The Charles Russell Speechlys Terrace Room Series is a series of free exhibitions, which profile the work of living artists in one of the most accessible spaces at Somerset House, bringing the public into contact with a diverse and engaging range of creative thinkers.
The series begins with Hassan Hajjaj: La Caravane, a homecoming exhibition of the British-Moroccan artist, showcasing his vibrant fusion of contemporary cultures through new and celebrated works. This exhibition will be the first UK solo show of his work in six years, celebrating his playful but political works which fuse traditional North African culture with familiar Western imagery and iconography.
Born and raised in Larache, Hajjaj moved to the UK aged twelve, but has spent much of his life travelling between the two countries and cultures. His artwork reflects his nomadic lifestyle and the relationships he has formed with a variety of characters along the way, from musicians to artists and athletes to street performers. These individuals inspire Hajjaj’s diverse artworks from photographic portraits to video installations, sculpture, music, design and handcrafted objects.
Infused with a bold palette, the materials Hajjaj uses include patterned textiles, furniture, clothes and props often made by the artist to influence our understanding of the person in the image. All of these elements, including the frames made out of everyday items in which his images sit, are chosen deliberately to highlight these individuals’ identities.
Charles Russell Speechlys has been advising clients operating in Africa for many years, both those located in the region as well as international clients who are investing or operating there. As Hajjaj uses furniture, clothes and props from the artists to showcase the relationships he has formed with a variety of characters, we have developed significant experience of working in the region which has helped to shape our understanding of the local cultural, economic and political issues.
The Hassan Hajjaj: La Caravane exhibition at Somerset House shows how to bring contemporary culture to life, nurturing creativity and helping more people engage with its cultural programme. We take the same approach with the way we communicate with our clients in an open and practical way.
Video Produced by Somerset House for Hassan Hajjaj: La Caravane. Direction and Editing - Ewan Jones Morris, Camera - Tom Swindell, Music - Hamo Sidi by Simo Lagnawi. Courtesy of World Music Network