We’re excited to announce our latest collaboration with Will Redgrove: Illustrator, muralist, painter and youth worker making amazing things happen in community projects.

Growing up in the vibrant, multicultural community of Hackney, East London, Will developed his passion for cultural histories, intricate identities, and interlacing relationships. After going to university in Bristol, he absorbed the energetic music and street art scene there and developed an understanding of the role of art within social movements and activism.

Having always gravitated towards public art, community projects and youth-work, in 2019 he founded the community-focussed art project ASYMBAL, created to make institutions and gallery spaces more inclusive, accessible, and fun to those with special educational needs.

Throughout his workshops and group projects he uses tactile and co-creative processes such as collage, working on huge rolls of paper, exploring with viewfinders, and using textiles, inks and paints to initially sketch out the mural designs – creating a collaborative safe space where everyone can be involved from the initial sketch to the finished mural. Whether working on a huge wall or a small canvas, each artwork is an extensive research and development project, with community and young people at its heart.  

Photo by Nick Heard

The final mural from our collaboration explores the theme of isolation, and how over lockdown those with special educational needs and autism had huge disruptions to their routines and had to isolate for long periods of time.

Will explains; “Many now associate the idea of isolation with their safety and have struggled to adjust/gain confidence now they’re allowed to mingle again. That said, we did not want this piece to be all doom and gloom, so rather than a depiction of loneliness, this piece is a celebration. A celebration of creativity and a punk statement of visibility. The members of Arts for All UK and those like it are an integral part of the make-up of the area, but why doesn’t more art in the area reflect this? Through a symbol of the pandemic (the mask) we’ve burst out onto the streets with joy, imagination and colour.”

You can view the finished mural in Shoreditch