Collaboration and Supported Approaches to Art Making

Thu 5 Aug 2021 6.30 – 8pm (BST)


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This event will take place online using Zoom



Please book a free ticket in advance



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Submit to Love Studios is home to a group of artists living with a brain injury. They work collectively in an open studio environment in Hackney, where they have developed a set of unique practices and interests, refined over more than a decade.

For our current exhibition Common Threads, 23 artists from the Studio embarked on a six-month long process to create portraits using embroidery, sewing and appliqué. As survivors of brain injuries, making the work was at times physically challenging, and the studio artists and assistants became an important community of support for one another. Inspired by photographs in Autograph's collection and their own personal archives and histories, the Studio produced artworks that explore ideas of heritage, talent and otherness – and the many ways underrepresented stories can be told.

At this online event you'll hear from Studio artists Yoki Mekuria and Chris Miller, who will discuss the exhibition, their own creative practices and collaborative making.



Ali Eisa

is Autograph's Learning & Participation Manager. He is an artist and educator with passion for doing creative work with young people and getting their voices heard on the big social issues we face.



Yoki Mekuria

was a teenager when she sustained her brain injury as the result of an infection. Since attending Headway East London she has been involved in a number of projects including cooking, poetry, and art at Submit to Love. She has previously spoken at both the Wellcome Collection and the Science Museum about the emotional challenges of being a young adult with a brain injury, and art’s capacity for identity building. In recent years, Yoki has returned to education and is currently enrolled in a college course.


Chris Miller

is a retired teacher who became a member of Headway East London after a stroke eight years ago. Through the charity’s art studio Submit to Love, he began producing artwork exploring his new self and how it is viewed, and has developed an interest in the art produced by disabled and neurodivergent people. He has talked about his experiences & artistic practices at the Tate Modern, Turner Contemporary and Royal Academy and is currently undertaking a Masters related to art, health and disability.



Michelle Carlile

is a London-based artist who has been honing her skills in mosaics, sculpture and painting since 2001. Originally from South Africa, she started running a small art practice with Headway East London, blending her love of people and art. Over the last 20 years Michelle has supported brain injury survivors to discover through art; finding new meaning, identity and joy. From one small table to a large railway arch, at Submit to Love Studios now leads a creative program working with 50 artists each week. Michelle is a stirring motivator and has an infectious energy that makes anyone believe that they can be an artist.


This event is free and will take place online only. Here’s how to join us:

1) Book a ticket on Eventbrite. If you would like to make a donation to support Autograph’s arts and learning programmes, you can do this when you purchase your ticket. If you have any accessibility needs you would like us to be aware of, you can tell us on the booking form.

2) We'll send you an email confirmation of your booking.

3) This online event will be hosted on Zoom. For the best experience, we recommend using the Zoom app on your computer. You can download the free software here. Or, you can access the event through your web browser without a download.

4) On the day of the event, we’ll send you a welcome email with a link to the event. You will be able to join for the start of the event at 6:30pm (BST).

If you have any questions, we’re here to help! Please get in touch.


Can you spare a few moments? Autograph is carrying out a survey to better understand who our digital audiences are. The survey should take no longer than five minutes to complete. Anything you tell us will be kept confidential, is anonymous and will only be used for research purposes.

The information you provide will be held by Autograph and The Audience Agency, who are running the survey on our behalf. In compliance with GDPR, your data will be stored securely and will only be used for the purposes it was given.

You can take the survey here. Thank you!

supported by

Banner image: Submit to Love Studios artist working on a textile work for the Common Threads exhibition. Courtesy Submit to Love Studios / Headway East London.

Page images from top, left to right: 1) Submit to Love Studios collaboration, The Couple, 2020. Courtesy Submit to Love Studios / Headway East London 2) Submit to Love Studios collaboration, The Little Prince, 2020. Courtesy Submit to Love Studios / Headway East London 3) Ali Eisa 4) Yoki Mekuria 5) Chris Miller 6) Michelle Carlile 7) Brian Searle, Unidentified Sitter [detail], 2020. Courtesy Submit to Love Studios / Headway East London 8) Affiong Day by Leon Foggitt [detail], 2020. Courtesy Submit to Love Studios / Headway East London / Leon Foggitt 9) Dolores Crump and Andrea Thorpe, Friends [detail], 2020. Courtesy Submit to Love Studios / Headway East London 10) Film still from Chaos/Quest by Posy Dixon 11) Sharif Persaud, Untitled, 2017. Courtesy of Project Art Works © Sharif Persaud