Somerset House Studios: May – July 2018

  • Summer season of events announced:
  • New Studio residents announced Nabihah Iqbal (formerly Throwing Shade), artist Anat Ben Davis of Chicks on Speed, and Agnes Gryczkowska of Berlin-based Disk Agency’s NAKED
  • New Associate Artists from the London club scene announced – SIREN, Resis’Dance, and Cotch International – who will be curating events and workshops throughout the year
  • For the first time, visitors can go behind the scenes of Somerset House Studios in new tours, discovering artists’ studios and community spaces


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

June, available to listen via Somerset House website and Audioboom. Subscribe via iTunes or via RSS

Commissioned by Somerset House Studios, ‘Open Your Palm, Feel The Dust Settling There’ is a collaborative audio work between artist and Savage Messiah author Laura Grace Ford and producer/musician LoneLady. Taking the form of three episodes released across June, the series follows Ford as she walks through the Latimer Road, Hammersmith and White City areas of West London, responding to the emotional contours of the city, and discovering the counter-narratives of people within it. In the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire – a place the artist documented in her acclaimed zine Savage Messiah – and informed by her own experiences of living in social housing blocks, the series returns to the area to create a means of engaging with collectives within London’s community. Ford will present a live event exploring the series at Somerset House Studios on 27 June.


13 – 24 June 2018, 12.00-18.00 (Wednesdays and Fridays until 20.00), Free, River Rooms

Commissioned with the generous support of the Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation, this exhibition features new works from Studios resident artists, addressing the implications of data handling for society and the individual.
Alan Warburton’s Homo Economicus conflates the corporate and the corporeal in its focus on men working in the City of London’s hyper-competitive financial industry. Featuring video and audio installations, the work weaves accounts from these men with real and computer-animated depictions of male bodies moving through and transforming within the financial district.
Album Corp’s If You Die in Roblox You Die IRL is an adaptive audio/visual piece based on online gaming environments and what remains when they cease to be used. Taking the form of a live video stream, the installation will display real-time representations of birth and death rates, constantly mutating its visuals, accompanied by a musical score of sounds from the popular online gaming world, Roblox.

Completing the exhibition is FRAUD’s Carbon Rifts, an experimental sculptural work that visualises and materialises emission trading. Through this pioneering installation, the artist duo seek to form an art-led inquiry into the systemic manipulation of the green economy in the monetisation of carbon.

8 June – 2 September 2018, Free, New Wing Entrance

From 1789-1873, the British Royal Navy Board occupied one-third of the Somerset House site, a time when its activities were instrumental in the ruling of an empire. From June, Somerset House Studios presents a series of commissioned works exploring this historical connection, launching with Saved, a new video artwork from Studios residents Project O (Jamila Johnson-Small and Alexandrina Hemsley). Installed in the New Wing entrance, this film installation explores our relationship with water through movement, from choice and defiance to inevitability and surrender.

30 May 2018, 20.00-21.00, £10 / £7.50 concessions
International performance art festival Block Universe returns with a performance from British Norwegian artist, Hanne Lippard, co-commissioned by Somerset House Studios. Based in Berlin, Lippard focuses on the production of language through the manipulation of voice. Using compositions of her own wordplays combined with fragments from everyday speech, sourced from a range of online platforms, Lippard creates hypnotic performances, installations, videos and audio pieces. Having toured the world from Russia to Mexico with her innovative work, Lippard comes to Somerset House for a one-off performance, supported by the Goethe-Institut London.


May-July 2018, Times and prices vary

Music Hackspace, a collective of innovators in music technology and sound art, present a new programme of workshops, free artist talks, and live events which showcase future trends. On 9 June, Somerset House hosts Scramble Everything, a full-day event co-curated by Music Hackspace with Music Hackspace artist in residence and Somerset House Studios resident Ewa Justka, featuring live performances from EVOL, Shelley Parker and Dale Cornish.


25 April – 2 June 2018, Times and prices vary
Europe’s pioneering community of maker businesses and Somerset House Studio residents, Makerversity, launches a new series of civic hacks to address the pressing societal issues of our time. Following Somerset House’s Earth Day events programme and ongoing sustainability efforts, this series explores how society can Hack Climate Change in its relationship with the Sun, Soil and Air. From a hack session tackling air pollution, to harnessing the power of the sun in a DIY solar panel workshop, the programme will investigate the role that design can play in creating clever and radical solutions to problems facing the modern world.


