‘Common Threads’ at Autograph, London

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

This exhibition features new work by 23 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 have been reimagined by the Studio as elaborate embroideries, appliqué and fabric prints. The artists have also used the collection as inspiration for self-portraiture, reflecting on personal histories.

Inspired by the collective’s lived experience of brain injury, ‘Common Threads’ explores 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 have been created collaboratively. For many of the artists, this is the first use of textile and embroidery in their practice.

You’ll see works 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 appears alongside a selection of portraits of the artists by photographer Leon Foggitt, and a short film by Posy Dixon.

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 work collaboratively in an open studio environment, and spent more than six months creating the artworks for the exhibition.

The exhibition is curated by Michelle Carlile, Ali Eisa and Lusy Keany. It will be on view at Autograph from the 23rd of June until the 14th of August 2021.