Eureka - 'Undercurrents: Art and Ocean in Africa and the Pacific', London Design Biennale
Somerset House

Event Type:



Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 1LA


1 Jun 2023 - 25 Jun 2023
Thu - Sun, 11:00 - 19:00



Undercurrents: Art and Ocean in Africa and the Pacific
London Design Biennale

Eureka - 'Undercurrents: Art and Ocean in Africa and the Pacific', London Design Biennale

Event info

The Glasgow School of Art is participating in Eureka at the London Design Biennale at Somerset House, presenting 'Undercurrents: Art and Ocean in Africa and the Pacific', an interdisciplinary and international research project where a series of community-led art commissions surface cultural and emotional connections with the ocean. 'Undercurrents' examines the ways that art can express indigenous values relating to ocean governance in Africa and the South Pacific. Climate change, over-fishing, pollution and mining are among numerous stressors that threaten the health of the ocean. While there is growing global awareness of the harm being caused, high-level debates and responses frequently prioritise economic, political and legal considerations. The views of local communities most dependant on the sea are often marginalised or excluded. One Ocean Hub’s DEEP Fund supported eight community-based art projects in South Africa, Ghana, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea – countries at the frontline of the ocean-climate nexus. In a departure from traditional modes of investigating community relations where priorities are defined by academics and/or practitioners, projects were collaboratively designed to reveal human relationships and emotional connections with the ocean. The Glasgow School of Art pavilion presents a selection of work from two projects, 'Our Sacred Ocean' by the Keiskamma Art Project (South Africa) and 'Netai en Namou Toc / Stories of Mother Ocean' by the Erromango Cultural Association (Vanuatu), as well as a walkthrough of the digital version of the 'Undercurrents' exhibition that was held at the Glasgow School of Art in April 2023. The showcase is led by Prof Stuart Jeffrey and curated by Dr Lisa McDonald.

The project is in partnership with One Ocean Hub. A digital version of the first iteration of Undercurrents exhibition presented at the Glasgow School of Art in April 2023 will be available at the following link from 8 June 2023: https://oneoceanhub.org/undercurrents/ The fourth edition of London Design Biennale will take place from 1 to 25 June 2023, artistically directed by the Nieuwe Instituut—the Dutch national museum and institute for architecture, design and digital culture. Eureka is a showcase of design-led innovation changing our world from leading research centres. Eureka will spotlight the ground-breaking creative thinking taking place inside the UK’s university research departments for our society and the economy, while examining the role of institutions in nurturing the next generation of problem solvers. 


General admission ticket: from £23. Students and Concessions: £18. Child (12-16): £13