Waterloo Festival thrives on creative partnerships, on bringing professionals from the world of arts and music to collaborate with and showcase their wonderful work to our communities in Waterloo, Lambeth and - thanks to the marvels of the internet - elsewhere. We hear more from Hart Club, a local organisation championing neurodiversity in the Arts
At Hart Club, we work with a variety of different organisations and charities that host what we call supported studios. These are creatively nourishing environments where people with disabilities are able to access resources and specialised support to fulfil their unique expressive potential.
Headway East London's art studio Submit To Love
One of the most dynamic studios we work with is called Submit To Love which is part of Headway East London, a charity that supports brain injury survivors. The studio is home to a collective of mainly self-taught artists with some members having been in attendance for over a decade.
One of Hart Club’s highlights of last year was hosting the debut solo show of an artist called Paul Wright titled Carry on Del Boy. This vibrant exhibition was a homage to the very best in nostalgic popular culture, featuring iconic English characters such as Peggy Mitchell, Captain Mainwaring and the Only Fool’s and Horses entourage.
Paul's paintings hanging in the Submit To Love art studios
Paul experienced a traumatic brain injury in 2007, which left him with long-term disabilities affecting his short-term memory, movement and communication. After nearly a decade of attending Headway East London, Paul’s passing interest in art was transformed in 2018 when the charity’s studio introduced him to Artist-In-Residence, Stephen Wright.
Paul and Steven at the Submit To Love art studios and at the House of Dreams Museum.
Stephen is an artist living and working in London, best known for his life’s project The House of Dreams Museum - an eclectic installation of memories, sculptures and mosaics that envelopes the entirety of the ground floor of Stephen’s home and garden in East Dulwich. Stephen’s dedicated attention and encouragement enabled Paul’s artistic confidence to flourish. What followed was a collaborative partnership exploring colour, scale, character and pattern which developed into Paul’s personal direction emerging.
Paul Wrights's celebrity portraits
Slideshow of Paul's exhibition at Hart Club
Submit To Love’s ability to foster and facilitate creative collaboration - as shown in the outcome of this exhibition - provides fertile ground for ambitious realisation of artistic expression. The studio is run by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, each immensely creative in their own right, who are consistently expanding the possibilities of the practice and profile of their members.
Amongst all the current challenges a creative collaboration has emerged between members who’ve teamed up with established artists as part of their Home Not Alone fundraiser appeal. These beautiful t-shirts are available to buy via Print Social with all funds going towards the charities newly adapted offer at this time of lockdown.
Print Social t-shirt collaboration between Sandra Lott & Lizzie King
The recent pandemic has meant that the day centre, which hosts over 200 members, has been suspended with an uncertain timeline for reopening. In spite of this challenge and a loss of income of nearly £75k, the team has quickly adapted, providing personalised activity packs for members, as well as crisis intervention, daily welfare calls, physical and mental health support, one-to-one remote counselling and emergency deliveries of essentials.
If you are in a position to do so please do consider donating at this time: www.justgiving.com/campaign/homenotalone