Headway Meets: Artist in Residence Rachel

This Summer, we welcomed Rachel Goldie, the second of our Artists In Residence to the art studio. These placements allow our members to collaborate with other artists and explore new mediums, materials and forms - this time we looked at textiles. We caught up with Rachel to ask her about the experience....

How did you become involved with Headway East London?

I came across the Artist in Residence opportunity while doing contextual research for my MA project. I was immediately excited by the work at Submit to Love Studio and really keen to get involved with the work of the artists at Headway East London.

Tell us a little bit about your background as an artist and maker. 

My background is within textile design. During my MA my work developed away from traditional, commercial applications for textiles and in my final year I pursued my interest in social inclusion and steered my work towards this area hoping to find new expressions for and understanding of the role of materials in our lives. My personal design philosophy is to use my practice as a tool to promote empathy and facilitate expressions of identity which I hope I have managed to do during my time at Submit to Love.

Talk us through the process of making these beautiful scarves!

I worked individually with 9 of the artists at Headway. With each individual it was important to learn about their own artwork, their methods and their aesthetic preferences. I shared some of my textile skills with the artists, we tried traditional methods of screen printing - setting up our own table in the studio -  and edited our designs digitally. The design process took a really different route with each of the members I worked with. For some we worked with pre-existing artwork and manipulated the placement and repeat to work as a scarf design. For others we worked together drawings and creating textures so that there were two handwritings incorporated into the design. I think the varying approaches to design worked as each scarf is completely unique.

How did you find working with the Members? 

I loved working with the members. The cognitive, physical and sensory abilities of each of the artists I have been working with has varied greatly and each individual has their own unique way of expressing themselves. This encouraged me to be adaptable and I learned a lot in my short time at the studio about how brain injury can affect people in different ways.

Do you think this experience will inform your future work?

Absolutely. The Artist in Residence role has been about connecting with the community of the studio as well as the individuals I have been working with. I hope in future projects to combine the sense of individual and collective identities.

Did you enjoy your residency at Headway East London?

I feel very fortunate to have been able to work with such a exciting collective of artists and very privileged that some of the members shared their own stories with me  - some of which we were able to explore in our collaboration. The atmosphere in the studio is one of warmth, positivity, creativity and most of all community. I very much enjoyed being a part of this.

You can see more of Rachel's work with our members on Instagram @madebyus.design