Coming directly from Autograph, London, Sharif Persaud: Have you Ever Had is the culmination of EXPLORERS; a three year, UK-wide project celebrating the extraordinary contributions neurodiverse people make to art and culture, led by Turner Prize nominees Project Art Works
Persaud has been part of Project Art Works since 2014 when he was part of a programme called Creative Interventions. This solo exhibition features drawing, large paintings and the award winning short film The Mask, filmed backstage at the De La Warr Pavilion with Al Murray, in 2017
The De La Warr Pavilion’s relationship with Project Art Works began in 1997 with an exhibition of work created from residences in local schools under the title Art Works. Subsequent exhibitions have been Kate Adams The Not Knowing Of Another (2008), Project Art Works: In The Realm of Others (2015) and Mikhail Karikis: I Hear You (2019). The Pavilion has regularly collaborated in studios, workshops and visits by the Collective.
Sharif Persaud (b. 1993) is an artist based in Hastings. His practice has been developed in collaboration with Project Art Works, where he has been a key contributor. He wrote and directed The Mask (2017) an Ignition Random Acts Network Centre Commissioned film. The Mask won Best Story at the Oska Bright Film Festival in 2017, and has been shown at screenings across the world including FilmBath UK, the Other Film Festival in Melbourne, Electric Palace in Hastings, and the Discover Film Awards festival in London. It has also featured in a British Film Institute Collection Disabled Britain on Film.
His work has featured in group exhibitions including In The Realm of Others (2015) at De La Warr Pavilion and Putting Ourselves in the Picture (2019) at Fabrica.
Placing himself at the centre of his work, Persaud explores identity through his experience of contemporary life and autism. He is profoundly interested in his body in society as a site of investigation: sneezing, healthcare, hospitals, gangrene, cities, flats, benefits and his independence. Persaud questions his audience about their experiences and body – have you ever had? His work is a direct engagement concerning his, and our, health and care.
Project Art Works is a collective working at the intersection of art and care to create the conditions where people with complex support needs can work independently and collaboratively to produce paintings, drawings, sculptural objects and film.
The collective is made up of 40 neurodivergent artists, as well as artists, activists, families and carers, who work together in their Hastings studio to develop long-term supportive and creative relationships.
Their practice spans art, support and activism.
Themes of human connection and what it reveals about identity and how we view each other is explored in their work.
Support is holistic and includes training, resources, advocacy, exhibitions and events that seek to protect the rights of people with complex support needs.
Together this approach seeks to challenge paradigms of inclusion in art; responding to the functional and ethical structures of diligence and care; and respecting self- determination and privacy whilst working towards greater visibility, understanding and appreciation of neurodiversity in culture.
Autograph is a place to see things differently. Since 1988, we have championed photography that explores issues of race, identity, representation, human rights and social justice, sharing how photographs reflect lived experiences and shape our understanding of ourselves and others. Autograph’s gallery is located at Rivington Place in Hackney, London. Our iconic building was designed by Sir David Adjaye and is England’s first permanent public space dedicated to diversity in the visual arts.
The EXPLORERS Project is informed and led by neurodiverse communities, in collaboration with cultural organisations across the UK and in Australia including Autograph, Tate Liverpool, MK Gallery, De La Warr Pavilion, Fabrica, Photoworks and the National Institute for Experimental Arts UNSW.
Over three years, the Project has resulted in a ground-breaking series of exhibitions, notably Illuminating the Wilderness at MK Gallery, Tate Liverpool and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; In Focus by Photoworks at Phoenix Gallery and I Hear You by Mikhail Karikis at the De La Warr Pavilion all in 2019.
The EXPLORERS Project is supported by the Arts Council Ambition for Excellence Programme and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
In November 2021 Project Art Works launch EXPLORERS 2, a two year programme with partners from neurodiverse artists and studios and cultural institutions with a series of events and exhibitions across the UK. The EXPLORERS Project is supported by Arts Council England.
There are plenty of welcoming and good value B&Bs & boutique hotels in Bexhill. The De La Warr Pavilion regularly uses the following :
- By Rail
Direct trains go from London Victoria, Brighton and Ashford to Bexhill.
There are also trains from London Charing Cross, changing at St. Leonards Warrior Square and from London Bridge or Charing Cross going to Battle. Battle is only a short taxi journey away (15 mins approx).
Visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for up-to-date train travel information.
Town Taxis: 01424 211 511
Parkhurst Taxis: 01424 733 456
- By Car
If driving from the London area:
Take the M25, then A21 to Hastings. Turn off at John‘s Cross and follow the signs to Bexhill.
Take the A22 to Eastbourne, go across the Bishop roundabout to the A271 and follow the signs to Bexhill and the seafront. The De La Warr Pavilion is on the Marina.
From the Brighton area:
Follow the A27 out of Brighton until you arrive in Bexhill On Sea.
Please be aware the Rother District car park outside the De La Warr Pavilion operates paid parking until 8pm. After this time parking is free. There is also lmiited free car parking along the seafront.
Within the limits of this Grade One listed building, the De La Warr Pavilion strives to be fully accessible with a range of facilities to support your visit.
Assistance Dogs are permitted into the building.
Please contact the Box Office on 01424 229 111 to arrange a visit.
Facilities for disabled visitors
- Ramped access at the front of the building
- A low counter at the Box Office and Information Desk
- Disabled toilets on two floors
- A lift to all floors
- Accessible galleries on both floors
- An accessible Café
- Spaces for wheelchairs in the auditorium for seated events
- Ramped access in the auditorium for events during the day
- Ramped access into the Studio
- Two travel wheelchairs are available for use at the De La Warr Pavilion. To reserve, please call our box office and information desk on (01424) 229111 or ask a member of staff on arrival. The chairs are provided on a first come, first served basis and are intended for use inside the Pavilion. Please contact us for more information.
Facilities for blind or visually-impaired
- Large print season brochures
Facilities for the hard-of-hearing
- An T-Switch induction loop in some areas of the auditorium (please indicate when booking as this facility is not available on the balcony)
- British Sign Language interpretation tours of the building and exhibitions are available on request.