Somerset House Studios Autumn/Winter Season: September – November 2019

The Autumn/Winter season now includes: 

• The opening of Gallery 31, a new permanent exhibition space for Somerset House Studios, including new commissions and works-in-progress presented by Nick Ryan, Anna Mikkola, Hannah Perry, Laura Grace Ford and Flora Yin-Wong. Gallery 31 also includes a new commission by FAKA entitled Sihlangene Emoyeni developed while in residency at Wysing Art Centre
• The addition to Wysing Polyphonic x Somerset House Studios Festival line up with commissions and performances by FAKA, Loraine James, Mun Sing, Brood Ma, Marija Bozinovska Jones, Jacob Samuel, hmurd, Sonic Cyberfeminisms 
• Somerset House Studios turns three and marks the celebration by opening its doors for one night only with the return of AGM featuring Mykki Blanco, Chicks on Speed, Sam Williams and Roly Porter, Zuzanna Czebatul, Philomene Pirecki, Vivienne Griffin, Décalé and more
• Assembly returns for a second year celebrating the best in contemporary electronic and experimental music, guest curated by resident artist Christian Marclay
• The Studios welcome new residents, Evi Kalogiropoulou and Something & Son

Since opening in 2016, Somerset House Studios has carved out a unique workspace for artists in the centre of London inspired by experimentation and DIY culture. 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 comprehensive Autumn/Winter programme continues to give a platform for the work that’s created within its walls.


Opening Friday September 6 2019 


FAKA, Nick Ryan, Anna Mikkola, Hannah Perry, Flora Yin-Wong, Laura Grace Ford

Open daily Monday, Tuesday, Saturday & Sundays, 10.00-18.00 

Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays, 11.00-20.00


This September, Somerset House Studios opens its permanent exhibition space, Gallery 31, providing a much-needed platform to the multitude of creative projects and collaborations that arise within the walls of the historic building. Gallery 31 will unearth the bold ideas and boundary-pushing works from Studios’ resident artists and alumni engaging with the urgent issues and pioneering technologies of today. Entitled Bonds, the gallery’s first season will explore the idea of connection beyond the physical, and the mystical qualities of certain acts of communicating.

The season opens with Sihlangene Emoyeni, a new film commission exploring memory and the colonised body from Johannesburg’s queer art collective FAKA (Fela Gucci and Desire Marea) and directed by London based director and moving image artist Akinola Davies, developed while in residency at Wysing Arts Centre. Multi-disciplinary artist and composer Nick Ryan’s work in progress installation, The Gulf of Understanding (Re:cognition), taps into the magic of making sense, exploring behaviour and meaning of language. This will be accompanied by a commissioned podcast series, Re:cognition, which features Nick Ryan in conversation with eminent thinkers from the fields of cognitive neuroscience, computer science, linguistics and anthropology. Anna Mikkola's From Simple Parts to Collective Complexity - an ant colony housed within an ant farm displays a manifestation of a different kind of intelligence, communication and organisation models, looks at the magic of nature and the brain. Meanwhile, Hannah Perry’s work from her recent exhibition GUSH combines silk screen printing techniques with digital photographs, car lacquer and painting.  Multidisciplinary artist and writer Laura Grace Ford presents a new text based work exploring spatial narratives, fiction, memory and dreams.

Flora Yin Wong will also present Ubi Sunt – a new audio commission in collaboration with visual artist Go Watanabe that faces the recall of memory through hundreds of accumulated iPhone recordings, forging new connections between fractured memories, alternate worlds and intangible spaces. 

Gallery 31 is generously supported by the Rothschild Foundation

Sihlangene Emoyeni is supported by the Adonyeva Foundation and The Gulf of Understanding is supported by the Case Foundation. 

Ubi Sunt  & Re:cognition will be available to stream via Somerset House Studios Podcast channel 

Wysing Polyphonic  

Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire  

Saturday September 7 , 13.00 - 01.00  

Tickets £30.00 (+ booking fee)

Beatrice Dillon x TTB, ZULI, Jesse Darling, FAKA, Ziúr, Loraine James, Mun Sing, Flora Yin-Wong, Jennifer Walshe, AMRA, Erica Scourti, Brood Ma, Valentina Magaletti, Marija Bozinovska Jones, Jacob Samuel, Emma Smith, hmurd, Sonic Cyberfeminisms 

Artists now added: FAKA, Loraine James, Mun Sing, Brood Ma, Marija Bozinovska Jones, Jacob Samuel, hmurd, Sonic Cyberfeminisms 

Somerset House Studios guest curates the tenth annual Wysing Polyphonic this year. Considering the legacy of Wysing Arts Centre as a place where artists meet and experiment, the 2019 programme explores 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. 

Johannesburg’s queer art collective FAKA will be in residence at Wysing throughout August collaborating with Akinola Davies on their new film commission for the Studio’s Gallery 31. Joining an already rich line-up including ZULI, Beatrice Dillon, Ziúr and Jesse Darling, FAKA will perform a very special set weaving elements of the film work with existing material. Studio artists Marija Bozinovska Jones and Jacob Samuel join the bill, alongside hmurd and Quantum Native’s founder Brood Ma. Mun Sing, the juddering new solo project of Giant Swan’s Harry Wright, closes the Amphis stage ahead of new Hyperdub signing Loraine James.  

