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Neurodiversity and Collective Approaches to Art Making

POSTED: 07 September 2021

Watch back two of our online events, considering the ways in which collaboration and collective ways of making art can develop a more inclusive creative sector for all


How can collective approaches to making support artistic practices? How can we work as artists of all different neurotypes and ensure support for all?

In August, Autograph hosted two events to coincide with our exhibitions: Sharif Persaud's Have You Ever Had and Common Threads - a display of works by artists from Headway East London's Submit to Love Studios. Central to each of these exhibitions were the artists' lived experiences of neurodiversity, specifically autism and brain injury, and the supported and collaborative approach the artists took to art making. Across the two events, speakers and artists associated with Project Art Works, ActionSpace and Submit To Love Studios discussed the ways in which collaboration and collective ways of making art can help develop a more inclusive creative sector for all.

"Collaborating allows us to consider what any artist might need to support their practice, and how we can level up when we need something different from the currently assumed norm"
— Sonia Boué

We've now made these events available to watch back below. Collective and Interdependent Approaches to Art Making features contributions from filmmaker and creative director at Project Art Works Tim Corrigan, and artists Sonia Boué, Thompson Hall and Anna Farley. The recording has BSL interpretation provided by Rebekah Spencer and Omoyele Thomas.* Collaboration and Supported Approaches to Art Making features contributions from artists Yoki Mekuria and Chris Miller, and support from Michelle Carlile, Art Studio Manager at Submit To Love Studios.

WATCH the events


Sonia Boué

is a multiform neurodivergent artist, writer and a leading consultant for neurodiversity in the arts.

Visit Sonia's website and follow her on Twitter.

Michelle Carlile

is an artist and Art Studio Manager at Submit to Love Studios.

Tim Corrigan

is an artist filmmaker and Creative Director at Project Art Works.

Ali Eisa

is an artist, educator and Autograph's Learning and Participation Manager.

Anna Farley

is an autistic artist who makes work exploring her autism, UK disability culture and inclusion.

Find out more about Anna's Autography project here.

Thompson Hall

is an artist whose work explores politics, social change and marginalisation.

Find out more about Thompson's work via ActionSpace's website.

Yoki Mekuria

is a member of Headway East London an an artist with Submit to Love Studios.

Chris Miller

is a retired teacher, a Masters student, and an artist at Submit to Love Studios.

Find out more about Chris's work via Submit To Love Studios's website.



Established in the 1960s, ActionSpace is London’s leading development agency advocating for diversity within the contemporary visual arts sector by supporting neurodivergent artists to develop their artistic practice, sell and exhibit work, amongst other creative projects.
Find out more.

AS Mentoring

Offering specialist mentoring and employment support for adults with Autism Spectrum Conditions and other neurodiverse conditions.
Find out more.


Between 2017 and 2020, Project Art Works led EXPLORERS, a programme of art and conversation. Working in partnership with leading cultural organisations (including Autograph), the programme was informed and led by neurodiverse communities, placing them at the heart of social, civic and cultural activity.
Find out more.

NUNO Project

The NUNO project sought to bring together two artist networks on a level playing field, through an ambitious group show and event programme. One group identified as autistic, the other group did not. Created by artist and arts organiser Sonia Boué the project explored autistic leadership.
Find out more.


Photoworks champions photography for everyone and have provided opportunities for artists and audiences since 1995. In 2019 Photoworks and Project Art Works commissioned artist Anna Farley to make a new work for a solo exhibition as part of the EXPLORERS project.
Visit Photoworks' website.
Find out more about Anna Farley's project.

Project Art Works

Project Art Works collaborates with people who have complex support needs, their families and circles of support. Working at the intersections of art and care, PAW deliver a range of projects and partnerships. Their work embraces studio practice, peer support, film, art actions, installations and exhibitions.
Find out more.

Submit To Love Studios

Submit to Love Studios is home to a group of artists working collectively in an open studio environment and helping to bring out the best in each other. All artists are members of Headway East London in Hackney — a local charity supporting brain injury survivors, their families and carers.
Find out more about Submit to Love Studios, and Headway.


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*Please note, the BSL interpretation was provided live on the 12/08/21. At the time, the context of the sign language used was correct. It is an interpretation of the event and not a translation.

Banner image: © and courtesy of Submit to Love Studios / Headway East London. 
Speaker images: © and courtesy of the artists.

Discover more images: 1) The Mask [still], 2017. 3 mins 46 seconds © Sharif Persaud and courtesy of Project Art Works. 2) Untitled [detail], 2017. Acrylic, ink on paper, 228 x 151 cm © Sharif Persaud and courtesy of Project Art Works. 3) Black Lives Matter Protest, Parliament Square, Saturday 6th June 2020, courtesy Ali Eisa.