A Year of Imagination and Possibility at Somerset House celebrates the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s inspirational text and is the largest ever celebration of this radical work anywhere in the world. It spans the realms of art, literature, fashion, design, architecture, film and more, featuring a varied programme of special events, exhibitions and new commissions across the Somerset House site and beyond. The Utopia Treasury, in Somerset House’s Great Arch Hall and open all year, will invite people to explore, taste, and imagine utopia.
Thomas More was the first to give a name and form to an idea that has captured the human imagination throughout history: that by imagining a better world is possible, we are empowered to create it. His playful vision, published in 1516, presents an ideal society living on a fictitious island, described in a traveller’s tale. More’s Utopia is deliberately ambiguous, the Greek words on which the name is based mean both ‘no place’ and ‘good place’. It is not a blueprint for the future; instead he places importance on the process of dreaming in the now.
To celebrate More’s vision, UTOPIA 2016 explores challenges facing contemporary culture and society, and the pivotal role of the arts and culture in creating the space where dreams can take root.
With a focus on work made by artists born after 1968, in addition to several early pioneers who were active internationally in the 1960s and ’70s, Under the Same Sun at the South London Gallery examines a diversity of creative responses by artists to complex, shared realities that have been influenced by colonial and modern histories, repressive governments, economic crises, and social inequality, as well as by concurrent periods of regional economic wealth, development, and progress.
The exhibition will be the first to be housed in both the SLG’s main site and the ground floor of its new building, a neighbouring former Fire Station currently under restoration.
Oval Space, 32 The Oval, London E2 9DT
The Laundry, 2-18 Warburton Road, London E8 3FN
St John at Hackney Church, Lower Clapton Road, London E5 0PD
Space Gallery Courtyard and Carpark, Warburton Street, London E8 3RH
Netil House Rooftop, 1 West Gate Street, London E8 3RL
London Fields Brewhouse, 365-366 Warburton St, London E8 3RR
Moth Club, Old Trades Hall, Valette Street, London E9 6NU
Returning for its fourth year following the success of three sell-out events. The East London festival will take place across different warehouse venues, art spaces, courtyards rooftops, churches and outdoor areas in London Fields.
Music isn’t the only offering from VISIONS. Following the success of last year’s Craft Beer and Street Food Festival it will be returning featuring London’s finest traders: Mamas Jerk Station, Hot Mess, The Cheese Truck, Motherclucker, Oh My Dog craft beer and more. VISIONS Craft Beer and Street Food Festival will be located in the gardens of St John’s Hackney Church and will be open to the public to enjoy, as well as VISONS ticket holders. Ticket holders will also be able to enjoy the food stalls of Netil Market right next to Netil House Rooftop.
The Space Studios outdoor courtyard will feature creative outlets including Home Brew where you can sign up for beer brewing classes and watch a live brew, Old Habbits Tattoo shop, owned and run by Liam Sparks who will be offering VISIONS customers exclusive custom designs for just £50 only available only at the festival. Black Wax Records will have classic and new releases available to buy and Positive Press will be exhibiting work as well as running a live screen printing workshop to show you budding printers how it’s done.
Prepare yourselves for a Summer of cinema joy as the legendary Pop Up Screens returns with an epic program of classic films, guaranteed to leave you on the edge of your seat.
Bishops Park in Fulham
Greenwich Peninsula in North Greenwich
Coram’s Field in Holborn
Ravenscourt Park in Hammersmith
Manor House Gardens in Hither Green
East Greenwich Pleasaunce
This year, Pop Up Screens have also announced that they will be taking over the courtyard of the city’s historic Guildhall in EC2 for seven nights in August. Including a special screening of the mighty Gladiator where visitors will get the chance to see the Guildhall’s amazing Roman Amphitheatre for amazing atmosphere.
Tickets are £12 for adults, £6 for children and you can bag yourself a weekend ticket for £25. You’re welcome to bring blankets, beanbags and cushions or you can hire a director’s chair for £2. Popcorn from Drum and Kernel, burgers and craft beer on offer and you can take your own drinks and snacks too!
