A collage image of young people enjoying themselves at the last Upgrade Yourself takeover.
Talks & Exhibition

The Missing Thread Upgrade Yourself Takeover

Fri 08 Dec 2023
19.00 - 22.30
For 18-30 year olds
Seamen's Hall
South Wing

Upgrade Yourself is taking over The Morgan Stanley Exhibition: The Missing Thread for one night only. This free event supports aspiring creatives aged 18-30 to make meaningful connections with like-minded individuals and network with industry professionals.

Upgrade Yourself, Somerset House's creative skills programme aimed at deepening and widening engagement, looks to remove barriers and increase representation in the cultural sector, with a focus on young aspiring and emerging creative talent. 

Your free ticket gives you access to:

  • After-hours entry to The Morgan Stanley Exhibition: The Missing Thread, an exhibition that charts the shifting landscape of Black British culture and the unique contribution it has made to Britain’s rich design history, from the 1970s to the present day. 
  • The chance to get creative and involved in workshops that will explore self-expression, identity and belonging. 
  • An exhibition tour and talk with one of the exhibition curators, Harris Elliott, who shares his career journey and insights into his creative process.
  • The Upgrade Yourself Social – with a medley of perfectly curated tunes from a live DJ will be providing the soundtrack for the Upgrade Yourself Social.

Grab a free drink at the bar, meet likeminded creatives as part of our networking activations and chat to industry experts, exhibition contributors and Somerset House residents to find out more about working in the creative sector. 


Statements of Love, Joy and Perserverance with Joke Amusan

In this workshop, you will create your own empowering textile artwork with straw coloured hessian fabric.  Express yourself though the use of vibrant yarns and African Fabrics, to create statements that celebrate a rich and inspiring history of perseverance by highlighting the joy and love of the culture.

Flags of Self Expression with Shanti Bell

This workshop allows makers to engage with the significance and cultural identity of flags, inspired by artist Shanti Bell's outdoor installation Signalling Free in front of The Missing Thread, which serves as an entrance and exit point, hinting at what lies within. The installation observes and deconstructs the cultural identity of ‘flags’ with consideration to their significance as an expression of belonging, political identity and independence. 

Engage with these concepts using your own experiences, alongside the careful consideration of colour and form. Wooden frames will serve as canvases that different colours of mesh fabric can be stretched and pulled over to create pieces connected to your personal identity.

Colour combinations speak of many things such as race, heritage, sexuality, personality, emotions and self-expression - this workshop encourages you to create 3D sculptures that explore these concepts through colour and shape. Flags are symbols, what can your creation speak of, represent and say about you?


19.00 – 21.00 – Free entry to The Morgan Stanley Exhibition: The Missing Thread
19.00 – 20.30 – Workshops and Upgrade Yourself Social
19.30 – 20.00 – Curator tour of the exhibition
20.30 – 21.00 – Curator talk

Harris Elliott will talk about The Missing Thread, his creative practice and incredible journey to becoming a visual storyteller and curator. 
Harris Elliott is an international interdisciplinary visual artist and Senior MA Lecturer in Fashion at the Royal College of Art, specialising in identity and culture.

21.00 – 22.30 - Workshops and Upgrade Yourself Social
Please note that workshops will end at 22.00.