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Photos by Anna Fearon 

CADAVRE EXQUIS is a collaborative line of clothing developed with Giulia Libardi and a day center for adults with learning difficulties.

'When I came for the first time to the center to meet the students and the volunteers, I was really stressed. I thought: I want so much to work with them but what if they don't like me? I will never forget how they welcomed me. Smiles resplendent with tenderness. I felt immediately adopted. They did not leave me a second aside. I felt I belonged. We were together in this room: exchanging paper, colours, hands...warmth! I was receiving so much love and yet didn't really know what to do with my body, I still felt a bit embarrassed with my position in the room. I guess this was a remnant of society where you never really know where to stand. Telling myself, you are safe here, they are not judging you. So I started drawing, drawing all of them, recognising them from what Giulia had told me but also discovering new faces. I tried to imbue myself with their personality as I wanted it to show through the clothes. 

The clothes are the result of our encounter. They gave us the chance to explore their work and to become their extended hands and eyes. I think Giulia and I have tried our best to be faithful to their work in a way that will make it accessible to others. We've spent time with their drawings and objects that they were making and collecting. Trying to understand their shapes and inner qualities. It was then a matter of finding the best way of translating them without changing their spirit. We've decided that some drawings should be reproduced on the garments using various techniques such as digital embroidery/printing, screen printing and that some original drawings should be part of the garments. 'Cadavre Exquis' is an attempt to share with you what we've been sharing together and it seemed that words were inappropriate so I will stop now.'

Two exhibitions were organised: a private exhibition with the artists at the center to present the collection to their loved ones and a public exhibition to introduce the work to the wider community in South London. A zine documenting the overall project was published. 

Photos by Margaret Jennings 

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