We initiate a small number of strategic projects every three years. These test the ways in which art and photography can be used theoretically and practically to investigate identity, representation, social justice and human rights. Through these longer-term collaborations, we bring together artists, communities and organisations to explore ways of creating positive change and to provide examples of how to influence and inform thinking and practice in a variety of cultural and social settings.


Often our projects are carried out over a period of months or years, as we believe that this is how we create the most benefit to the people we work with.

During this time, we work collaboratively to build the relationships, meaningful experiences and personalised opportunities that can have a positive impact on the lives of participants and audiences.

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Recently we have collaborated with a variety of communities facing significant challenges such as: people with complex needs, newly arrived unaccompanied asylum seekers/refugees and young people at risk; alongside a wide variety of partners including: NGO’s and rights-focused organisations, adult social care services plus other arts organisations.


Project art works: explorers

2018 - 2020

Explorers: Illuminating the Wilderness is a three year programme of awareness raising and encounter workshops, happenings, productions, commissions, exhibitions and seminars in collaboration with people who have complex needs and those who support them.

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Taking place against a backdrop of increased hardship and intolerance towards disabled people, the aim is to develop positive relationships between cultural organisations and the social care sector and to reposition people who have complex needs at the forefront of mainstream culture.

Led by Project Art Works this activity programme will take place at partner galleries across the country including Autograph, Fabrica, De La Warr Pavilion, MK Gallery, National Institute for Experimental Arts UNSW, Photoworks and Tate Liverpool.

Project Art Works is an artist-led organisation that makes and promotes art as a means of connection with and for people with complex needs. They collaborate with neurodiverse communities, galleries, health and social care agencies to promote inclusion in civic and cultural life.

EXPLORERS is funded by the Arts Council England Ambition for Excellence.
explorersproject.org projectartworks.org


May 2016 - July 2017

Canvas(s) explored access to cultural spaces with young people from refugee backgrounds. Funded by a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Explore and Test grant and managed by Autograph, the project was formed around a diverse consortium of arts and migrants’ rights organisations.

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Canvas(s) set out to explore the following question: ‘Could a partnership of small organisations and independent practitioners, sharing a common concern with upholding and defending human rights, develop new insights and methods to improve access for young people from refugee backgrounds at a large cultural institution?’

Project partners included arts organisations and NGO’s, chosen for their varied experience in rights-focused approaches to creative programming, arts participation and advocacy or campaigning initiatives. Each organisation has a long and successful history in developing and providing accessible opportunities to marginalised or under-represented communities.


2014 - 2016

Autograph’s popular Art Activism Schools bring together writers, artists and activists to examine how issues of social justice and human rights can relate to an art practice.

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Over three days, practitioners explore the work of artist activists while discovering practical approaches to developing a political arts practice.

The Art Activism School is co-developed between Lucy Keany (Autograph) and Will Essilfie (Academic), and first took place at Autograph in 2014.


2014 - ongoing

A partnership between Autograph and University of the Arts London, Album is a creative photography project inspired by notions of the family album with its intimate and revealing portraits.

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Devised as an extra-curricular course, Album offers young people from sixth form and further education colleges the opportunity to explore their own creativity and understanding of photography.