The Octopus that has Boomerangs - FAD Magazine

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The Octopus that has Boomerangs

All Images: Intoart Photographer: Rob Harris Courtesy the artists & Intoart

The art and design studio Intoart was founded by Ella Ritchie and Sam Jones in 2000 with a vision to create a safe and nurturing space for people with learning disabilities to be visible, equal and established artists. 

The studio recently had its first exhibition, ‘An Octopus with Boomerangs’ which was one of the studio’s most ambitious displays that dug deep into its 22-year-old archive to exhibit work by more than 24 artists across various mediums and forms. 

With no singular theme, the exhibition was a journey between worlds and forms. From dream-like evocations of other worlds to varying depictions of nature, the artists used different materials and forms to produce astounding art, design, poetry and fashion.  

Curated by the founders, Ella Ritchie and Sam Jones, the exhibition was not just an insight into the studio’s work with artists but also a sort of revelation, a much-needed one at that, about the inconsequentiality of socially created constructs in art and crafts.

The art produced by the wonderful artists displayed at the exhibition is proof enough of how art transpires all seeming ‘inabilities’ and ‘disabilities.’

The exhibition ran from June 30, 2022 to July 03,2022 at Copeland Gallery, Peckham and had a warm and loving reception from curators and general public alike. You can get a peek into the exhibition and a comprehensive summary of the artists’ work and their art in the exhibition’s publication that is now available on their website. intoart.org.uk/shop/

Why did the octopus have boomerangs?

Well, in the book’s words, “Artworks are like boomerangs, made and thrown into the world with the hope that something comes back.” (George Vasey)

Why the octopus?

“If Intoart was an animal it would be an octopus, a shape-shifting multi-headed animal with its plethora of arms kept busy on a multitude of projects” (George Vasey)


Andre Williams, Aysen Aktu, B Taylor, Christian Ovonlen, Clifton Wright, Danielle Green, Dawn Wilson, Ishaq Beckford, Jordan Moody, Kevin Jacobs, Lisa Contucci, Lisa Trim, Luigi Lollobigida, Mawuena Kattah, Nancy Clayton, Nick Fenn, Ntiense Eno-Amooquaye, Ruth Alemayehu, Philomena Powell, Samuel Jegede, Stanley Galton, Uduehi Imienwanrin, William Mukui, Yoshiko Phillips.




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