Aimée Gillingwater by Jenna Selby
Coming soon

No Comply: Skate Culture and Community


Terrace Rooms
South Wing

We have regrettably had to postpone No Comply for the foreseeable future.

Exploring the phenomena of skateboarding, and the impact of its culture and communities on the UK across the past 40 years.

Through the work of leading filmmakers, photographers and designers, No Comply celebrates the UK’s vibrant and diverse skate scene, documenting the influence the subculture has played in reimagining the cities, spaces and culture which surrounds us.

Curated by Somerset House and Tory Turk, from an original idea by Frankie Shea, the exhibition showcases archival footage, film, photography and independent magazines, it highlights the D.I.Y ethos which has defined its creative culture for decades. Featuring rare memorabilia and personal archives, No Comply demonstrates the transformative power of skateboarding’s grassroots community, spotlighting the strength and collective spirit of its members in protecting urban spaces threatened by development for future generations. The exhibition also explores non-profit initiatives beyond the UK using skateboarding to empower and incite positive change.

Contributors include Alex Turnball, Bedir Bekar, Ben Powell, Betongpark, Blast Skates, Brixton’s Baddest, Daryl Mersom, Dan Buck Joyce, Dan Magee, Far Skate, Free Movement, George Booth-Cole, Henry Kingsford, Iain Borden, Jenna Selby, Lovenskate, Marc Vallée, Matt Lloyd, Norma Ibarra, Palomino, RaD Archive, Reece Leung, Rich Gilligan, Rich West, Rom Boys, Sam Ashley, Skate Nottingham, Skate Pal, Stu Maclure and Wig Worland.

No Comply invites visitors to discover the impact both municipal and D.I.Y skate parks have played in shaping the UK urban landscape, as well as interrogate the rise in anti-skate design, which seeks to deter skaters from engaging with cities’ skateable surfaces. Delving deeper into skateboarding’s creative spirit, No Comply also looks at how skate-wear, which has defined the subculture’s collective identity since its inception, continues to influence the mainstream.

Sam Sitayeb, Woking, 2018 © Sam Ashley.jpg

Sam Sitayeb, Woking, 2018 © Sam Ashley
Sam Sitayeb, Woking, 2018 © Sam Ashley

Highlights include

•Striking imagery from the community’s foremost photographers, including Wig Worland, Sam Ashley, Henry Kingsford, Rich West, Reece Leung, Norma Ibarra, Jenna Selby and Rich Gilligan spanning across three decades.

•New original films, specially commissioned by Somerset House, exploring themes such as the freedom of skateboarding, its community spirit and individual sense of style.

•Archive objects and photography exploring the influence of skatewear on skateboarding’s collective identity as well as mainstream fashion trends, featuring brands such as Palace Skateboards.

•Inspiring case studies from the UK and beyond of grassroots campaigns and non-profit initiatives helping to promote positive change through skateboarding, including SkatePal and Freedom Movement.

No Comply is the ninth in The Charles Russell Speechlys Terrace Rooms Series, an ongoing partnership with the leading law firm to present a wide range of free exhibitions reflecting the broad interests of both organisations.