autograph, london

Common Threads

23 Jun – 14 Aug 2021

Past Exhibition


Rivington Place
London EC3A 3BA, UK

Past Exhibition

This exhibition is now closed. To see our current exhibitions, click here


Based in Hackney, Submit to Love Studios is home to a group of artists working collectively in an open studio environment.  All of the artists have survived brain injuries – some use this to inform their work, while others take inspiration from the world around them. They have developed a set of unique practices and interests, refined over more than a decade.

This exhibition featured new work by 25 Studio artists, using Autograph’s collection of photography as inspiration for textile works. Photographs charting the contribution of diverse cultures to Britain over two centuries were reimagined by the Studio as elaborate embroideries, appliqué and fabric prints. The artists used the collection as inspiration for self-portraiture, reflecting on personal histories.

Inspired by the collective’s lived experience of brain injury, Common Threads explored ideas of heritage, talent and otherness – and the many ways underrepresented stories can be told. In keeping with the Studio’s collective ethos, a number of these works were created collaboratively. For many of the artists this is the first use of textile and embroidery in their practice.

Works were shown by Studio artists Tony Allen, Tony Brooks, Dolores Crump, Affiong Day, Errol Drysdal, Keith Emmanuel, Jason Ferry, Ken Hazeldine, Calvin Hill, Mike Hoyle, Sam Jevon, Sandra Lott, Theresa Malcolm, Billy Mann, Marcus Mann, Yoki Mekuria, Tirzah Mileham, Chris Miller, Brian Searle, Alex Sherlock, Trevor Small, Evaldas Sorocinskis, Diana Takyi, Mark Taylor and Cecil Waldron.

Submit to Love Studios’ work appeared alongside a selection of portraits of the artists by photographer Leon Foggitt, and a short film by Posy Dixon. 


Tirzah Mileham, The Sitter, 2020.


Tirzah Mileham by Leon Foggitt, 2020


Yoki, Self-portrait, 2020


Brian Searle, Unidentified Sitter, 2020


Dolores Crump and Andrea Thorpe, Friends, 2020

Cecil Waldron by Leon Foggitt, 2020


Submit to Love Studios collaboration, The Couple, 2020

Submit to Love Studios members visiting the exhibition

Living One, 2020

watch an introduction

About the collective


Submit to Love Studios

Submit To Love Studios 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 four years exchanging images and ideas, and thinking about how the cultural sector can be more accessible to artists with disabilities and community studios.

The works the Studio artists have created for Common Threads were inspired by images in Autograph’s collection of photography, shared with the Studio over a series of workshops in 2019. The collective works collaboratively in an open studio environment, and spent more than six months creating the artworks for the exhibition.

Exhibition EVENT

Collaboration and Supported Approaches to Art Making

5 Aug 2021
Free online event

Submit to Love Studios artists discuss the Common Threads exhibition at Autograph, their own creative practices and collaborative making.

Read more


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!


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.

special thanks

Autograph would like to acknowledge the generous support of this exhibition from the family of Peter Clack, a former trustee of Autograph.

supported by

Banner image: Yoki, Self Portrait [detail], 2020. Courtesy Submit to Love Studios / Headway East London.

Exhibition preview images from left to right: 2, 4 - 7 and 10) Courtesy Submit to Love Studios / Headway East London. 8) Submit to Love Studios members visiting the exhibition. Courtesy Submit to Love Studios / Headway East London. 3 and 9) Courtesy Submit to Love Studios / Headway East London / Leon Foggitt.

Other images on page: 11 - 12) Submit to Love Studios artist working on a textile work for the Common Threads exhibition. Courtesy Submit to Love Studios / Headway East London. 13) Submit to Love Studios collaboration, Champion, 2020. Courtesy Submit to Love Studios / Headway East London. 14) Sharif Persaud, Untitled, 2017. Courtesy of Project Art Works © Sharif Persaud 15) Sharif Persaud, Did You Hear?, 2017. Courtesy of Project Art Works. © Sharif Persaud 16) Yoki Mekuria by Leon Foggitt [detail], 2020. Courtesy Submit to Love Studios / Headway East London / Leon Foggitt. 17) Film still from Posy Dixon's film Chaos/Quest. 18) Common Threads at Autograph [still], filmed and edited by Remi Stewart, 2021.