City Lit Blog

Q&A with City Lit speech therapy student Rory Sheridan

Story added 9th Aug 2019

Rory Sheridan

Cross-arts collective Hiatus Collective are launching a new exhibition to open up the dialogue around communication barriers to self-expression and how artistic activities can play a part in demonstrating who you are. Lead by City Lit speech therapy student Rory Sheridan, this exhibition and Collective was inspired by Rory’s own struggles with communication. 

We recently caught up with Rory to talk about Hiatus Collective, the new exhibition and his time at City Lit…

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

My name is Rory Sheridan, I am 22, and I am a graduate of the University of the Arts London in BA (Hons) Photography. I sometimes stammer, which affects my day-to-day ability to construct fluent speech. I was interested in bringing together my creative practice and my interest in disability and communication barriers. I realised that I wasn’t able to do this by myself and decided to start an arts collective and that’s how Hiatus Collective came about. 

What courses have you done at City Lit? 

I have completed two speech therapy courses at City Lit. The first course was the mindfulness for people who stammer with Carolyn Cheasman. This course really helped me to develop and tune in to the mixed emotions and ups and downs of being someone who sometimes stammers. 

The second course I did at City Lit was the seven-day intensive adult speech therapy course for people who stammer. This course allowed me to learn strategies to help me speak more freely, be less sensitive and reduce avoidance strategies. It was a very structured, managed approach to speech therapy which really complimented the way I manage my speech on a daily basis. 

How did Hiatus Collective come about? 

I wanted to found Hiatus as I believe in the power of artistic practice to aid your self-expression. It is not a substitute. I still struggle with my stammer day to day. I’m not given the time to say what I want. It dramatically affects my quality of life. Hiatus gives me something to focus on, to try to create a society where we are all more tolerant, patient and aware of hidden disabilities and neurodiversity. We live in much more understanding and tolerant world now, but there’s still a long way to go.

Can you tell us about the new exhibition? 

The exhibition is a culmination of multiple artist’s work who all identify as having communication barriers to self-expression which are out of their control. This an attempt to start a conversation about often unspeakable subjects, as verbal communication may not be the first choice for some. 

The exhibition takes place from 11 September until 14 September 2019 with the launch night on the 11 September. The eleven artists exhibiting include those on the autistic spectrum, those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, stammering and others. Artists chose to submit to Hiatus’ first Open Call opportunity, where all disciplines were accepted and encouraged. All individuals who submitted to the opportunity will be exhibiting in this exciting exhibition at The Canvas: Cafe and Creative Venue, a not for profit social enterprise housed near Spitalfields in the East of London off of the iconic Brick Lane. 


Hiatus Collective


Hiatus Collective: Opening the Dialogue

11 September 2019 - 14 September 2019

The Canvas: Cafe and Creative Venue

42 Hanbury St


E1 5JL


Launch Night: 11 September 2019 7:00pm - 9:00pm

12 September 2019: 11:00am - 6:00pm

13 September 2019: 11:00am - 10:00pm

14 September 2019: 10:00am - 6:00pm

Free to enter, just drop in