“I am going to tell you about my performance experience”

On Sunday 22 April, a group of volunteer performers took part in Spanish artist Esther Ferrer's performance 'I Am Going To Tell You About My Life'. The piece showcases a group of people talking about their life in different languages and BSL. The performance was organised by Monica Laiseca at the Glasgow School of Art and by Project Ability. ReConnect artist Simon McAuley was one of the performers, here is what he said about the event.

"This was the first time I have performed as an artist and so I was a little nervous. Everyone involved was really supportive and there was a sense of being part of something important. Some of the participants were experienced performers and for others it was a first. The process was really interesting and everyone's confidence grew as we rehearsed. We could really feel the project taking shape. To learn about performance art through the piece and from Esther felt like such a privilege. I am so glad I participated and met such inspiring people. I could see why performance artists were so passionate about their medium. I am looking forward to seeing the film of the piece in Project Ability's gallery."

The video of the performance will be on display in our exhibition 'House Party' featuring works by Esther Ferrer, Louise Ahl and Fritz Welch, Jessica Higgins, Sandra Johnston and Pester & Rossi. Project Room, 3rd floor, Trongate 103, until 07 May.

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Shop Item of the Week -  Porcelain Fox Plate, Scott Smith design

Shop Item of the Week is this feldspar porcelain plate with a Scott Smith fox drawing fired onto it. We've taken a small selection of Smith's beasties and made a limited edition set of dishes. In addition to this lovely  fox we have birds and elephants, with more to come. We have a small selection of these in our gallery shop so pop in for a look! We have our Glasgow International show on just now so there's lots to see. You can also purchase the plate on our online shop. They are dishwasher safe and this dish is 20cm diameter and available for purchase for just  £12.

These are a limited edition so they won't be around forever!

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Artwork of the Week - by Nnena Kalu

Artwork of the Week features a beautiful abstract drawing by our Glasgow International artist Nnena Kalu

For Glasgow International 2018 Project Ability invited installation artist Nnena Kalu to work in the gallery. As Artist in Residence for the first week of the festival, visitors are invited to watch Kalu as she creates a large scale sculptural installation.

Kalu is an artist working with ActionSpace, a London based visual arts organisation that supports artists with learning disabilities. To create her installations, she binds and layers materials to create large, colourful structures that wrap themselves around the gallery, reacting to the size, shape and environment of each new setting.

In addition to Kalu's installations she also often works on large drawings in her studio at ActionSpace. Usually working on two drawings at a time, arranged in a corner, the artist works fast and steadily. Come by the Project Ability gallery at Trongate 103 to see the installation and some of the her drawings. 

 

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Artwork of the Week - by Rehan Yousuf

Artwork of the Week is this watercolour and ink painting by Rehan Yousuf. Rehan has a vibrant colour palette and fluidity of penwork. He is one of eight artists from Project Ability who have been selected to be part of the Spring of Contemporary Art at the Galerie Polysémie in Marseille. The show opens on May 9th and exhibiting together with Rehan Yousuf will also be Project Ability artsists, Angela McLauchlin, Esme McLeod, John Cocozza, Lewis Scott, Michael McMullen, Robert Reddick, Tommy Kemp, and Tommy Mason. We're very excited to be involved in this city wide exposition of fine art! If you happen to be in Marseille this May stop in for a look.

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘A Musical Guide to Scotland’ Tea Towel

 

Shop Item of the Week! We've got this lovely new tea towel, hot off the press. The printed image is a line drawing by Project Ability artist Michael Earll. You can see over the outline of Scotland he's skillfully hand drawn and written the names of many of Scotland's most loved musicians and bands. Have you got a favourite Scottish band? Chances are you'll find it on this tea towel. For only £8 this is a brilliant piece of Scottish merchandise! You can find them in our gallery shop at Trongate 103 or just here on our website

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Thank you for your donations towards Nnena Kalu’s installation

Many thanks to everyone who generously donated materials towards ActionSpace artist Nnena Kalu's large installation.

We have received some amazing fabric and wallpaper off-cuts from Timorous Beasties, tartan fabric from Gaelic Themes, plenty of vinyl off-cuts from BD Print and a big donation from Re:Craft as well. Many individuals have also donated old VHS, fabric samples, ribbons, shoe laces, wool, plastic, etc. We are still looking for some old newspapers, plastic and old card, so if you have anything, please get in touch as soon as possible: 0141 552 2822.

