In Conversation: Eloise Hawser & Sir Peter Bazalgette

Tue 10 Apr 2018
19.00 - 20.30
£10.00 / £7.00 conc
Screening Room
South Wing

Join Eloise Hawser in conversation with Sir Peter Bazalgette, the great-great-grandson of Victorian civil engineer Sir Jospeph Bazalgette, author of The Empathy Instinct and former Chair of Arts Council England.

An evening exploring the relationships and emotional resonance between creativity, medical science, civil engineering and the buildings and infrastructures we manifest and inhabit.

Pairing the unique perceptions of artist Eloise Hawser, and industry icon Sir Peter Bazalgette we unpick the process behind Hawser’s interrogative journey creating the exhibition By the deep, by the mark. A culmination of two years of research in residence at Somerset House Studios, the exhibition connects anecdotes, archival materials, maps and models with unique sculptures, video, audio and medical phantoms, each meticulously realised work reflecting unexpected relationships between objects, materials, precision engineering, the body, the sewer, the river and the city.

Sir Peter Bazalgette is the great-great-grandson of Victorian civil engineer Sir Joseph Bazalgette, a 19th-century English civil engineer whose major achievement was the creation (in response to the Great Stink of 1858) of a sewer network for central London, instrumental in relieving the city from cholera epidemics, while beginning the cleansing of the River Thames.

Sir Peter Bazalgette is also well known for his own longstanding contribution to the developments in the UK cultural economy, previously as Chair to Arts Council England, currently to ITV, and more recently author to the publication The Empathy Instinct. In this publication Bazalgette outlines how advances in medical and technical engineering can map the human brain, enabling neuroscientists and psychologists to know which parts are specifically linked to empathy, causing him to questions how we utilise these abilities to positively enhance our society.

Together the duo draw on one another’s experience and expertise, to consider how our buildings and objects reflect and embody our inner worlds and how vital creativity is to pioneering achievements that benefit humanity.

The evening will be chaired by the Director of Somerset House Trust Jonathan Reekie CBE, and concludes with an audience Q&A, and book signing of The Empathy Instinct.


Eloise Hawser:
Eloise Hawser is an artist exploring the emotional resonances in the architectural, mechanical and electrical infrastructure that supports our lives and bodies.

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.

Whilst in residence at Somerset House Studios, Eloise has been researching defunct, unusual and contested sites from the industrial, military and transport sectors, which informed a series of off site events she curated in 2017, and added to her research and development of on site exhibition Eloise Hawser: By the deep by the mark.

Sir Peter Bazalgette:
Sir Peter Bazalgette is Chairman of ITV, and recently led an independent review into the UK’s creative industries as part of the Government’s new Industrial Strategy. In September 2017, Peter was appointed as a Non-Executive Board Member of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Peter is also Chair of HM Government’s Holocaust Memorial Foundation, serves on the Advisory Boards of BBH and YouGov and is currently Chair of the Baillie Gifford Non-Fiction Book Prize. 

From 2013 until 2017 he was Chair of Arts Council England. He is a former Non-Executive Director of the DCMS, former President of the Royal Television Society and Chief Creative Officer of Endemol where he personally devised several internationally successful formats such as Ready Steady Cook and Ground Force. Peter’s book about the business of TV formats, Billion Dollar Game, was published in 2005, and in January 2017 he published The Empathy Instinct.

In partnership with