Somerset House Studios Autumn/Winter Season Announced: September - November 2019

The new season includes:

• The opening of a new permanent exhibition space ‘Gallery 31’ which will present new commissions and work-in-progress from current and alumni residents

• Somerset House Studios guest curating the Wysing Polyphonic festival for its 10th installment featuring a wide breadth of boundary pushing artists such as Beatrice Dillon, Jesse Darling, Zuli, Flora Yin-Wong, Ziúr, Jennifer Walshe, Valentina Magaletti and more

• Somerset House Studios turns three and again opens its doors for one night only for their AGM with the theme of movement, flux and decay

• Assembly returns for a second year celebrating the best in contemporary electronic and experimental music, guest curated by resident artist Christian Marclay

Since its opening in 2016, Somerset House Studios has carved out a unique space for artists in the centre of London inspired by experimentation, DIY culture and the UK club scene. Dedicated to providing much needed space and practical resources to those who fuel the creative scenes, the Studios allow for opportunity and a sense of community to the boundary pushing artists who are at most risk of being pushed out of the centre of the city. The Autumn programme will continue to give a public platform for the work that’s created within its walls.

Somerset House Studios Events Programme

Full listings information can be found at the end of the press release, with highlights included below:

Opening Friday 6 September 2019
Open daily Mon, Tues, Sat & Sun: 10.00 – 18.00, Wed, Thurs & Fri: 11.00 – 20.00

In September 2019, Somerset House will open a new permanent exhibition space dedicated to profiling the Somerset House Studios community of artists and the range of work being developed in-house.

Launching in 2016 within a building rich in history built from remodelled Admiralty residencies as a home for the Inland Revenue, the Studios offer space and support to artists pushing bold ideas, engaging with urgent issues and pioneering new technologies. Located on the ground floor at Lancaster Place in the room designated as G31 in its civil service days, the opening of Gallery 31 provides a much-needed platform for the multitude of new creative projects and collaborations arising from the building’s community and programmes.

Open daily with a revolving programme of works, Gallery 31 will explore a different theme each season, presenting a curated selection of complete and in-progress works by the Studios’ resident artists and alumni. It will also present work commissioned through our residency programmes, which has so far included artists such as Vessel, Lucy Railton and Jenna Sutela. Reflecting the Studios’ collaboration with Wysing Arts Centre on Wysing Polyphonic this autumn, the first season will consider the themes of connection and communication. A full programme for the first season will be announced in July.

This new exhibition space has been made possible by support of The Rothschild Foundation

Beatrice Dillon b2b TTB, Jesse Darling, Zuli (in residence),  Ziúr, Flora Yin-Wong, AMRA, Valentina Magaletti, Emma Smith, Jennifer Walshe, Erica Scourti + more tba

Saturday 7 September, 13.00 – 01.00
Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire

Early bird tickets now on sale here

This year Wysing Arts Centre turns 30, and Somerset House Studios are honoured to have been invited to guest curate Wysing Polyphonic, their annual festival of music and sound, now in its 10th year.

The 2019 programme will consider the idea of connection, moving beyond the Cambridgeshire site as a place where artists meet and experiment to consider connection beyond the physical: connection as a channel of communication; an incantation, returning, or heralding; the calling on an ‘other’ or unknown to understand different worlds and possibilities.

Ahmed El Ghazoly – also known as Cairo producer and multi-instrumentalist Zuli – will be one of two artists in residence developing performances for Wysing Polyphonic throughout August. Returning as extended Polyphonic family will be Jennifer Walshe, Valentina Magaletti and Beatrice Dillon, Dillon presenting a unique b2b set with current Studios ‘curator in residence’ Tabitha Thorlu-Bangura (NTS). Both Flora Yin-Wong and Somerset House Studios alumna Erica Scourti will be performing newly commissioned works, and current residents AMRA will present their commissioned performance from the Studio’s 2018 Assembly series. Plus Berlin’s mould breaking techno producer Ziúr presents the live UK debut of her new album and, for the first time in the UK, Jesse Darling and Ziúr perform The Low Bar, their radio play of music and spoken word, originally commissioned by facetime at Volksbühne Berlin and Berlin Community Radio.

Somerset House Studios and Wysing Arts Centre have worked closely together since the Studios launched in 2016, sharing a joint ambition to support experimental work across disciplines, and to connect a network of artists beyond the duration of any residency. The 2019 edition of Wysing Polyphonic marks the first time the two organisations have collaborated to support the creation of new works.

In partnership with The Wire.


Friday 4 October, 19.00 – 00.00
New Wing

Tickets available in July

This October Somerset House Studios turns three, and this year’s AGM will again open the building up for one night only. For one night of the year, AGM sees artists take over the Grade I listed former Admiralty HQ, giving the public a rare opportunity to access three floors of private underground spaces for performance, music, pop-up bars and an after-hours party like no other.

For 2019, a performance-led programme will explore states of temporality and continuous change. Movement, flux, decay; works seen to materialise and dissipate, where beginnings and endings are blurred; encounters beyond the gallery, stage or club which might be experienced only in part, yet squarely locate the audience in the here and now.

Since October 2016, the Studios have nurtured a unique community of over 300 artists and makers who’ve inspired a boundary-breaking programme of events, workshops and exhibitions rooted in art, music, subversion, critical thinking and the celebration of counter cultural movements.


Christian Marclay

Thursday 7 – Sunday 10 November 2019

Lancaster Rooms, New Wing

Tickets on sale in September

For Somerset House Studios’ second Assembly season, resident artist Christian Marclay will curate a series of intimate musical performances in the Lancaster Rooms responding to the infrastructural acoustics and milieu outside the former Inland Revenue building. Pedestrians, traffic, roadworks, protest, the corner of Somerset House where Waterloo Bridge meets Embankment is a hive of often unpredictable activity and noise. Acknowledging and working with these sounds to define a compositional framework, Marclay will invite a series of guests to collaborate in bringing the outdoor inside for an evolving series of electro-acoustic performances. 

