Somerset House has recently announced its programme of exhibitions throughout the year, which have been curated by the venue’s in-house team and can be used by organisers in conjunction with events or use as a stand-alone reception.
The current exhibition Mushrooms: the art, design and future of fungi brings together the works of over 40 artists, designers and musicians. Mushrooms looks at fungi’s ‘colourful cultural legacy’. Highlights include American artist Cy Twombly’s collage portfolio paralleling natural world and human history, watercolours from Beatrix Potter and experiments in design, textiles and architecture using mycelium.
In addition, 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. Canapés include 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, said: “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.”
Mushrooms: the art, design and future of fungi will close on 26 April.
From 11 June–18 August No Comply: Skate Culture and the Communitywill explore the phenomena of skateboarding and the impact of its culture on the UK in the last 40 years. Film makers, photographers and designers will come together to celebrate the UK’s skating scene, documenting the influence the subculture has played and re-imagining cities, public spaces and culture which surrounds us.
The Horror Show‘summons the spirit of the fun fair’, setting the stage for a spectacle of art, music, fashion, film and design through the weird and wonderful lens of some of the UK’s creative radicals 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 tale of modern Britain in three acts: Monster, Ghost and Witch, from 5 November 2020-28 February 2021.
Sorrell added: “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 artists’ studios we can offer partnerships to brands to develop something completely unique to them.”
Wines of Germany are due to exhibit from in April, are collaborating with and have commissioned 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 experiential event showcased LifeWear in London from three perspectives: Art, Science and Craftsmanship.
Commercial exhibitions run concurrently including Photo London, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Sony World Photo Awards and Fashion Week, and 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 said: “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.”