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differently various

Headway East London

a colour photo of a person making art

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

Curated by brain injury charity Headway East London’s members, differently various created an immersive space for sharing perspectives and open conversations about brain injury. It showcased art as diverse as their community – created at their on-site studio, Submit to Love  visitors were invited to challenge views on who gets to make and present artwork in institutions like the Barbican.

The nine-day takeover included stories about brain injury through video, audio and print material, alongside unique artwork.

Audiences were invited to join in and explore differently various through a free events programme, with members of Headway East London’s community offering tours, talks and workshops in the gallery alongside relaxed performances of music, poetry, and film screenings. 

Tagged with: Art & design Free

The takeover was be the culmination of a 4 year partnership between the Barbican and Headway East London - a charity based in Hackney which supports over 700 people living with brain injury across 13 London Boroughs each year.

This exhibition was developed in collaboration with the Barbican and curation consultants, Art et al. Supported by the Peter Sowerby Foundation, the Rix-Thompson-Rothenberg Foundation, National Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England.

Read the exhibition guide

See more art for less

Visit upcoming exhibitions including Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art, Francis Alÿs, again & again, for free

Find out more about our public programme of events and scroll through to watch our film

Watch: differently various

Watch our film from Headway East London, as part of their new exhibition in The Curve, differently various.


During the run of differently various, we have a variety of access resources and information to help support your visit.

If you have any access requirements that you would like to discuss ahead of your visit, please email [email protected] or call 020 7101 1188 (Mon - Sun 10am-4pm).


Wheelchair Access

During differently various The Curve gallery is accessible by ramp and the exit is on ground level.


Relaxed Times

The Curve gallery is open from 11am and closes at 7pm, Monday to Sunday.

differently various is a relaxed exhibition and will be activated by Headway members and an interactive programme of events each day. However, for those who would prefer a quieter visit we will be holding 11am to 12pm as a quiet hour free of events.


Visual Story

A visual story of The Curve gallery can be requested here under the Visual Stories tab. There are two routes available: one from our Silk Street entrance and another route from Carpark 5 for those arriving via car.


Communication Cards

We have communication cards to help you find your way around the building. We have digital copies you can access and/or print at home as well as printed copies in the centre available at our info desk and each ground floor venue. Please ask a member of staff if you need support locating your nearest pack. They're available to download and print here.


Large Print Exhibition Text

We have large print guides of our exhibition text. These are available both digitally and printed. You can collect a printed version from our invigilator desk at the entrance of The Curve gallery. They're available to download and print here.

Chill Out Space

This is a dedicated space for visitors to rest during or after their visit to the differently various exhibition in the Curve. The space will have sensory furniture such as soft rugs and cushions along with sofas and armchairs.

You are welcome to drink water in the space, but food is not permitted.



We have the following resources available on request during your visit to the exhibition:

  • Ear defenders
  • Magnifying Sheets
  • Stools (there will be plenty of armchairs available throughout the gallery)
  • A Dog Bowl for thirsty guide dogs



We have an exciting programme of events happening across the week which you can find here.

We have Comfort Contego transmitters and receivers available upon request for use during our talks, tours and workshops for dDeaf visitors.



Find information on accessible parking at the Barbican here.

Please note that the nearest carpark to The Curve gallery is Carpark 5. Check out our Visual Story to plan your route to the gallery from here.



Find information on our accessible facilities at the Barbican here.

Click through to access our Visual Stories to help navigate your visit to The Curve

Content Advice and Resources

Please be aware that this exhibition includes swear words and describes causes and symptoms of brain injuries which some may find distressing.

Under 14s should be accompanied by an adult at all times.

If you need to leave the gallery during your visit, a chill out space is available in our Level G Studio which is a short walk from the exit of the gallery. There will be members of staff stationed nearby who can help you find your way.

If you are affected by any of the issues in this exhibition, the following organisations can provide confidential advice and support. This is not an exhaustive list and is not intended to replace support from a GP or therapist. 

Brain Injury Group

A network of specialist brain injury solicitors and other professional services, providing support for brain injured people and their families.

Helpline: 0800 612 9660 or 0330 311 2541

Email: [email protected]

Brain Injury Matters

A charity delivering a range of innovative programmes and initiatives supporting those affected by ABI.

Email: [email protected]

Infoline: 028 90 705 125

Brain Injury Rehabilitation and Development

A charity offering treatment to people with brain injuries and learning difficulties.

Helpline: 0800 028 6256

Brain and Spine Foundation

A charity providing professional information and support for every one of the 600+ neurological conditions affecting one in six people living in the UK.

Helpline: 0808 808 1000

Child Brain Injury Trust

A charity for families and professionals affected by childhood acquired brain injury.   

Headway UK

Headway is the UK-wide charity that works to improve life after brain injury by providing vital support and information services.

Headway Helpline

The Headway helpline is a free, confidential service available to anyone with a question about brain injury - from survivors and carers to students and professionals.

Helpline: 0808 800 2244

Email: [email protected]


Mental Health Charity 

Infoline: 0300 123 3393

Email: [email protected] 


Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. If you or someone you are supporting are in need of urgent Mental Health support - please call 116 123

The Samaritans are free to call 24/7, 365 days a year to support you with whatever you are going through  


A charity for young adults who have experienced brain injury and stroke.


The UK’s first and only free, confidential 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope, Text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258.

The Brain Charity

A charity offering emotional support, practical help and social activities to anyone with a neurological condition.

Infoline: 0151 298 2999

The Disabilities Trust

A charity offering community based & residential support for people with acquired brain injury, complex physical or learning disabilities and autism.

Infoline: 0330 0581 881

Email: [email protected]

The Curve