jerwood Arts, was designed to support two cohorts of early-career visual artists over a three-year period. This second cohort of residents includes:

  • Che Applewhaite is a filmmaker, artist, and writer from London, UK and San Juan, Trinidad & Tobago. He facilitates kind and critical engagement with how ongoing histories interfere with intimate, difficult, and collective experiences. He works primarily with video, photography, and written text in hybrid documentary forms.
  • Noah Bador is a filmmaker and performance artist from East London. Noah Bador is an artist concerned with the poetics and politics of the everyday. His practice harnesses the imaginative power of the unconscious to navigate the complexities of contemporary London life. Weaving together elements of poetry, sound, and moving image in films and performances; his work connects the self with place, time and community.
  • Parwana Haydar is a filmmaker, moving image artist and curator, working predominantly in film and moving image, exploring themes such as memory, family, archives and displacement. She is a curator of the Afghan Visual Arts and History Collective (AVAH), a curatorial collective highlighting artists from Afghanistan and the diaspora.


Somerset House Studios is a space for experimentation in the centre of London connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences. The Studios supports artists across disciplines to push bold ideas, engage with urgent issues and experiment with new technologies.

At the heart of Somerset House, the Home of Cultural Innovators, up to 70 artists are resident at any one time for a period of between one and seven years, with a number of shorter term national and international residency programmes running alongside this throughout the year. 

In addition to its rolling year-round programme, the Studios develops ambitious cross disciplinary projects and creative collaborations, and powers Channel, Somerset House’s new online space for art, ideas and the artistic process.


Step Inside, Think Outside   

As the home of cultural innovators, Somerset House is a site of origination, with a cultural programme offering alternative perspectives on the biggest issues of our time. We are a place of joy and discovery, where everyone is invited to Step Inside and Think Outside.  

From our historic site in the heart of London, we work globally across art, creativity, business, and non-profit, nurturing new talent, methods and technologies. Our resident community of creative enterprises, arts organisations, artists and makers, makes us a centre of ideas, with most of our programme home-grown.   

We sit at the meeting point of artistic and social innovation, bringing worlds and minds together to create surprising and often magical results. Our spirit of constant curiosity and counter perspective is integral to our history and key to our future.