Healing with Wounds // Matthew Stone // 2016
This year marks the 500 year anniversary of Thomas More’s famous book Utopia. To celebrate Somerset House has created a series of events and exhibitions inspired by the concept of utopia. One such exhibition is Healing with Wounds. The works on view are by the collective !WOWOW! and are created by combining three mediums: photography, paint and CGI.
Noble Intentions // Matthew Stone // 2016
Being reliant, Not being reliant, Being not reliant // Matthew Stone // 2016
Björk Digital at Somerset House was quite an experience. Having no prior knowledge of Björk’s music or what a virtual music video means, I was not prepared for what lay ahead. You enter the show in a group, and are led to each room. Apart from the first and last room which has traditional projection screens, the remaining rooms consist of stools and virtual reality goggles. Placing the goggles over your eyes, and headphones over your ears you are immersed in Björk’s music video. One video you are moving across the Icelandic landscape and in another you find yourself inside Björk’s mouth. After a virtual reality exhibition it feels strange exiting into reality.
37 countries have come together at Somerset House with designs inspired by utopia. Scattered throughout the venue, each country responded to utopia differently – some focused on utopia’s political ideals, some created ways to provide aid and equality while one immerses you in a virtual reality. With 37 countries explaining their concepts, there is a lot of information to absorb. Not to worry. Cooper Hewitt’s technology pen allows you to tap the icon on each information didactic. Once you have tapped each wall label you want to remember, you can log on to the website and find the information you wanted to save ready to download to your computer. Pretty cool.
Daalaan // Pakistan
Otium and Acedia // South Africa
Shenzhen: New Peak // Shenzhen, China
Cooper Hewitt // United States of America
Water Machine // Saudi Arabia
Chakraview // India
VR Polis, Diving into the Future // Spain
Human. Touch // Israel
Human. Touch // Israel
The 2016 World Illustration Awards were recently displayed at Somerset House. With over 2,300 entries from 66 countries the top in each category were awarded and on view for all to see. Categories included books, children’s books, advertising and design to name a few. Here are my favorites.
Great Modern Artists A to Z // Andy Tuohy // illustrator CC and Indesign CC, pencil, notebook, photo reference as inspiration // Octopus Publishing Group for Cassell
Promenade // Jungho Lee // graphite & charcoal on hot pressed paper, coloured digitally // Sang Publishing // category winner books
Mad About Monkeys // Owen Davey // pencil sketches, scanned textures & digital // Flying Eye Books
Beau Brummell Comes to Fortum & Masons // Jonathan Burton // pencil & digital // Fortnum & Masons
The Magical City // Lizzie Mary Cullen // pen & ink // Penguin
Transgender // Patrick George // Digital // Sunday Times Style Magazine
¿Qué se Esconde Dentro del Dosque? // Aina Bestard // ink on paper completely hand made // Thames&Hudson
Stanley Kubrick is a film maker known for twisted movies such as The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Dr. Strangelove. Despite the unsettling nature of many of his films, the world can’t seem to get enough. To honor this famed man is the latest show at Somerset House: Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick. A variety of artists were chosen to exhibit a work inspired by Kubric in any fashion. The teddy bears standing on boxes are a reference to the pantry and the two model cities represent The Shining. Wandering through the maze-like layout of the exhibition, it becomes a game trying to decipher which works relate to which movie. So go and daydream with Kubrick.
History Painting (London, 8 August 2011) // Marc Quinn // 2011
The Shining // Gavin Turk // 2007
Tempest in (a) glass \ a diaphanous arrangement // Seamus Farrell // 2016
Consolus – Full of Hope and Full of Fear, 2016 // James Lavelle & John Isaacs, Featuring Aziz Glasserin
The Second Law // Paul Fryer // 2016
Wall illustration by Giovanni Estevez
The Grady Twins // Nathan Coley // 2004-2016
Kubrick’s Chair // Nancy Fouts // Made by John Reeves // 2016
Two weekends ago Somerset House hosted Photo London, an art fair for photography galleries. Hundreds of galleries set up in the rooms of Somerset House to showcase their most prized photographs. These were a few of my favorite works from the fair.
Dead Food for new worlds // Carmen Mitrotta // 2013 // 40 x 50 cm // Edition 7 & 1 AP // Archival Pigment Print
Contained Entropy #1, #2 & #3 // Leyla Cardenas // 2016 // Sculpted photograph, demolition rubble, inox (pigment ink print on fiber base paper) // 47 x 17 x 6 cm // Unique // GALERIE DIX9
Klinik // Gina Soden // 2014 // C type print on Baryta Fine Art paper // 70 x 105 cm // Edition of 10 plus 2 artist proofs
It’s disco time! Well not really. But in Katie Paterson’s installation in Somerset House it certainly feels like a party. Suspended on a string attached to the ceiling is a large twirling ball. A light projects on the ball and little dots twinkle across the room like stars. If you look closely at the ball you discover that it is composed of individual tiny photographs of solar eclipses. There are 10,000 images on the ball showing every recorded solar eclipse.
High-Visibility Graffito Solutions // Petro // UK // High-visibility fabric & 3M reflective material // 2016
Graffiti in a museum? That’s right! In Somerset House’s exhibition Venturing Beyond: Graffiti and the Everyday Utopias of the Street, graffiti works are placed within the walls of the museum. While graffiti is usually seen as breaking the rules, here they are showcased as works of art. Artists from the UK, France, Italy, Denmark, Australia the US and Spain push the boundaries of street art in this show by creating striking works that venture beyond our common stereotypes.
The Only Emergency is the Absence of Emergency // Filippo Minelli // Italy // Pigment prints on paper & pigment print on silk
Chopper // Swoon // US // Paper cutouts & acrylic paint on wood // 2015
_H1.A_ // Revok // US // Oil enamel & synthetic polymer on wood assemblage // 2015
Busy Doing Nothing & Watching Out // Huskmitnavn // Denmark // Ink on paper // 2015
Infinity Again / Smurf Blue Buff / Gassy Crying Dog // Russell Maurice // UK // Emulsion, cotton, nylon & nylon string on MDF / Emulsion & acrylic on cotton // 2016
Silence & Shapes // Filippo Minelli // 2016
Happy Easter! Spring is in the air! Pastel colors are back in season. The pink, orange and purple colored smoke in Filippo Minelli’s color explosion at Somerset House seems to mark the arrival of this time of year. Titled Silences and Shapes, the performance piece was part of the Somerset House exhibition Venturing Beyond, which is currently on view.
If you like outdoor art then be sure to visit Somerset House’s exhibition Out There: Our Post-War Public Art exhibition. Yes, it is an indoor show. But, it showcases public art. This exhibition draws attention to the positive effects that public art has had in England post WWII. Through public art projects, sculptures and installations can be available to anyone who passes by. This show begins with works right after the war and continues to pieces created last year. Additionally, in the final room there is a wall that showcases all of the lost, damaged and destroyed works of public art, drawing attention to the need to save and preserve our local art.
Curious as to what public art works are near you? Visit HistoricEngland.org.uk/List
Fiberglass architectural relief from Leo Supermarket // Paul Mount // 1984 // Ponsharden, Falmouth // Saved by Nick Dobson