differently various

Celebrating the community and creativity of people living with brain injury, this multifaceted exhibition and public programme asks: ‘who gets to be an artist?’.

Curated by members of the brain injury charity Headway East London*, ‘differently various’ forms an immersive space for sharing perspectives of and open conversations about brain injury – the culmination of a 5 year dialogue between the Barbican and Headway East London.

Running through the Curve gallery at the Barbican, the exhibition is a riot of colour and form. Jumping between large-scale sculptures to intricate sewing compositions and abstract ceramics. Showcasing a variety of diverse art created at the charity’s on-site studio, Submit to Love.




29 July – 6 August 2023


Art et al., Headway East London


Pup Architects




Ed Park

Bold graphic interventions define each of the four sections through the use of colour and painted environmental shapes that break across the room from wall to floor.

Typography is boosted to become as legible as possible, aiming to be fully inclusive for all visitors. We ran extensive testing with members of Headway East London to ensure that the type choice and sizing worked for as many people as possible, taking into account line length, paragraph word extent, contrast, and distances between the interpretation and other environmental elements within the exhibition.

A printed gallery guide accompanied the exhibition, introducing each of the arts programmes run by Headway East London, and providing information about the charity. This further evolved for four touring exhibitions, based on the exhibition at the Barbican.

* Headway East London is a charity based in Hackney which supports over 700 people living with brain injury across 13 London Boroughs each year. In the UK alone, brain injury is the leading cause of death for people aged between 1–40, and over 1.3 million people are currently living with its effects.