Sharif Persaud is an artist based in Hastings. In his drawings, paintings and (award-winning) film, he explores identity through his experience of contemporary life and autism – placing himself at the centre of his work. We had proudly opened his first solo exhibition at Autograph’s gallery in London, when only a few weeks later we closed due to Covid-19.
Sharif’s practice as an artist has been developed in collaboration with Project Art Works (PAW), an artist led organisation working with children, young people and adults who have complex support needs. Sharif creates his work in the studio there, and is a key contributor. Like many artists, Covid-19 has disrupted not only Sharif’s exhibitions, but his practice when the studio closed in March.
Responding to the needs of neurodivergent artists, collaborators, families and caregivers during this time, PAW launched Studio B – a new programme of in-depth collaborations while their studio remains closed.
As part of this, PAW staff Tim Corrigan and Tom Lepora met with Sharif each Thursday, creating a bi-weekly video diary of their time together in and around Hastings. The outings were initially conceived to support one individual, but quickly became a crucial part of lockdown life for all three, providing a link to the outside world, exercise, connection and weekly routines. Set against the backdrop of Covid-19, the diary reveals moments of connection and humour while offering a unique insight into the impact of lockdown on neuro-minorities.
Watch the films below (they will auto play in order), or at PAW's Youtube Channel.
Project Art Works does incredible work. Please consider making a donation to support them during Covid-19.
Autograph is a place to see things differently. Since 1988, we have championed photography that explores issues of race, identity, representation, human rights and social justice, sharing how photographs reflect lived experiences and shape our understanding of ourselves and others.Donate Join our mailing list