Christian Marclay’s ambitious and accomplished practice explores the juxtaposition between sound, photography, video and sculpture. His installations display provocative musical and visual landscapes and have been included in exhibitions around the world including the Whitney Museum of American Art, Venice Biennale, Centre Pompidou Paris and Kunsthaus Zurich. More recently, he exhibited The Clock at the Tate Modern (debuted at White Cube in 2010), the artwork was created from thousands of edited fragments, from a vast range of films to create a 24-hour, single-channel video.


Thursday 31 October 2019 – Sunday 23 February 2020

Embankment Galleries

£14 / £11 concession

This autumn, Somerset House presents 24/7, a major exhibition exploring the non-stop nature of our modern lives.  A host of international contemporary artists and designers will hold a mirror up to a world in which we are sleeping less, complex systems are exerting control, and the pull of the screen is disrupting our instincts to daydream and pay attention to the world around us, and each other. The exhibition is inspired by the book of the same title by art critic and essayist Jonathan Crary (Verso, 2013).

Exhibition highlights comprise ten works from Somerset House Studios resident artists including Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, Alan Warburton and Nastja Säde Rönkkö, whose project 6 months without, involved her spending six months living and working from Somerset House Studios without the internet.

24/7 is supported by the world leader in lighting, Signify (formerly Philips Lighting) and will include new work commissioned in partnership between Somerset House and design innovator A/D/O.


Featuring a series of summer events (June – August) to coincide with Somerset House’s major new exhibition, Get Up, Stand Up Now, celebrating 50 years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond.


(Inter) : Machine Woman, RAMZi, MBJ Wetware, x/o, JAY, Push 1 Stop & Wicklow, RKSS, Enda King and more

Friday 7 June – Saturday 8 June 2019, £6 - £10

(Inter-) is a 2-day programme of installations, presentations, panel discussions and live performances exploring image, sound and digital art.

Dreaming / Diasporas curated by Tabitha Thorlu-Bangura

Friday 14 June 2019,  21.00 – 01.00, £10

An evening of talk, performance, live music and DJing, inspired by the dreamlike, fractured nature of the Black diasporic identity ft. Estelle Birch, Exotic Sin, Hannah Catherine Jones, Kelman Duran, Naima Karlsson, Zakia Sewell & Amey St. Cyr.


Black Obsidian Soundsystem: Workshop

Wednesday 17 July 2019, 17.00 – 21.00, Pay What You Can

A workshop demystifying the technical operation and maintenance of a sound system.

Black Obsidian Soundsystem: Immersive Installation

Friday 19 July 2019, 20.30 - 01.00, Pay What You Can

Multi-sensory experience from the BOSS family.

Black Obsidian Soundsystem: Club night

Friday 26 July 2019, 20.30 – 01.00, £8.50 / £7.50 concession

BOSS family and friends on the decks. Good tunes and better vibes.


deep end

Friday 2 August 2019, 19.30 – 23.00, £8 / £7 concession

An evening of poetry, performances and live music exploring Black diasporic identity, with a live performance from Studios resident and recipient of the London Fields Brewery bursary Nadeem Din-Gabisi and NON WORLDWIDE affiliate Farai.

No Tea, No Shade

Saturday 10 August 2019, 20.30 – 01.00, £8

Performances that hold a mirror up to society and confronting, head-on, issues that are often treated as ‘too difficult’ to talk about, through the disarming yet damning use of drag culture hosted by Shakona Fire and performances from Lasana Shabazz.


GALLERY 31 Opening

Friday 6 September 2019, 11.00 – 20.00, Free


Saturday 7 September 2019, 13.00 – 01.00
Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire, Early Bird on sale now.



Friday 4 October 2019, 19.00 – 24.00
Tickets available in July.

Thursday 31 October 2019 – Sunday 23 February 2020, £14 / 11 concession


Assembly, Christian Marclay

Thursday 7 – Sunday 10 November 2019
Tickets on sale in September.



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

Somerset House Studios Twitter: @sh_studios_

Somerset House Studios Instagram: @somersethousestudios


Inspiring contemporary culture

One of the city’s most spectacular and well-loved spaces, Somerset House is a new kind of arts centre in the heart of London, designed for today’s audiences, artists and creatives – an inspirational community where contemporary culture is imagined, created and experienced.

From its 18th Century origins, Somerset House has played a central role in our society as a place where our culture and collective understanding of the world is shaped and defined. In 2000, it began its reinvention as a cultural powerhouse and home for arts and culture today, creating unique and stimulating experiences for the public, bringing them into direct contact with ideas from the greatest artists, makers and thinkers of our time. Our distinctive and dynamic year-round programme spans the contemporary arts in all its forms, from cutting-edge exhibitions and installations to annual festivals, seasonal events in the courtyard including Film4 Summer Screen, Summer Series and Skate, and an extensive learning and engagement programme.

As well as welcoming over 3million visitors annually, Somerset House houses the largest and most diverse creative communities in the country – from one-person start-ups to successful creative enterprises including British Fashion Council, Dance Umbrella, Improbable Theatre, Hofesh Shechter Company, and Dartmouth Films.

In 2016 we launched Somerset House Studios – a new experimental workspace connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences. Currently housing over 80 artists and Makerversity (a community of over 250 emergent makers), the Studios are a platform for the development of new creative projects and collaboration, promoting work that pushes bold ideas, engages with urgent issues and pioneers new technologies.