Thanks to BD Print, Re:Craft, Timorous Beasties, Gaelic Themes, Kirstin Leighton-Boyce & family, Suzanne Field, Mhairi and Mary-anne Macdonald, Morag McGilchrist, Margaret Booth, Vicky Dale, Julie McCabe, Tracy Gorman & family, Bevis Evans-Teush, Roheen Cairney, Claire Forsythe, Elle Elart, Alicia Maciness. Apologies if we have forgotten anyone. 

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Walking Group - St Mungo Museum and Cathedral

Our walking group had its last outing for a while with a ramble up the High Street to visit St Mungo's Museum.

This being a very historic part of the city, there was lots to see and talk about on the way, and lots of photos to be captured.

The museum houses an eclectic mix of works, most of which have a religious connection but it seems that for some items this link is quite a tenuous one. A photograph of 'Charlie's Angels' in an exhibition about angels seemed a little bizarre but was certainly entertaining!

The next stop was St Mungo's Cathedral. Some of the group hadn't been there before but even those that had enjoyed an exploration of this magnificent building and its surroundings.

The walking group are taking a break for a while to look for more funding so will hopefully be planning some more outings soon. More photos can be found on our Facebook Page. 

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Artist Talk - ‘Danglers of Today’

Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming Charlie Hammond and Cameron Morgan to the gallery to talk about the work they have in their flash exhibition Danglers of Today. This work has been developed together as part of a residency / collaborative project that took place over the last few months.

Cameron and Charlie explained some of their points of inspiration, and how they had worked to together to develop the screenprints and ceramics in the show.
The collaboration developed and was driven by ongoing conversations between the two artists. These began around three scrap books filled with old match box covers that Charlie had found in a charity shop a number of years ago. The pair worked together to transform some of the retro graphics on the match boxes into a new series of screenprints, playing with shape, colour and scale.

Following match boxes, the conversation led onto what else you might find in your pocket, which in turn led to the development of the series of prints of loose change, or “danglers” as Cameron refers to them.

These two artists, very comfortable in each other’s company, have developed a mutual way of working together, each inspired by the other’s working practice. Cameron, who is a very prolific artist, spoke of how he had tried to teach Charlie to work more quickly, seizing an idea and running with it. Whereas Charlie had attempted to teach Cameron to procrastinate. Whilst we can only speculate on which artist was successful in these aims, what is for sure, is that Charlie and Cameron found a common and fruitful group upon which to make a dynamic body of work.

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Not Everything Matches’

Artwork of the Week is this three part print by Cameron Morgan and Charlie Hammond. You can find this print hanging in the gallery until April 7th. The exhibition, 'Danglers of Today' is the culmination of a twelve week residency collaboration between the two artists. Not Everything Matches is just one of several prints inspired by an old collection of match boxes. It's a flash exhibtion so it won't be around for long! You can read more about the exhibition below or visit the exhibition webpage:

This exhibition is a result of a collaboration between Charlie Hammond and Cameron Morgan. It takes inspiration from a collection of match boxes.

“Like many good collaborations we started with no clear direction but found our way through action, the work itself the result of these ongoing and very natural conversations.” – Charlie Hammond


Whilst working in Charlie’s studio, Cameron came across three books Charlie had previously found in a second hand shop. The books contain a vast collection of old cardboard match boxes. Many of the limited edition prints are inspired by these match box cases and much of the scaled-up imagery is borrowed from their retro designs and colour palettes. Further works in the exhibition have evolved as the artists began to think about what other items are found in one’s pockets. Loose change, also known as ‘danglers’ are portrayed in the same oversized manner.

In addition to the prints made by Cameron and Charlie, Cameron has made a small series of over-sized ceramic match sticks to accompany the prints.Our Gallery II showcases a selection of Cameron’s slip-cast ceramic telephones, originally made for exhibition at the Tramway in 2016, via an Unlimited commission.

Artist talk: Friday 06 April, 12pm-1pm. All welcome.

This project is supported by  a development grant Cameron received from Creative Scotland.

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Artwork of the Week by Amna Sharif

Taken from our three women show ‘Kay, Sharif, Smyth’, Amna Sharif’s untitled print is our Artwork of the Week.  Amna’s prints are full of colour, energy, and intricate details, all of which combine to make her work so appealing. 

The exhibition - featuring many stunning works from all three artists - will finish this evening (March 29th) at 5pm, so if you wish to catch it you’d better be quick!

