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Common Threads

POSTED: 26 May 2020

Textile works exploring the many ways underrepresented stories can be told

Unidentified Sitter by Brian Searle, 2020
 Face the World, 2020. Submit To Love Studios collaboration. Courtesy Submit To Love Studios / Headway East London.
Submit to Love Studios is a unique collective of self-taught artists based in Hackney - all of whom have survived brain injuries. Some use this to inform their work, while others take inspiration from the world around them.

Their studio is just down the road from Autograph at Headway East London, a local charity supporting people affected by brain injury. We’ve been working with them for two years exchanging images and ideas, and thinking about how the cultural sector can be more accessible to artists with disabilities and community studios. Over that time, we’ve become friends.

Our latest project with the Studio was going to be a pop-up exhibition Common Threads at Autograph’s gallery. Like all of our summer exhibitions, it’s been postponed due to Covid-19. When the pandemic hit, the Studio carried on despite the challenges of lockdown, working online and – as always – collaboratively to keep making art. They also found time to work with Autograph to bring the experience of Common Threads online.

We say experience, because that’s what a project with Submit to Love Studios is. It’s never just an exhibition or just an event. It’s a community that brings a decade’s worth of insight and creative practice with them to gallery spaces – a take-over, in the most generous way possible. We’re proud to give them a platform at Autograph.

To kick things off, scroll down to see some of the art created for Common Threads. These works were inspired by images in Autograph’s collection, shared with the Studio over a series of workshops. It was the first time the Studio used textiles, and the results are stunning: our photographs charting the contribution of diverse cultures to Britain over two centuries have been reimagined as elaborate embroideries, appliqué and fabric prints.

Drawing from the collective’s lived experience of brain injury, the work in Common Threads explores ideas of heritage, talent and otherness - and the many ways underrepresented stories can be told.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing art, videos, writing, photographs and more from Common Threads. Join our newsletter and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook (or even LinkedIn) to keep up to date.

Headway East London looks to lose more than £75,000 before September as a result of Covid-19. You can help them continue their work supporting brain injury survivors by making a donation.





Submit to Love Studios artist Sam Jevon created her textile work 'In Charge' for Common Threads. She was inspired by Yinka Shonibare’s self-portrait Effnik, commissioned by Autograph in 1996. Sam says “Art has played a big part in my positivity, people always say how good my drawings are and that makes me feel very good about myself...It was nice to do something different. I can use both of my hands, and I enjoyed trying to work out different patterns. It was nice to work with different materials and colours too, which I don’t normally do.”






'Living One' was created collaboratively between Studio artists Trevor Small and Tirzah Mileham. They were inspired by James Barnor’s photograph Eva, taken in London in the 1960s and represented in Autograph’s collection of photography.






The Studio collaborated on 'Champion', inspired by a Victorian photograph of Peter Jackson taken by the London Stereoscopic Company in 1889. The original image, courtesy of Hulton Archive, a division of Getty images, is part of Autograph’s Exhibition in a Box The Missing Chapter: Black Chronicles.

“I chose it because it reminds me of my past. The photo was taken in the 1870s but I updated it to the 1970s because that’s when I grew up, so I was juxtaposing it to mesh with my experience. The hairstyles, the clothing, the patterns, it’s all nostalgic.”

- Studio artist Brian Searle








MORE FROM COMMON THREADS

"Did You Hear?" Watch and listen to Zara Joan Millers shares her thoughts on Sharif Persaud.

In these times of Coronavirus crisis, ordinary words have a meaning that they did not have just a few weeks ago. Chris Miller reviews Sharif Persaud

FIND OUT MORE

Long read: A Journey Into the Radical Art of Brain Injury Survivors

Submit To Love Studios is on Instagram, and they have a great website too

Common Threads is part of the UK-wide EXPLORERS Project, informed and led by neurodiverse communities, placing them at the heart of social, civic and cultural activity.

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Acknowledgements

Part of the EXPLORERS project, delivered by Project Art Works, a three-year programme of art and conversation working with 12 national art organisations. The EXPLORERS programme is informed and led by neurodiverse communities, placing them at the heart of social, civic and cultural activity. Based in Hastings, Project Art Works is the UK’s leading artist led organisation working with children, young people and adults who have complex support needs.

Common threads is supported by

Supported using public funding by Arts Council Englane
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England
Project Art Works
Explorers Project
Also supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation
Also supported by Esmee Fairbairn


Headway East London
Project Art Works



Banner image: Detail from Brian Searle, Unidentified Sitter, 2020. Courtesy Submit To Love Studios / Headway East London. 

Page images, from top left: 1) Face the World, 2020. Submit To Love Studios collaboration. Courtesy Submit To Love Studios / Headway East London. 2) Sam Jevon, In Charge, 2020. Courtesy Submit To Love Studios / Headway East London. 3) Yinka Shonibare, Effnik, 1997. Commissioned by Autograph.
4) Living One, 2020. Submit to Love Studios collaboration with Trevor Small and Tirzah Mileham. Courtesy Submit To Love Studios / Headway East London. 5) James Barnor, Eva, 1960s. Courtesy Autograph, London. 6) Champion, 2020. Submit To Love Studios collaboration. Courtesy Submit To Love Studios / Headway East London. 7) Peter Jackson. London, 1889. By the London Stereoscopic Company. © Hulton Archive/Getty Images. Courtesy of Hulton Archive, and Autograph, London. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. 8) Brian Searle, Unidentified Sitter, 2020. Courtesy Submit To Love Studios / Headway East London. 9) Trevor Small, The Noble Player, 2020. Courtesy Submit To Love Studios / Headway East London 2020. 10) The Little Prince, 2020. Submit To Love Studios collaboration. Courtesy Submit To Love Studios / Headway East London.