Old Street Digital Canvas to exhibit leading brain injury artist
London, 25 April 2024
Local artist Jason Ferry to exhibit on iconic outdoor advertising screen, opposite Old Street Roundabout, following 5* Barbican exhibition and ahead of London tour.

A Hackney-based artist, whose art made at a local art studio for people living with brain injury featured in a 5* exhibition at the Barbican, is to be exhibited on Old Street’s Digital Canvas, an iconic outdoor advertising site opposite Old Street Roundabout.

Since 2016 Eastender Jason Ferry, who suffered from an abscess in his brain and a subsequent stroke, has worked and exhibited with Submit to Love Studios, a Hackney collective of more than 40 self-taught artists with brain injuries.

The studio’s recent differently various exhibition at the Barbican - which explored themes around the role of art in brain injury rehabilitation and questioned perceptions of what brain injury survivors can and can’t do - received a Guardian 5* review ahead of a four month tour of London venues this year. Many of the artists, including Ferry, have highlighted how art has helped them rediscover a sense of identity, accomplishment and self-worth following their injuries.

Ferry’s collection called ‘I All Screwed Up’ includes Dolly, The Face, Jason, Dalek and Rainbow Man. All of these are to be exhibited on Old Street Digital Canvas, a state-of-the-art 18m2 digital billboard surrounded by 25 satellite screens situated on the north-east side of Old Street Roundabout in the London Borough of Hackney.

The billboard is one of the capital’s most iconic digital screens, with creatives on the billboard viewed nearly 360,000 times a week, including by commuters leaving Old Street tube station and travelling to and from the City of London, West End, Euston and King’s Cross.

Ferry’s display is the latest artwork to be featured on the Old Street Digital Canvas, as part of a community initiative developed to support Hackney’s artists. The project is jointly led by Hackney Council, advertising media owner City Outdoor and Wildstone, the UK’s leading owner of outdoor media assets.

The initiative was launched in early 2018 to increase exposure of local artists’ work and to widen public access to art through new means, including to audiences who may not otherwise engage with the visual arts. Local artists can submit their work for consideration on a dedicated website, with a curating committee deciding on the final pieces. The artworks are then promoted for a two-week period, during which time they are displayed for 10 seconds every minute, with the other 50 seconds of every minute reserved for regular commercial advertising.

In addition to raising awareness of Ferry’s work itself, his work has also been chosen by Old Street Digital Canvas’ curating committee to help raise awareness of the artistic rehabilitation opportunities available to those who have been impacted by brain injuries.

Jason Ferry at Old Street Digital Canvas will run until 5th May.

Jason Ferry, artist, said:

"I feel my brain injury is not the be all and end all; I am basically the same person, I don’t feel any different. I have got to be positive and optimistic. Art is important to me, and it's truly meaningful to see it displayed in such a prestigious location for thousands to see.
"My inspiration comes from putting paint on paper and letting the colours lead the way. When I am drawing and painting, my mind goes completely blank and I just think of what is in front of me. I really concentrate and not overthink things.

Damian Cox, CEO & Founder, Wildstone, said:

"It’s an honour to be able to increase visibility of local artists’ work through the Old Street Digital Canvas initiative. Public art has a huge role to play in shaping identities and raising awareness of different causes, and we are really proud to be exhibiting Jason’s work on one of the most unique, unmissable pieces of infrastructure in our international portfolio.

Charlie Thorp, CEO, City Outdoor said:

"It’s fantastic to see Jason’s vivid and colourful artwork captivate and challenge audiences passing our Old Street Digital Canvas.
"We are proud to showcase local artists work alongside commercial advertising, it not only helps encourage and inspire creativity within the media sector, but also enriches the public space.

Michelle Carlile, Art Studio Manager, Submit to Love Studio said:

"In 2023, Jason embarked on a collaboration with Artist in Residence, Brian Searle, marking a significant milestone in his artistic journey. Together, they transformed Jason's intimate drawings into expansive painted panels that radiate with raw and emotive energy, each pulsating with the intensity of Jason’s inner world.
"Central to Jason's artistic vision are his figures, which may contort and twist on the canvas, mirroring the tumultuous landscape of his own experiences. With glassy eyes and rictus grins, these figures represent the inner turmoil and chaos that often accompany his seizures. Yet, amidst this there is an undeniable sense of beauty and power in his work. His skilful use of colour transcends the boundaries of the panel, enveloping viewers in a whirlwind of hallucinogenic visions and shifting perceptions.
"Through his art, he encourages us to accept our own experiences and find solace in the transformative power of creativity

London-based artists interested in having their work displayed at the Old Street Digital Canvas, please visit the project website to submit your artwork for consideration.