Exterior view of Somerset House from across the Thames, looking north-east, prior to the river being embanked. 1870 - 1880. © Historic England Archive
Last Chance to see

Eloise Hawser: By the deep, by the mark

The Charles Russell Speechlys Terrace Room Series
31 Jan – 22 Apr 2018

Mon, Tue, Sat & Sun 10.00 - 18.00, Wed - Fri 11.00 - 20.00

Terrace Rooms
South Wing

Fathoming flow in the body, the sewer, the river and the city – a new work by Somerset House Studios artist Eloise Hawser.

Taking Somerset House’s close relationship with the River Thames and Victoria Embankment as its starting point, By the deep, by the mark plunges us into the hidden networks of liquid flow within our bodies and below the city.

The exhibition takes you on a journey through a three dimensional mind-map of sculptures, audiovisual displays, medical hardware and archival materials. Featuring maps, models and measurements of the River Thames alongside cutting-edge diagnostic ‘phantoms’ (specialist machines rarely seen outside of a hospital or laboratory which are used to calibrate medical imaging equipment and analyse fluid dynamics within the body), it draws parallels between extraordinary feats of civil engineering and the intricate inner workings of the human body, suggesting a correlation between revolutionary urban and medical innovations in the way they measure, process and predict mysterious natural and bodily phenomena.

Looking to the past and future sewage systems that keep London clean and its population healthy, Hawser charts attempts throughout the ages to reclaim the Thames as a space for leisure, rather than industry, from Joseph Bazalgette’s 19th century sewer system to the Thames Tideway ‘Super Sewer’ project.

Exterior view of Somerset House from across the Thames prior to the river being embanked, 1870-1880 © Historic England

Pointing to our fear of pollution and disease and the lengths we go to protect ourselves, Hawser seeks to reveal emotional resonances within the, often overlooked, infrastructures that underpin modern life.

The work is the result of nearly two years of research and artistic production whilst in residence onsite and offers a unique insight into Hawser’s creative practice. Learn more about her time in residence here on her Somerset House Studios resident profile page.

By the deep, by the mark exhibition film

Eloise has exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally. Her first UK solo institutional exhibition, Lives on Wire, was presented by the ICA in 2015. Recent group shows include History of Nothing, White Cube, Weighted Data, Tate Britain, Surround Audience, Triennial, New Museum, New York, NY and Europe, Europe, Astrup, Fearnley Museum, Oslo. She is a nominee for the 2018 Max Mara Art Prize for Women.

The Charles Russell Speechlys Terrace Room Series is a new series of free exhibitions, which will profile the work of living artists in one of the most accessible spaces at Somerset House, bringing the public into contact with a diverse and engaging range of creative thinkers. 

Image: Exterior view of Somerset House from across the Thames, looking north-east, prior to the river being embanked. 1870 - 1880. © Historic England Archive

Exhibition trailer produced and commissioned by Somerset House, in collaboration with Geoffrey Tailor.
Audio sourced and pre-edited by Laura Mitchison of On the Record CIC. Includes a section from Raising of Tower Bridge from inside the bascule chamber recording
© London Sound Survey, 2013

The tug trip down the Thames was kindly facilitated by Livett's and tugmaster Billy Wylet.

The artwork Data Floor, 2018 was produced with support from SAS Graphics

In partnership with