Somerset House, London’s working arts centre, has announced a full programme of exhibitions and events throughout the year - produced by its in-house team - which organisers can combine into events as a cultural curtain-raiser or use as a stand-alone reception.
Current exhibition, ‘Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi’, brings together the works of over 40 leading artists, designers and musicians and looks at fungi's colourful cultural legacy. Highlights include seminal American artist Cy Twombly's collage portfolio paralleling natural world and human history, watercolours from Beatrix Potter and explores ground-breaking experiments in design, textiles and architecture using mycelium.
In addition, notable chef Bryn Williams, who has a restaurant at Somerset House and trained under Marco Pierre White and Michel Roux Jr, has created a bespoke mushroom menu purely for events for the duration of the exhibition which closes on 26th April. Canapés include mouth-watering truffle hummus with heritage beetroot and mushroom scotch egg with tarragon mayo. Bowls include mushroom risotto with a truffle parmesan wafer and Guinea fowl with white mushrooms on polenta and jus.
Business development manager Luci Sorrell commented “we have such a diverse cultural offering throughout the year, we can now offer all these fascinating, thought-provoking exhibitions to organisers, providing them with a USP they can incorporate into their own events.”
In summer from 11th June – 18th August, exhibition ‘No Comply: Skate Culture and the Community’ will explore the phenomena of skateboarding and the impact of its culture on the UK in the last 40 years. Leading film makers, photographers and designers will come together to celebrate the UK's vibrant and diverse scene documenting the influence the subculture has played and re-imagining cities, public spaces and culture which surrounds us.
‘The Horror Show!’ will summon the spirit of the fun fair, setting the stage for a spellbinding spectacle of art, music, fashion, film and design through the weird and wonderful lens of some of our country's creative iconoclasts including Gareth Pugh, Gazelle Twin, Noel Fielding, Pam Hogg and David Shrigley. These mavericks will take inspiration from the fiendish, freakish and phenomenal to tell a tall tale of modern Britain in three acts: Monster, Ghost and Witch, from 5th November 2020 - 28th February 2021.
Sorrell continued “our aim at Somerset House is to offer audiences excellent, original cultural experiences incorporating new formats; whilst we do this on a daily basis for the public, we have many riches for event organisers to utilise. We very much encourage collaborations and want people to be involved with the creative process. With 73 artist’s studios we can offer partnerships to brands to develop something completely unique to them.”
Indeed, Wines of Germany due to exhibit in April are collaborating and looking to commission a piece from one of the Somerset House Studios Artists. Last year Japanese brand Uniqlo held its first exhibition at Somerset House during Fashion Week, entitled ‘The Art and Science of LifeWear: New Form Follows Function,’ the large-scale immersive, experiential event showcased LifeWear from three perspectives, Art, Science and Craftsmanship in London.
Commercial exhibitions with international acclaim run concurrently including Collect: The International Art Fair for Modern Craft and Design, Photo London, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Sony World Photography Awards and the London Design Biennale, along with commercial events play an important part of the venue’s ambitions in hosting over 33 exhibitions, 73 artists and assisting 800 young people in the Creative Careers Programme.
Sorrell concluded “organisers can be safe in the knowledge that Somerset House is home to the UK’s largest creative community, offering a unique combination of compelling and accessible public events, enterprise and artistic practice. They can be confident that their events are directly supporting an organisation offering immense value to an audience that goes far beyond just the attendees at a commercial event.”