22nd Bishop’s Park, Fulham – Labyrinth 7.30pm
23rd Bishop’s Park, Fulham – Dirty Dancing 7.30pm
24th Bishop’s Park, Fulham – 500 days of Summer 7.30pm
29th Greenwich Peninsula, North Greenwich – Anchorman 7.30pm
30th Greenwich Peninsula, North Greenwich – Grease 7.30pm
31st Greenwich Peninsula, North Greenwich – Back to the Future 7.30pm
Foil Arms and Hog are at the Southbank festival for with their most critically acclaimed show. With over 4 million hits on YouTube, five exclusives on american comedy website Funny or Die and an endorsement from Rowan Atkinson, they are one of Ireland’s finest comedy prospects.
Individually, Foil Arms and Hog are Sean Finegan, Sean Flanagan and Conor McKenna. Each as talented as the next and as a group, they are stars of Jason Byrne’s Snaptastic Show, regularly appear on comedy website Funny Or Die, appeared on BBC R4’s Sketchorama and count amongst their fans, John Bishop, Rowan Atkinson and Tommy Tiernan.
Goal Click is a new global football photography project whose mission is to bring together real football fans from every corner of the world through the power of photography. They have recently announced an exciting new partnership and photography exhibition with the official UEFA Euro 2016 sponsor, adidas.
The project aims to show football’s similarities and differences around the world, the issues, the passion and emotions it creates and the way football can unite people in unstable parts of the world. Photography will include Goal Click photos from countries around the world including Sierra Leone, Iraq, Russia, Serbia, Mexico and Rwanda, alongside the Goal Click LDN project which pays homage to football in London. The exhibition will also feature some of adidas’ current and historic products.
Speedo is running 10,000 free swim sessions at leisure centres across the country. With the help of qualified instructors you’ll discover the tips you need to refine your front crawl, fire up your fitness and take your swimming to the next level.
Dive In swim fitness sessions are running in London at sites including London Fields, Charlton Lido, Clapham, Greenwich, Crystal Palace, Kensington, Oasis LC and more.
Along with expert training advice, the sessions include instruction on how to use a variety of different training aids, such as flippers and power paddles!
Did you know?
Two thirds of London’s swimmers (68%) are unable to swim front crawl for more than four lengths (100m)
1 in 3 adults (34%) are not confident in the water*
Dive In was launched in response to new research from Speedo, which revealed that only a third of Londoners can swim more than four lengths (100m) of front crawl proficiently, even though 65% of British adults recognise swimming as the best for a full body workout.
Mercure Hotels is inviting food lovers of all ages to join them to celebrate the great British tradition of the summer picnic, with a free event at London’s beautiful Somerset House.
As a sponsor of Picnic Week, Mercure Hotels will offer a fun-filled day out for families and friends of all ages – offering visitors a chance to relax in the sunshine, enjoy an alfresco bite to eat or take part in a range of activities perfect from wine tasting to playing some giant sized board game classics. Whether you’re looking for an après work sun-downer with friends, or a family day out with the little ones – there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Guests are welcome to take their own picnics along with them to enjoy in the beautiful surroundings of the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court at Somerset House.
There will be a fantastic range of Tom’s Kitchen picnic goodies for you to purchase on the day, as well as delicious Mercure Picnic Hampers by Tom’s Kitchen. Picnic hampers feature homemade baguettes, great classics like scotch eggs and delicious desserts. A deliciously refreshing bottle of Mercure ‘Picnic Perfect’ Prosecco is also available within some hampers and to purchase on the day, which has been exclusively selected by wine experts Susie Barrie and Peter Richards, from BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen.
Fun-filled activities and entertainment will be provided all day – including live music from acapella group, AfterParty live and interactive wine tasting with Susie and Peter, and plenty of fun and games for the little ones.