Somerset House Studios: Dynamic Communities

A hub of multi-disciplinary projects, Somerset House Studios continues to support artistic exploration in 2017. The Studio directors are consistently working to encourage a sense of innovative energy and boast a vast array of imaginative practices in mediums as far-reaching as: music and composition, performance, writing, fashion, film and emerging technologies. Joining the 33 onsite artists, a further 25 creatives take up residency this April, promising to enhance the existing community.

New talents include cross-disciplinary artists Hannah Perry, Jesse Darling and Imran Perretta, acclaimed theatre designer Tom Scutt, filmmaker Nick Abrahams – who was awarded the British Council short film prize for his work with Sigùr Ros – and data visualisation studio Tekja, who fashioned the London Situation Room installation at Somerset Houses’ recent Big Bang Data exhibition.

With the arrival of these celebrated practitioners, an exciting calendar of events takes place from March to June. Dismantle Yourself sees Associate Artist Graham Dunning deconstruct the concept of a rave, fusing the pounding live textures of electronic dance music from Ewa Justka, Algobabez and Jaxson Payne, amongst other performers, to generate a dazzling soundscape.

On 27 April, Jamila-Johnson-Small and Sara Sassanelli host Hotline – a critical discussion evening. The event encourages audiences to respond to provocations made by contributors, promoting a fluid and engaging dialogue within the symposium. Guest speakers include Sita Balani (Diva Magazine), artist and activist Jacob V Joyce and Block Universe founder Louise O’Kelly.

Canadian performer Zadie Xa joins the collective on 1 June with an immersive, one-off presentation which interrogates Eurocentric perceptions of Asian identity through a supernatural over-laying of cultural references. Additionally, Jennifer Walshe’s series Sound Salons returns to examine digital technologies – the internet and music – bringing a new special guest each month to fuel critical analyses.

Set within the historic Somerset House, an intellectual powerhouse which remains a burgeoning centre for research and discussion, the Studios are committed to inspiring and furthering creative industries. The selection of events described are few of the many occurring in the grade I listed building this year, contributing significantly to the cultural energy of the city and its people.

Somerset House Studios, London, March – June. For more information:

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1. Ben K, as part of Somerset Studios 2017. Courtesy of Somerset House.