The Kindness Studio celebrates the legacy of Ada Lovelace with a series of Midsummer exhibitions and workshops at Somerset House

By Tempus | 08 Jun 2022 | Culture, Art, Philanthropy

The art studio, which offers workshops for children as well as championing new artists, is promoting the advancement of women in STEM

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The Kindness Studio is an art incubator with real heart. Promoting artists and workshops along the themes of kindness, the pop-up studio was launched in early 2022 by Ee and is situated in Ebury Edge – next to the historical Chelsea Barracks and the Prince Charles Foundation. 

With weekly interchanging art exhibitions and workshops to initiate conversation around kindness, the studio has already gained a certificate of achievement from local Westminster Library, collaborated with Aged UK and Berkeley Group and is part of the Somerset House Exchange. One of the works from The Kindness Studio has also been acquired by London’s Guy's & St Thomas' Foundation. 

Now, The Kindness Studio is set to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day at Somerset House on Thursday 6th October. On the day, The Kindness Studio will host a Q&A with artists Mary and Etienne Millner (the creators of the new Ada Lovelace Sculpture at the 9 Millbank Development in Westminster), Neurologist Elisabeth Rounis, and Deputy Director of Somerset House Trust, Diana Spiegelberg. There will also be art workshops to encourage and promote the advancement of women in STEM careers.

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The new public sculpture, which can be seen at the 9 Millbank Development in Westminster, is designed to illuminate the achievements of Ada Lovelace, the famed mathematician – and daughter of Lord Byron – whom, in the 1800s, was one of the world’s first and most significant computer programmers. It comprises a naturalistic figure in a light patinated bronze, standing on a plinth engraved with her name, and a backdrop relief also made in bronze inspired by the punch tapes associated with Ada Lovelace. The new piece was commissioned by - and its unveiling has been organised in partnership with - the Berkeley Group.

The historic theme of 9 ​Millbank is of science (the former ICI Headquarters building) and Charles Jagger’s Parade of Portland stone male figures, which sit comfortably with the Renaissance architecture. The statue of Ada Lovelace will act as a continuation of the theme set by Jagger and the facade of 9 Millbank which is dedicated to illustrating the progress made by science.

“The Kindness Studio aims to create a space through art to encourage the community to share and validate their experience on kindness,” says founder Ee. “Challenge and debate are encouraged to begin the discussion of Kindness. In today’s society, I feel people may disregard it or interpret it as a weakness. I feel it is strength and one we should make stronger: kindness begets kindness.”

While other adult Ebury Edge artists and exhibitors include such names as Charlie French, Dot Ng, Marco Toschetti, Stefano Perelli, Mark Andrew Webber, Joe Lichtenstein, Gokcen Yuksek and Tan Wee Lit, the studio is also devoted to teaching young minds about acts of kindness, the environment and social responsibility through fun art workshops and events. 

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* Charlie French

On such event is the Marylebone Summer Festival on 19 June, during which the studio will host a series of activities for children – such as bouquet and crown making – to celebrate the famous women on Marylebone, in partnership with Marylebone Library. 

“There is never one perspective in art,” says Ee. “By interchanging thoughts and ideas through art creation and exchange, children’s perspectives will expand, which might lead them to new territory in life. 

“The young mind can sometimes be very fragile, there might be thoughts and emotions they are not able to explain or communicate. Art can be a safe space for them to express and ventilate their fears and insecurities.”

As for Ee’s own inspirations, she cites impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir as her favourite artist. 

“Renoir once said, ‘Why shouldn’t art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world’,” Ee recalls. “Unlike most impressionists, who focus on techniques or statement, Renoir focused on the people and places he loves. I am constantly inspired by his love of life, and we should all try to use our very limited time in planet earth to do the things that we love and matter to us.”

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Find out more about The Kindness Studio and book your tickets at thekindnessstudio.org