Arrivals + Departures by YARA + DAVINA installed in front of the South Wing of Somerset House
10 Sep - 05 Nov 2020

Arrivals + Departures

10 Sep – 05 Nov 2020
Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court

Situated in our spectacular courtyard, Arrivals + Departures is a large-scale interactive installation exploring birth, death and the journey in between by artist duo YARA + DAVINA.

Taking the recognisable form of a station or airport arrivals and departures board, the artwork invites visitors to share the names of people who have arrived and departed as a way to celebrate a birth or commemorate a death. As the effects of COVID-19, racial injustice and the environmental crisis continue to disrupt communities across the world, this artwork offers a timely platform to engage with birth, life, death, loss and collective grief, through the act of naming.   
The interactive installation also honours the heritage of Somerset House itself, which was formerly home to the General Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths, holding the first comprehensive record of life events for the whole of the population for many generations. 

Each Wednesday (16 Sep - 7 Oct), the artist duo invite a specialist to takeover the installation both in real time and on Somerset House Instagram Stories, exploring themes of birth; including lockdown births with Laura Godfrey-Isaacs, environmental justice with Suzanne Dhaliwal, grief with Bilal Nasim, and race and social justice with a member of KIN.


Arrivals + Departures is supported by Without Walls and commissioned by Artsadmin, Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Freedom Festival Arts Trust.

The public programme at Somerset House was devised by the artists in consultation with Emma Curtis and produced by Artsadmin.