2019 - 2020 New Commissions

Image: Plein Air, Desire Lines, 2019, Alicja Rogalska. Photo Pete Martin

Image: Plein Air, Desire Lines, 2019, Alicja Rogalska. Photo Pete Martin

Alicja Rogalska

Desire Lines takes as its starting point the rich heritage of the co-operative movement in Lincoln, where co-ops still play a vital role in the local economy and community. Involving the various communities in the city, the project will explore traditions of working together for the common good and alternative economic models, whilst focusing on people's political desires for the future organised around the ideas of working together, sharing & commoning.

Alicja Rogalska’s practice is interdisciplinary & focuses on social structures & the political subtext of the everyday. She mostly works in specific contexts making situations, performances, videos and installations in collaboration with other people. The recurring subjects of her work are body & affect, especially in relation to labour, economy and class, as well as alternative future imaginaries.

Image: Courtesy & copyright the artists

Image: Courtesy & copyright the artists

Orlando Gough, Emma Bernard, Esmé Herbert & Melanie Pappenheim.

This Autumn, following a period of research and development Orlando, Emma, Melanie and Esmé will present ‘Order’ - a unique performance commission delivered alongside a local choir. The piece will unfold within the Guildhall council chambers and feature a call and response, inspired by the political jostling that has unfolded for centuries in that very space.

Emma and Orlando often work together. They create choral theatre, usually acappella, about subjects of immediate concern, always using humour, often working with amateur performers.

 Melanie Pappenheim is a singer and performer. Always interested in combining music with visual art. Emma Bernard is a director who works across musical, verbal, visual, and physical performance disciplines, making work with a diverse range of people including experienced professionals and absolute beginners. Orlando Gough is a composer, who writes operas, choral music, music-theatre, music for dance and theatre, and creates large-scale site-specific work. 

Click here for more information.

Image: Courtesy & copyright Laura Wilson

Image: Courtesy & copyright Laura Wilson

Laura Wilson

Mansions of the Future are delighted to be collaborating with The Collection, Lincoln to support a research-led performance commission with artist Laura Wilson. Inspired by agricultural artefacts and historical archeological artefacts within the museum’s collection, Laura Wilson will be delivering an ambitious, site-specific performance in the public realm in Spring 2020.

Laura Wilson (b. Belfast, Northern Ireland, lives & works in London) is interested in how history is carried & evolved through everyday materials, trades & craftsmanship. She works with specialists to develop sculptural & performative works that amplify the relationship between materiality, memory & tacit knowledge.

Wilson’s interdisciplinary & research-based works have been exhibited widely including at: Nicoletti Contemporary, London; V&A, London; Bloomsbury Theatre, London (2019); The British Museum, London, UK with Block Universe; Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, UK; The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London, UK (2018); Invisible Dust (2017); Delfina Foundation (2016 & 17) RIBA, London; & Site Gallery, Sheffield UK (2016). She is currently presenting work as part of Food: Bigger than the Plate at the V&A & has forthcoming projects and exhibitions in 2019/ 20 with Grand Union, Birmingham, TACO, London & MIMA, Middlesbrough.

Instagram: @wilsonlaurawilson

Image: Courtesy & copyright Sophie Rogers

Image: Courtesy & copyright Sophie Rogers

Sophie Rogers

In August 2019 artist Sophie Rogers was invited to undertake a short summer residency with Mansions of the Future, resulting in a new digital animation entitled ‘A Confused Mass’. Which to coincide with Frequency Festival 2019 will feature on our website and social media.

Rogers has been researching the concept of ‘worlding’. Sophie uses digital software including Cinema 4D to create navigable simulations of imagined places and scenes often inspired by world-building practices found in sci-fi. Her latest work for Mansions of the Future combines simulations of alternate realities with research into Donna Harraway’s writing on the Chthulucene.

Rogers is based in London and has exhibited at the Stanley Picker Gallery, Barbican Centre, Tate Modern as part of Offprint London with Self Publish Be Happy and again with Future Late; the opening of the Switch House. She was selected to participate in Masterclass 2017 hosted by the Zabludowicz Collection.

Click here for more information.

Image: Courtesy & copyright Ruth Beale

Image: Courtesy & copyright Ruth Beale

Ruth Beale

In Lincoln, Ruth Beale has been inspired by the Magna Carta & the Charter of the Forest & their distinction of ‘free men’ & ‘the unfree’ - exploring the legal and social structures around the concept of freedom. She is interested in how a person’s sense & experience of freedom might be affected by their class, wealth, race or gender, by access to employment, education, health services & housing, by their right to vote, or their right to live & work in the UK. Ruth Beale is working as a commissioned artist with Mansions of the Future throughout 2019.