Somerset House is thrilled to welcome three new additions to the Somerset House Studios resident community from May 2018. Critically acclaimed musician, producer, broadcaster and upcoming speaker at The Listening Party, Nabihah Iqbal, will be working towards the launch of a new music platform which will take an interdisciplinary and multifaceted approach to sharing, promoting and creating music and musical experiences.

With the opening of both a new artist studio and a new, permanent recording studio in Somerset House, the community also welcomes interdisciplinary artist Anat Ben David and Agnes Gryczkowska who will join existing resident Nontokozo F. Sihwa (Venus Ex Machina). Anat Ben David, developer of the unique OpeRaArt practice and member of the Chicks on Speed art collective, will continue to develop new solo and collaborative pieces, working towards a major OperRaArt composition. Agnes, one half of the experimental, noise, industrial duo NAKED, will focus on creating new music whilst in residence to create socio-political and empowering anthems.

Somerset House is also delighted to announce three new Associate Artists who join the Studios community this summer. Part of the legacy of 2017’s Nocturnal City series, which celebrated the integrity of club culture, the artists will use the residency to develop projects and workshops for the Studios’ programme. SIREN is a London-based collective challenging preconceptions within the dance music scene. As Associate Artists, SIREN will explore how they might break down boundaries between performers and audiences through a series of events focused on shared knowledge and collaboration. Also joining are Resis’Dance, ‘the DJ collective making partying political’ (Dazed) by questioning gender norms and creating safe spaces on the dance-floor, who will develop live sessions and panel events as part of their residency. Cotch International is a new label which aims to promote globally-minded music with a raw edge. As Associates, Cotch will continue to offer a platform for underrepresented artists and art forms to be celebrated. For more on the Nocturnal City series, visit


13.15 and 15:15 from 19 May 2018
On the third Saturday of each month visitors can discover how Somerset House has been transformed into a working space for creatives in the heart of the city by joining one of two Somerset House Studio tours.

Each tour will explore areas where work is shown and developed, visiting the communal spaces Studios residents share and giving a glimpse behind the scenes into artists' studios. A highlight of the tour will be the chance to explore Maker Street, the dramatic alleyway visible from Waterloo Bridge where many of the studios are located.

Tours take approximately 45 minutes. Tickets are available on the day from the Information Desk in the Seamen’s Hall, South Wing. Tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis with a maximum 6 tickets per person booking.



Eloise Hawser: By the deep, by the mark

Until 22 April 2018, Free, Part of the Charles Russell Speechlys Terrace Room Series

Taking Somerset House’s close relationship with the River Thames and Victoria Embankment as its starting point, By the deep, by the mark is the first of its kind to examine connections between civil engineering and cutting-edge medical imaging devices, never before seen in an exhibition context. 

Until 29 April 2018, 11.00-17.00, Free

An interactive showcase by Somerset House Studios artists Werkflow featuring a playable demo of upcoming video game Sovereign.

Chloe Lamford: Show Room

Until 6 May 2018, 08.00-19.00, Free

Leading theatre designer Chloe Lamford transforms Somerset House’s Great Arch Hall entrance space with an installation which calls to mind an imaginary, theatrical back-stage to Somerset House itself. It features abandoned architectural features, imagined vistas, theatrical props, shimmering curtains and moveable stages.

Defrag: Hype
17 April 2018, 18.45-20.30, Pay what you can
For the penultimate event in the series, Defrag explores the process and politics of ‘hype’ in the fashion industry, featuring guest speakers Katie Baron, the global Head of Retail at and Nathalie Khan, Central Saint Martins’ fashion history and theory lecturer, and leading theorist on contemporary fashion media.
Jennifer Walshe Sound Salon: Erica Scourti

25 April 2018, 18.45-20.30, Free

Jennifer Walshe’s Sound Salon series reveals new trends in music, sound and technology.  For this edition, Walshe will be in-conversation with Studios resident Erica Scourti discussing the impact of new technologies on ideas of the self and collective experience through everyday media.
Makerversity Civic Hack: Tools for Change
25 April – 2 June 2018

Tools for Change: Activation Session (AIR)
25 April 2018, 19.00-20.30, Free

In 2018 London breached its annual pollution limit in the first month. In this opening activation session with the Makerversity community, visitors will discover insights from the latest research on the global perceptions on climate change and devise design tools to protect against the harmful effects of air pollution.