Talks and films programme announced in August.  

In partnership with The Wire.


Mykki Blanco, Chicks on Speed, Sam Williams and Roly Porter, Zuzanna Czebatul, Philomene Pirecki, Vivienne Griffin, Décalé and more TBA 

New Wing  

Friday October 4 , 19.00 - 00.00  

Tickets £12 

Somerset House Studios turns three, and AGM once again opens the building up for one night only for must-see performances from Mykki Blanco, Chicks on Speed, and a new collaboration between Sam Williams and Roly Porter. 

For 2019, a performance-led programme explores states of temporality and continuous change. Internationally renowned musician, performing artist and LGBTQ+ activist Mykki Blanco presents a special performance following a short residency at Somerset House Studios. 

Chicks on Speed’s Melissa E. Logan and Alex Murray-Leslie in collaboration with Anat Ben-David and Tina Frank, perform a real-time assemblage of collected documentation from our environments to generate sonic visual art. Developed in residence at Somerset House Studios, visual artist Sam Williams and musician Roly Porter collaborate for Salvage Rhythms, a performance drawing on systems of archaeology, mycelial networks, composting and non-human relationships to explore different possibilities of survival and connection.  

Philomene Pirecki presents a new multi-channel audio visual installation drawn from research into the phenomena of frisson or ‘skin orgasms’, their stimuli and physiological effects. Vivienne Griffin’s site-specific drone installation Codependent Frequencies modulates in tone as the staircase of the building is ascended and descended, and Zuzanna Czebatul’s work T-Kollaps fills the interior of the River Rooms with inflated toy-columns as if with elements of ancient ruins suffering decay.  

In the basement, the Paint Room features a takeover by Décalé (meaning displaced in place and time), a club night and platform run by Chooc Ly and Anne Duffau (A---Z) for nocturnal creatures, loud existential insurgents and disobedient children where audiences can encounter experimental, collapsing and flawless sounds and visuals.   

AGM will also offer late night access to Gallery 31. Further programme details to be announced in September. 

AGM is supported by the Adonyeva Foundation.

Grounding Practice: Mykki Blanco 

Talk, 18 September 2019, 18:45 – 20:30, Lancaster Rooms  

Tickets £10 here

A new series of artist talks exploring how artists make it work. 

The Grounding Practice series stems from the understanding that reflection and investigation, away from the rules of the competitive art market, are integral to the practice of any artist.  Artistic practice can develop qualitatively only through trust in oneself, a will to explore the unknown and enough time to do so are present. This series aims to be that time, for artists and the public to discuss practices and their sustainability; to get inspired and to  look at how to navigate, negotiate and contribute to the contemporary contexts that allow artistic practice to thrive.  The first event in this series is a talk by multidisciplinary and award-winning artist Mykki Blanco. 

Mykki Blanco is an internationally renowned musician, performing artist, and LGBTQ+ activist. His debut full-length album Mykki was released in 2016 to critical acclaim. He is also the creator behind mixtapes like Gay Dog Food, and the ground-breaking mixtape Cosmic Angel which defined the 'Queer Rap' genre. He has been the protagonist of a wide variety of other video content as well, including his latest WYPIPO short film for Dazed. The multi-faceted artist continues to crossover from the underground having toured with the likes of Bjork, Major Lazer, and Death Grips, while working with such diverse musicians as Madonna, Kanye West, Kathleen Hanna, and Woodkid. Mykki Blanco remains a creative polymath whose journey from artist and actor to seasoned musician is as exciting to watch as it is to listen to.

ASSEMBLY: Christian Marclay 

Lancaster Rooms, New Wing  

8-10 November  

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 sounds and acoustics of the street 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 outdoors 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.

Assembly is supported by the Adonyeva Foundation.


Thursday 31 October 2019 – Sunday 23 February 2020

£14 / 11 concession 

This Autumn Somerset House presents 24/7, a landmark exhibition examining our inability to switch off from our 24/7 culture, through a series of immersive works from some of today’s most exciting global artists. Over 50 multi-disciplinary works have been brought together to explore the unrelenting pressure to produce and consume around the clock, in a wake-up call from our non-stop world.

Curated by Somerset House and Sarah Cook, the exhibition features ten Studios artists and alumni including Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, Alan Warburton, Erica Scourti, Hyphen Labs, Inés Cámara Leret, Katie Paterson, Ted Hunt and Nastja Sade Ronkko,  whose project 6 months without involved living and working at Somerset House Studios without the internet.



Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers

Featuring a series of summer events (July – August) to coincide with Somerset House’s current major exhibition, Get Up, Stand Up Now, celebrating 50 years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond. Supported by Arts Council England.

Black Obsidian Soundsystem: Workshop

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

19 July 2019, 20:30 - 01.00, Pay What You Can

Multi-sensory experience from the BOSS family.

Black Obsidian Soundsystem: Club night

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

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.

No Tea, No Shade

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

6 September 2019, 10.00 - 18.00, FREE


7 September, 13.00-01.00 Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire



4 October, 19.00 - 00.00

Buy tickets here


ASSEMBLY: Christian Marclay

8-10 November, tickets on sale September



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

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

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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.