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Walking Group Week 6: The Clyde Bridges

There are 21 bridges in Glasgow that cross the River Clyde and last week our walking group had a walk that took them across 5 of them.

The first of these was the South Portland Street Suspension Bridge which took the group from north to south. One of the group had vivid memories from childhood of regularly crossing this bridge with her father on the way to nursery more than half a century previously.

A walk along the South Clydeside to the Tradeston Footbridge was next where the group crossed back to the north of the river and followed the path along to the Clyde Arch, fondly known locally as the Squinty Bridge. This bridge took the group back to the south and then along to the Bells Bridge where they crossed again and then along to the nearby Millennium Bridge which was the final bridge of the day!

This is where the walk ended for some of the group who went their separate ways but after a refreshing cuppa in the BBC cafe the rest decided to make the return trip on foot via a slightly shortened route with fewer bridges.

Despite the chilly and drizzly weather it was a fine day out.

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On the Road: Douglas Community Centre, Dundee

Without a team of huskies and a sleigh at our disposal PA Artist Jonathan McKinstry and I had to forgo our Dundee visit at the beginning of March. As soon as the snow had cleared though, we were back up visiting our friends at the Douglas Centre, Dundee.

A few of the artists there have now started to delve into three dimensional work. There are some interesting hand built clay vessels and vases on the go now.       

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One member of the group is working on a piece of wooden furniture as a memento to a recently deceased relative.

Others have continued to develop themes from the first five weeks of the project like drawing, painting and working with silhouettes and stencils.
-Meredith Crone, tutor

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Ladysbridge Stories - March workshops

Last week our last Ladysbridge Stories workshops took place in what was a very sunny Aberdeen. We were delighted to see so many familiar faces, a few that we hadn’t seen in a while, not to mention a few new ones, as we welcomed Sam to the group with her beautiful and very well behaved guide dog Rihanna. 

We very much enjoyed catching up with everyone!  We had a very busy day in the workshop, collating and sorting through all of the beautiful images drawn by everyone over the course of all of our workshops. 

Our task for the day was to complete as many new drawings as we could to represent all of the aspects of life at Ladysbridge Hospital, from the working life of patients at the hospital to the social and special events and day to day routines.

The artwork produced will be used to illustrate the fantastic stories that everyone has been so generous to share with us over the course of this project. We had a very productive day with everyone rising to this challenge. 

The session ended in a very positive light, with everyone excited by the work produced and looking forward to the final launch of the project in May 2018.
-Tracy Gorman, Ladysbridge Stories tutor

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Meet the Maker - Ruth & Kirsten Mutch

Last Thursday Kirsten and Ruth Mutch gave a fascinating talk as part of our Meet the Maker series, talking about Ruth's artwork and Penguin Parade, the business they have created to promote and sell her work.

The Meet the Maker series has been designed so that artists working at Project Ability can find out more in depth about other artists and makers' practice and also get an insight into how creative practice can be promoted and thought about as a business.

Kirsten and Ruth took us through the milestones in their creative journey, starting in 2010 when Ruth joined Project Ability. Ruth developed her distinctive style of working early on and has used this to create successful products, as well as in some instances capturing part of her own personal story, as a working artist with autism.

Kirsten talked us through the practicalities of setting up a website, handling production and promotions, working with stockists and even illustrating a children’s book. They shared some great insights and helpful tips that they had found out along the way.

Ruth gave a heartfelt thank you to Project Ability at the close of the talk: “Of course none of this would have happened if I hadn’t started coming to Project Ability and received the fantastic support and encouragement I get here.  They gave me hope and purpose during a very difficult time of my life and have increased my self-esteem and confidence. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have Project Ability to come to. I am really grateful for all the opportunities they gave me to exhibit and sell my work, with the highlight being my solo exhibition last year.”

Thanks so much to Kirsten and Ruth for coming to share their inspirations and experiences with us!

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Artwork of the Week - Britney Spears by Jacqui Smyth

This week we have Jacqui Smyth’s excellent representation of Britney Spears as our Artwork of the Week.  Jacqui enjoys drawing and painting her favourite artists and bands, and she is always able to capture them with a great verve and individual style.

This is part of our three women show currently in our gallery ‘Kay, Sharif, Smyth’ which will be on show until the 29th of this month.  Do come down and have a look, and enjoy all the excellent work!

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Shop Item of the Week - Sunbathing in Largs greeting cards!