Tools for Change: Talk (SOIL)
24 May 2018, 19.00-20.30, £3
How can local communities plus green action change the way we relate to climate? Join Makerverity for a talk discovering two fantastic initiatives, Repowering London and Climate Change, which look at ways to reconnect with our climate.

Tools for Change: Exhibition (AIR)

28 May-3 June 2018, Free

This exhibition will display the results of the Tools for Change Activation Session addressing solutions to air pollution.

Tools for Change: DIY Solar Panel Workshop (SUN)
2 June 2018, 10.00-12.00, £80
This one-day practical workshop offers visitors the opportunity to create a product to charge a phone (and other USB devices) from the sun, that can be taken home at the end of the day.

The Listening Party: Paul Purgas

26 April, 18.45-20.30, Pay what you can
In a new series for 2018, The Listening Party brings together an array of artists and musicians curated and hosted by Somerset House Studios resident Imran Perretta. For the first event Perretta is joined by sound, performance and installation artist Paul Purgas - with whom Perretta shares his studio space - exploring the unique sonic and visual cultures that underpin his practice

The Listening Party: Nabihah Iqbal
24 May 2018, 18.45-20.30, Pay what you can
For the second event in the series, Perretta will be talking to critically acclaimed London-based musician and producer Nabihah Iqbal, formerly known as Throwing Shade, about the influences that have shaped her identity and creative output, from studying at Cambridge to working in human rights law before entering the music industry.

Studios Artists in Conversation: Anna Meredith and Lonelady
30 May 2018, 18.45-20.30, £7
Bi-monthly series profiling the work of Somerset House Studio artists. For the third instalment, composer and performer Anna Meredith joins Warp records artist and Studios neighbour Lonelady in conversation with Studios’ Director Marie McPartlin to discuss their influences, methods, and life as part of the Somerset House Studios community.
Block Universe: Hanne Lippard
30 May 2018, 20.00-21.00, £10 / £7.50 concessions
Music Hackspace

May-July 2018, dates and times vary


Project O: Saved
8 June – 2 September 2018, Free

Complex Value$

13-24 June 2018, 12-6pm (Wednesdays and Fridays until 8pm), Free

Superflux Future(s) of Power #3: Algorithmic Power
26 June 2018, 18.45-20.30, Pay what you can
The third instalment in a series of open debate forums exploring the future of representation, governance and democracy. In this event, Superflux will select a representative microcosm of society to join this simulated policy experiment, looking at the growing political power of algorithms and information bubbles.

Open Your Palm live event
27 June

Laura Grace Ford presents a live event exploring her audio series at Somerset House Studios.
The Listening Party: Adam Bainbridge (Kindness)
28 June 2018, 18.45-20.30, Pay what you can

For the last instalment of the series, Perretta will be in-conversation with Kindness (Adam Bainbridge), an Asian British producer, DJ, documentary maker and Red Bull Music Academy radio host. Based in New York, Bainbridge has developed his distinct sound to great acclaim, recently winning a Grammy award for A Seat at the Table by Solange Knowles.

The Listening Party: Deadhouse event
29 June 2018, 20.00-00.30, £11.40
To close the series, Perretta will host a night in the Deadhouse with a curated line-up and exclusive DJ sets from the participating artists and invited guests, including MANARA.

Full list of new Associate Artists at Somerset House Studios

  • Resis’Dance
  • Cotch Internationa

Full list of new artist residents at Somerset House Studios

  • Nabihah Iqbal
  • Anat Ben David (Chicks on Speed)
  • Agnes (NAKED)

Somerset House thanks supporters of Somerset House Studios, including Westminster City Council, Foyle Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Sir Siegmund Warburg's Voluntary Settlement, Rothschild Foundation, Outset Contemporary Art Fund and the Gaia Art Foundation, John Ellerman Foundation, Cockayne Trust and the Case Foundation.


For press enquiries, please contact: / 0207 845 4624


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

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About Somerset House

Inspiring contemporary culture

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.