Ruth Beale’s practice considers the evocative relationships between culture, governance, social discourse & representation. A form of socialised questioning, it includes performance, writing, collecting, drawing & socially-engaged processes.

For more information on Ruth Beale’s project Freedom: Public Conversations click here.

Image: Courtesy & copyright Sunshine Wong

Image: Courtesy & copyright Sunshine Wong

Sunshine Wong

Drawing on her own research interests, Sunshine Wong is supporting the development of critical commentary and conversation around Mansions of the Future. Working with the MotF team and University students, her work will provoke conversation and debate around Mansions of the Future’s civic role and support the project’s legacy agenda.

Yet Chor Sunshine Wong is an art writer, researcher, and facilitator. Her work concerns the mediation and social production of contemporary art. She recently completed her doctoral thesis on the relational material of art practices, in which the certainty of social “engagement” is questioned by a more ambivalent social “negotiation”. She curates, produces, and writes about art projects that take place outside of conventional art contexts. Current initiatives include “TL;DR”, a “slow” reading group (i.e. collective, embodied reading) on art and the social realm; and “Doctoral Zines”, a workgroup for PhD researchers hoping to engage with complex ideas through a freer, more associative zine format.

Image: Bahia Shehab, ‘We Will Not Repent’, 2019. Photo Matt Snellin

Image: Bahia Shehab, ‘We Will Not Repent’, 2019. Photo Matt Snellin

Bahia Shehab

Bahia Shehab is a multidisciplinary artist, designer and art historian. She is associate professor of design and founder of the graphic design program at The American University in Cairo. Her artwork is concerned with identity and preserving cultural heritage. Through investigating Islamic art history she reinterprets contemporary Arab politics, feminist discourse and social issues. Her artwork has been on display in exhibitions, galleries and streets in internationally.

The documentary Nefertiti's Daughters featuring her street artwork during the Egyptian uprising was released in 2015. Her work has received a number of international recognitions, some of which are the BBC 100 Women list (2013), TED Senior fellowship (2016) and Prince Claus Award (2016). She is the first Arab woman to receive the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture (2016). Her publications include "A Thousand Times NO: The Visual History of Lam-Alif" (Khatt Books : Amsterdam, 2010).

Click here for more information about Bahia’s commission.

Image: Courtesy & copyright George Eksts

Image: Courtesy & copyright George Eksts

George Eksts

To coincide with Frequency Festival 2019, Mansions of the Future will be presenting new work by artist George Eksts. For his commission, titled Serious String, Eksts will work with objects & images from public spaces in Lincoln, creating digital connections with the interior architecture of Mansions of the Future. Eksts will use digital prototyping techniques to freely explore the possibilities and potential within the restrictions physical space, considering the public & private and the notion of temporality. 

Based in London, Eksts’ interdisciplinary practice makes use of CGI animation, drawing & photography to explore ideas of progress, repetition & reproduction. Working with digital & analogue processes - often moving back & forth between the two, Eksts’ work usually connects objects in physical space with online projects. Recent projects include Slow Install, a virtual gallery exhibiting 3D copies of existing artworks alongside propositional ideas for future works. 

Click here for more information.

Image: Boulevard, courtesy & copyright Tim van de Velde

Image: Boulevard, courtesy & copyright Tim van de Velde


ON/OFF have been commissioned by Mansions of the Future to contribute to the first season of activity in our final year titled Urban Form: Social Architecture, Class and the Commons (Nov 2019 – March 2020). The Collective will begin by sharing their own work, before undertaking a period of active research, engagement with residents of the Ermine Estate and experimentation. ON/OFF will then develop ideas for a public installation for and with citizens of the Ermine; this will be a collaboratively built structure that will enable local residents and ON/OFF to explore the potentials and possibilities of public spaces.

ON/OFF is an interdisciplinary design studio based in Berlin. The collective works collaboratively, drawing on the diverse range of skills within our group to realise projects that combine strategies from across fields and formats; including mobile structures, film and projection, building workshops and writing. ON/OFF’s practice explores the in-betweens and overlaps of the urban experience to engage citizens in an immediate relationship with their environment. Experimenting with disparate technologies and tools, they aim to challenge conventional ideas of inhabiting and sharing space.

2018 - 19


Kathrin Böhm

Culture is a Verb is the first architectural commission for Kathrin Böhm, where her ideas for commoning through making, using and sharing in public can be explored in one place. It combines publicness with functional and aesthetics, bringing together her interest in interconnecting the everyday with art, the local with the non-local and the diverse economies of communality.

Kathrin Böhm is a London based artist working internationally. Her collaborative work focuses on collective (re-)production of public space, trade as public realm & the everyday as a starting point for culture. She is a founding member of the international artist group Myvillages and art and architecture collective Public Works. In 2014 she set up Company Drinks, an ongoing artwork in the shape of a community drinks enterprise.

