Gallery 31: BONDS

FAKA, Nick Ryan, Anna Mikkola, Hannah Perry, Flora Yin-Wong, Laura Grace Ford

06 Sep - 31 Dec 2019

Mon, Tue, Sat & Sun 10.00-18.00

Wed - Fri 11.00-20.00

New Wing

Bonds is the title of the first season of Gallery 31, Somerset House Studios’ permanent exhibition space opening this September 2019. With FAKA, Nick Ryan, Anna Mikkola, Hannah Perry, Flora Yin-Wong and Laura Grace Ford.

Bonds is the title of the first season of Gallery 31, Somerset House Studios’ permanent exhibition space opening on 6 September 2019. With a rolling programme of works and a different theme each season, the space presents a curated selection of complete and in-progress works made in the building, and by artists taking part of the Studio’s year-round residency programme. 

Bonds, explores the idea of connection beyond the physical, and the mystical qualities of certain acts of communicating. Be it to an ‘other’, collectively with each other, or channelling through others, the works are choreographed to play with the magical qualities of such states. What transformation can happen when we share a space, perform a rite, collectively tune in, connect emphatically and intergenerationally?

The season opens with Sihlangene Emoyeni, a new film commission from Johannesburg’s queer art collective FAKA (Fela Gucci and Desire Marea) and directed by London based director and moving image artist Akinola Davies. Developed while in residency at Wysing Arts Centre, the work explores memory and the colonised body – as archives, the bodies in the work have become libraries, museums where ancestors and their stories are immortalised. How will they demand to be manifested? 

Multi-disciplinary artist and composer Nick Ryan’s work in progress installation, The Gulf of Understanding (Re:cognition), taps into the magic of making sense, exploring the sound of spoken language and its relationship to matter. Utilising voice recognition and natural language processing techniques, the piece attempts to straddle cognitive and sensory realms by venturing simple translations between an individual’s voice and external representations of matter. This work is connected to Re:cognition podcast, a new audio commission by Nick Ryan in which he explores human language in conversation with eminent thinkers in the fields of cognitive neuroscience, computer science, linguistics and anthropology. 

New audio commission by Flora Yin-Wong (in collaboration with visual artist Go Watanabe) faces the recall of memory through hundreds of accumulated iPhone recordings, forging new connections between fractured memories, alternate worlds and intangible spaces.

Anna Mikkola's From Simple Parts to Collective Complexity is an ant colony housed within an ant farm. The ants perform a manifestation of a different kind of intelligence, organisation models and communication looking at the magic of nature and the brain.

Combing silk screen printing technique with digital photographs, car lacquer and painting, Hannah Perry’s exhibit was originally part of GUSH, Perry’s solo show which took place at Somerset House in 2018. The work reminds us of the impossibility of containment of emotions, and the power of their slippery and raw qualities. Multidisciplinary artist and writer Laura Grace Ford presents a new text based work concerned with spatial narratives, fiction, memory and dreams. 

Gallery 31 is generously supported by The Rothschild Foundation. 

Sihlangene Emoyeni is supported by the Adonyeva Foundation and The Gulf of Understanding is supported by the Case Foundation


FAKA is a cultural movement established by Fela Gucci and Desire Marea. The artists explore a combination of mediums ranging from sound, live performance, literature, video and photography, to explore themes central to their experience as black queer bodies navigating the cis-hetero-topia of post-colonial Africa.

Nick Ryan is a multi-disciplinary artist and composer exploring auditory representations of information, language, physical materiality and space through the creation of sound and multi sensory installations, bespoke instruments, generative/reactive/interactive audio experiences. 

Flora Yin-Wong is a London-born, Chinese-Malaysian artist working with field recordings, dissonance, and influences from contemporary club culture.

Anna Mikkola’s work explores the ways that technology alters human subjectivity and probes the boundaries of the human, often materialising as videos and installations.

Hannah Perry works in installation, sculpture print and video. Using a network of personal references, she continuously generates and manipulates videos, sounds, images and objects, exploring intimate memory in a hyper-technological society. 

Laura Grace Ford is a London based artist and writer concerned with spatial narratives, contested space, architecture, fiction and memory. Drawing on cognitive mapping and the dérive Ford interrogates place by mapping the psychic contours of the city, where spectral languages erupt as fictions and dreamings, a reconnection with emancipatory forces embedded in the city.