Somerset House Studios: July - October Events

Somerset House Studios announces upcoming events programme, additional studio spaces and major collaborations
July – October 2017

  • Somerset House Studios – the innovative workspace for multi-disciplinary artists at Somerset House – announces a new series of commissions, events and critical discussions

  • Limited number of newly refurbished artist studios open for application

  • New  UK-based and international collaborations with King’s Cultural Institute and Mutek, Montreal


Somerset House Studios is proud to announce a new season of public events and collaborations, plus the first major commission of a Studios artist in the form of Larry Achiampong’s Pan-African Flag for the Relic Travellers’ Alliance. The Studios’ year-round programme of events sees residents directly engage with visitors through performances, critical discussions and workshops.

As well as providing a platform for some of today’s most exciting artistic voices, Somerset House Studios also supports the community of artists, makers and thinkers onsite by facilitating opportunities for research and developing new projects with UK-based and international organisations. New collaborations include partnering Studios residents with academics from Kings College London, and an international outing of the Nocturnal City series at Mutek, the international electronic music and digital arts festival in Montreal this August. A limited number of newly refurbished studio spaces are also now open for the next wave of artist applications, with a deadline of 6pm, 31 August.

Highlights from the upcoming public events programme include:


A New Somerset House Flag Commission, 25 July – 7 January 2018, Free

In the first of a new commission series, Somerset House has invited Studios resident, British-Ghanaian artist Larry Achiampong, to create a flag to fly over its famous courtyard. Achiampong’s flag explores Afro-futurism and African diasporic identity and coincides with a wider season of African Art at Somerset House, including 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair and a solo exhibition by Moroccan-British artist Hassan Hajjaj

The flag’s design features 54 stars for the 54 African countries, with a symbolic colour palette including green reflecting the land, red as a reminder of the struggles that the continent has endured and yellow-gold to represent a new day and prosperity. Achiampong has configured these colours and symbols into a form suggestive of a human figure in flight; an afro-futuristic icon moving towards unity and equilibrium.

The flag will be raised above Somerset House on 25 July and is on display for the duration of 1:54 and Hassan Hajjaj: La Caravane. Achiampong will present a special performance, Voyage of the Relic Traveller, in association with his new commission by Somerset House on 5 October at 20:00 in the River Rooms.

Nocturnal City: London-Barcelona, 14 October 2017, 16.00 - 00.30, Tickets from £10

Following the success of Nocturnal City: London – Berlin in March, the Nocturnal City series returns this October in a new cultural exchange with Barcelona. Barcelona’s independent cultural scene continues to grow in strength and size, with events like Sonar Festival playing an essential role in the development of dance music in Europe. An evening of installations, panel talks and performances, Nocturnal City explores the interplay between nightlife in the two cities, and the spaces and scenes which connect them.

The event will be headlined by electronic producer Ikonika, with performances by Siren DJs, Sunny Graves, plus more to be announced. Panels feature artists and producers from both cities including DIY Space for London, academic madison moore, Georgia Taglietti (Sonar & Sonar+D) and Joe Alexander (Boiler Room), plus a special screening of Resident Advisor’s recent documentary, Real Scenes: London.

Curated by Studios resident Estela Oliva. Commissioned and produced by Somerset House Studios.

Superflux: The Future of Power, 26 September 2017, Free 6.45pm – 8.30pm

Superflux has gained critical acclaim for producing work that navigates the complexities of our technological, political and cultural landscape. Superflux: The Future of Power is a new series of open debate forums that explore the future of representation, governance and democracy. Across four separate events, Superflux will invite speakers from across the political spectrum, and beyond, to join discussions with members of the public on the future of democracy.

The first session, entitled Power, Politicians and the People questions how society can work towards a new political landscape despite the lobbying, partisan media, and poor voter turnout that can plague democracy.

Curated by Studios residents Superflux. Produced by Somerset House Studios.

Forest Fringe, The Amateurs Club, starting 7 September 2017 at 6.45pm, monthly, Free

After 10 years pushing the boundaries of experimental theatre, Forest Fringe hosted their final season at Edinburgh Festival last year. Somerset House Studios is proud to support the next phase of their journey as they join as new Associate Artists. Forest Fringe is an organisation run collaboratively by three artists who together create festivals, host residencies and occasionally commission new work as a way of helping support a large and diverse community of independent artists working across and between theatre, dance and live art.

As Associate Artists, Forest Fringe will focus on a new monthly art club called The Amateurs Club starting on 7 September 2017. These events invite artists and creatives of all abilities to exchange and experiment. The Amateurs Club will be a space for artists to learn anything from cinematography to civil disobedience to forming a political party. A different member of Forest Fringe will lead each event, inviting a guest to speak on a theme. The first event – hosted by Studio resident Deborah Pearson – will revisit the old MGM and RKO Hollywood studio system of the 1950s to explore its potential to inspire a radical new model for making contemporary film in a more collective way. 

Erica Scourti: Dream Actions, 21 September, 19 October & 23 November at 6.45pm, Free

Dream Actions is a three-part series of talks and discussions hosted by Studios resident Erica Scourti, exploring how to live in accordance with personal ideals, and the impacts of the actions and decisions we take.

With invited guests, each event will consider how individuals, alternative institutions and collectives work to both challenge existing systems and point to ways to move forwards. The salons will question how we can live within structures without being defined or trapped by them, and explores what every day and long-term gestures we can make to try other ways of thinking and acting.

