Skip to main content

Celebrating Headway East London's exhibition and the role creative arts can play in recovery following a brain injury

A group of us from the Serious Injury London team attended the incredibly inspiring, Headway East London art exhibition in celebration of its 25th anniversary this year.

The exhibition was held at the Barbican Centre and beautifully showcased the work created and curated by the talented members of the brain injury charity, Headway East London. 

About Headway East London

Headway East London is a charity based in Hackney that supports more than 700 people affected by brain injury annually across 13 boroughs, and has grown into an empowering, creative community for brain injury survivors.

More than 120 works on show

The exhibition is thought to be the largest ever created by people with a brain injury, displaying 124 works by more than 70 artists. Not only did the members have a hand in creating the art work, they also played a part in setting the vision and direction of the exhibition, actively contributing as artists and decision makers.

The perfectly titled ‘Differently Various’ exhibition included myriad of art pieces from sculptures to paintings and embroidered tapestries, allowing the artists to convey their emotions, personal journeys and perspectives as brain injury survivors. 

Supporting those with a brain injury through their recovery

As lawyers helping those who suffer a brain injury access specialist rehabilitation, we're used to looking at the impact of brain injury through medical records and expert reports. However, the event really highlighted the resilience and strength that the artists possess, transforming their adversity into artistry, illustrating how creative arts can play a crucial role in someone's recovery.

Each piece offered a glimpse into the artists' journey of recovery and self-discovery post-injury. One particular artist summarised their journey perfectly. They likened brain injury survivors to pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. ‘We fit and we don’t fit and we fit. We definitely fit in Headway’. 

This sentence in itself highlights the importance of the charity and the incredible community it's created for those who have suffered a brain injury.

As you wander from piece to piece you go through a rollercoaster of emotions from joy to sorrow. Witnessing the journey of these artists was deeply moving and a reminder that creativity has no bounds.

The exhibition not only raises awareness about brain injuries but also challenges pre-conceived notions about what defines art and who gets to be an artist. 

Exhibition a humbling experience

Attending an exhibition curated and created by artists with brain injuries was a humbling and inspiring experience. The exhibition is a testament to these talented artists who refused to let their brain injuries define their abilities.  

You can find more of their beautiful artwork on their website.

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in supporting people and families affected by a brain injury at our dedicated brain injury claims section.