For more information & to download the Culture is a Verb manual click here


Ayisha de Lanerolle

Ayisha de Lanerolle, is Mansions of the Future's Director of Fundamental Questions. She has been looking across the city for those questions that the people of Lincoln feel moved to ask and can explore together. She has worked with student groups from Lincoln's Witham Priory Academy & Pembrooke Priory Academy to lead a series of philosophic inquiries. She has also delivered a series titled Collaborative Conversations with the general public and with teachers, creating a ‘tool kit’ for applying philosophical inquiry within day to day lesson structures.

Ayisha de Lanerolle specialises in using philosophical inquiry for the arts, education and cultural sectors. Her company, Conversation Agency, aims to provide the opportunity for young and old to engage with big ideas in a stimulating joyful, playful & creative way.


Bridget Smith

For Mansions of the Future, Bridget Smith has made a series of billboards & hoardings featuring commissioned visionary statements from invited artists, writers, musicians, playwrights & filmmakers - all inspired by 18th century visionary Emanuel Swedenborg’s outlook on power & spirituality. Statements come from artists - Jeremy Deller & Bob & Roberta Smith - to authors Rae Earl & Ali Smith.

Bridget Smith is an artist working with still & moving images on projects which address our struggle to feel connected: within society, the landscape and the wider universe. She has exhibited nationally & internationally, including solo exhibitions at De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, & Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on-Sea. She is represented by Frith Street Gallery in London.

For more information on Bridget Smith’s project Now it is Permitted click here


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Tom James

Tom James co-curated the Mansions of the Future DIY Summer School 2018. He is a writer & artist who creates projects and publications that aim to change the way people think about the structures, places and ideas around them. He is primarily involved trying to prepare people better for the bitter, barren future we’re creating for our children. Tom’s fanzine project, GO, is part of the permanent collection of the V&A.

Tom is also part of Spacemakers with Matt Weston, a utopian regeneration agency that uses urban regeneration as a means for good instead of evil.

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Studio Polpo

Studio Polpo were a tutor on the DIY Summer School 2018, delivering a day of workshops with participants. Studio Polpo is a Sheffield based social enterprise architectural practice. They work at the intersection of a number of disciplines to create objects, structures, research and initiatives that can be taken-on and built-upon by others.

Current examples include feasibility studies for ROAR in Rotherham, and the Sheffield CLT. All of Studio Polpo’s projects are underpinned by a desire to work towards social, environmental and economic sustainability.


OOMK(One Of My Kind)

OOMK(One Of My Kind) was a tutor on the DIY Summer School 2018. OOMK is a collaborative publishing practice based in London led by Rose Nordin, Sofia Niazi & Heiba Lamara with a focus on self-publishing & education. They make, publish and distribute books and printed works, which arise from self-initiated projects & act as a platform for championing work by Muslim women.

OOMK Zine is a highly visual, handcrafted small-press publication. Printed biannually, its content pivots upon the imaginations, creativity & spirituality of women. They commission works by women artists & co-curate DIY Cultures, one of the UK’s largest annual independent publishing fairs.

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Liz Davis

 Liz Davis presented her intimate exhibition, Wild City, at Mansions of the Future. Wild Cityis a study of plants that thrive at the margins charting changes in flora & demonstrating an artist’s skill of close looking. This ongoing series of work by Liz is a protest against the destruction of our natural world and a plea to protect it. Wild Citywas supported by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. 

Liz Davis trained at Central St Martins, University of the Arts London. Her practice includes painting, collage & mixed media. She is committed to preserving and protecting the surviving remnants of the wild world and recording what we are in the process of losing. 


Bonnie Wright

Bonnie Wright's film, Medusa’s Ankles, premiered uniquely as a free public installation in a Lincoln hair salon on Sincil Street. Medusa's Ankles is an adaptation of Man Booker prize winning author A S Byatt's short story inspired by Matisse’s Rosy Nude. 

Bonnie Wright is a is an actor, film director, screenwriter & producer. Best known for playing Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter film series. Subsequent acting roles include The Sea with Charlotte Rampling & The Highway is for Gamblers, directed by Alexandra McGuinness. She founded her production company, Bon Bon Lumiere, in 2012.


Fraser Muggeridge

Fraser Muggeridge collaborated with students from the The Priory Pembroke Academy & Lincoln College to develop the Project’s graphic identity.

Fraser Muggeridge founded and is a tutor at Typography Summer School, a programme of typographic study for graduates and professionals, in London and New York. He is a visiting lecturer at The University of Reading & Camberwell College of Art. Fraser Muggeridge Studio prioritises artists’ and writers’ content allowing images & texts to sustain intent and impact.