Makerversity: Material Explorations & Masterclasses, starting 21 September 2017, ticket prices vary

Makerversity is one of Europe's most exciting community of emergent makers, with a mission to inspire, support and grow communities of makers in city centres around the world. From September, Makerversity will host Material Explorations, a new quarterly series of experimental workshops and talks exploring the making process – particularly how materials define the limitations of design – and raising questions around social and ethical manufacturing processes. The Material Explorations series begins in September with a focus on plastic.

Makerversity also kick off a new masterclass programme throughout October with workshops on designing manufactured printed circuit boards using CAD software and a session led by Neon Workshops on the development and creation of neon for the creative industries. All Makerversity masterclasses are devised and led by their members.

Music Hackspace from 4 September, ticket prices vary

Music Hackspace is a platform which brings together those passionate about music, art, innovation and technology.  This autumn, they continue their residency with a unique programme of workshops, free artist talks, software sessions and one-off events, featuring a number of Somerset House Studios residents. The first of these is a talk from composer Anna Meredith on 4 September, who will discuss her approach and methods in making music.

Two new workshops will take place in mid-November exploring how to use technology to make music from scratch hosted by coder Joanne Armitage (15 November) and electronic artist Ewa Justka (18-19 November). Armitage is an artist working with sound, physical computing, digital media and interaction design. Her workshop, Make Music with Code, will use the SuperCollider platform to explore using digital and physical synths. Justka, a Polish electronic noise artist, will run a weekend of DIY Synth workshops, showing how to build electronics and instruments from scratch. AV artist Miri Kat will also host their first women and non-binary only TidalCycles Meetup.

More news from Somerset House Studios:

  • Partnership with King’s College London –Arts in Society

Somerset House Studios and the Cultural Institute at King’s College London announce a new partnership, entitled Arts in Society, which pairs Studio artists with King’s academics to collaborate on new research engaging with urgent social issues. Studios recipients of the 2017 award are: Burton Nitta; Phoebe Davies; Evan Ifekoya; Deborah Pearson; Imran Perretta; and Makerversity member Anne Frobeen. There will be a series of events encouraging audiences to engage with the projects throughout the autumn, with results presented in December.

  • Applications open for new Studios spaces

Somerset House Studios is now accepting applications for artists seeking to join the community of creatives onsite. A limited number of new studio spaces are available, ranging from desk space to a large solo studio. For this opportunity Somerset House Studios is particularly interested in receiving applications from women working with technology, and collectives to occupy a new large studio space. Applications close at 6pm on Thursday 31 August.

  • Somerset House Studios at Mutek, Montreal

This August, Somerset House Studios will curate a special edition of the Nocturnal City series at Canadian electronic music and digital arts festival Mutek. Residents Estela Oliva, LaTurbo Avedon and Paul Purgas will be discussing and celebrating club culture in Montreal and beyond with a host of international artists and cultural producers. Associate Artist Graham Dunning will also perform his acclaimed Mechanical Techno set as part of the wider programme.





Alan Warburton

Anna Meredith

Buckley Williams

Burton Nitta

Caroline Williams

Charles Jeffrey

Chloe Lamford

Christian Marclay

Deborah Pearson

Eloise Hawser

Erica Scourti

Estela Oliva

Evan Ifekoya

Ewan Jones Morris

Florence Peake

Forest Fringe


Gareth Pugh

Graham Dunning

Hannah Perry

Imran Perretta

Inés Cámara Leret

Jennifer Walshe

Jesse Darling

Jessica Sara Rinland

Juliet Jacques

Katie Paterson

Larry Achiampong

LaTurbo Avedon

Libby Heaney

Lindsey Dryden



Marija Bozinovska Jones

Matthew Plummer-Fernandez

Mel Brimfield

Memo Akten

Mind the Film


Music Hackspace

Nick Abrahams

Nick Ryan

Paul Purgas

Phoebe Boswell

Phoebe Davies

Project O

Season Butler

Simon Terrill

Strange Telemetry


Ted Hunt


The Workers

Thought Collider

Tom Scutt



Zinzi Minott

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About Somerset House
A unique part of the London cultural scene, Somerset House is an historic building where surprising and original work comes to life. From its 18th-century origins, Somerset House has been a centre for debate and discussion – an intellectual powerhouse for the nation. Somerset House is today a key cultural destination in London in which to experience a broad range of artistic activity, engage with artists, designers and makers and be a part of a major creative forum – an environment that is relaxed, welcoming, and inspirational to visit while providing a stimulating workplace for the cultural and creative industries. 

Since its opening in 2000, Somerset House has built up a distinctive outdoor public programme including Skate, concerts, an open-air film season and a diverse range of temporary exhibitions throughout the site focusing on contemporary culture, with an extensive learning programme attached. In October 2016, Somerset House launched Somerset House Studios, a new experimental workspace connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences. The Studios provide a platform for new creative projects and collaboration, promoting work that pushes bold ideas, engages with urgent issues and pioneers new technologies. Somerset House is also one of the biggest community of creative organisations in London including The Courtauld Gallery and Institute of Art, King’s College London Cultural Institute and over 100 other creative businesses. It currently attracts approximately 3.4 million visitors every year.