 

Shop Item of the Week is this greeting card made from the gorgeous painting by Doreen Kay titled 'Sunbathing in Largs' We loved this painting so much we wanted to share it with as many people as possible. What better way than to make it into a card for any occassion. You can find this card in our  gallery shop at Trongate 103 and our online shop for sale for £2.50. They are a limited edition print run so don't wait until summer to get yours!

Doreen Kay is one of the three woman artists in our current show, Kay, Sharif, Smyth. Come by and check it out!

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Artwork of the Week by Peter Stewart

Artwork of the Week is this beautifully painted picture on canvas of the Duke of Wellington. Situated outside the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow's city centre, this statue is fairly well known by everyone living in the city as the statue with the cone on its head. Often a student prank, it is rare to see the statue without a traffic cone on its head! The angle Stewart has painted the picture from gives a brilliant view of the building across the street, and all of the reflections in the mirrored windows have been recreated beautifully. It is a stunning painting which has been admired by staff and artists alike here at Project Ability.

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Down’s Syndrome Scotland workshops

On Sunday, our workshops with young people with Down's syndrome and their siblings continued after a short break due to the weather conditions.

The printmaking continued with an introduction to mono-printing along with some drawing, painting and collage.

It looks like everyone had some fun and there were some beautiful results. We look forward to seeing what happens next week!

For more photos, check out our Facebook Page. 

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Walking Group - Week 5: Tramway

On Wednesday 7th March the weather had improved enough for the walking group to go out again, and we made our way over to Tramway to see two exhibitions that were very different.

Firstly we saw LOVE by Steven Campbell, an exhibition of twelve large scale multi-media collages made between 1988 and 1991 and comprising dyed string being glued on to form pictures, ranging from people to a rabbit/duck illusion that saw the former enjoying a swimming pool with some rats.

There were also two carvings and three figures made from painted socks. I personally enjoyed this section the best, there was a lot to see and every picture had so much detail and other smaller details within that I could have stayed a lot longer looking for all the tiny details.

The second exhibition we saw was Circle a video installation by Margaret Salmon. We were unable to see all her work as on a loop the videos lasted several hours.

The ones we did see involved motocross bikers, a black and white snake curling around it self, a sunset, a cat going for a walk, people enjoying Hyde Park in the 90's and monkey's in Gibraltar. I think it took around 40 minutes to watch. The snake was especially interesting to watch and as someone who isn't keen on snakes it was lovely to just watch the beauty of the patterns it made.
-Morag McGilchrist

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Call for Volunteers - Esther Ferrer performance

Project Ability is looking for amateur performers to take part in the group performance piece I’m Going To Tell You About My Life, which will premier in April 22nd in Glasgow as part of the Glasgow International festival.

The piece has been conceived by 80-year old Spanish artist Esther Ferrer and involves 10 performers who are fluent in British Sign Language and 10 verbal performers speaking in different languages.

If you are a BSL user or speak a language other than English, and you want to tell others about your life, please get in touch! No previous experience is required.


PRODUCTION INFO

Rehearsal dates: Friday 20th April (pm) and Saturday 21st April (all day)
Performance: Sunday 22nd April, 1-3pm

The rehearsals will be led by Esther Ferrer, assisted by a BSL interpreter.
Project Ability will cover transport costs for all volunteers up to £10 per day

Please note that the performance will be:
- Filmed, and an edited version of the film will be on display at Project Ability’s Project Space for the duration of the festival.
- Professionally photographed, and the images taken may be used for press coverage, promotion of the event on the websites of the project organisers and funders, documentation and evaluation. 

By participating in the event you agree to be filmed or photographed for these purposes.


HOW TO APPLY

To apply for this opportunity, or find out more, please contact:

Mónica Laiseca at monica_laiseca@outlook.com and
Celine Mcilmunn at celine.mcilmunn@gmail.com

Deadline for applications: Tuesday 10 April, noon. Shortlisted volunteers will be notified by email on Friday 14 April.

 

 

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Sarah Kudirka Residency

Sarah Kudirka was in residency with us in February.  Read on to hear about her experience:

'The creative world I encountered at Project Ability is welcoming and industrious. I was made to feel very welcome and quickly found myself becoming industrious too. Each day that the studios are open lots of artists come in and get on with what they want to do, in a wide variety of media. I saw everyone absorbed in what they are making and it was wonderfully infectious. They are absorbed in making things but everyone is also happy to share and talk about what they are doing.

'I had wondered before starting the residency how I would feel about working without a door to close on my workspace, as I have always worked in isolation. Turns out I liked it a lot. The buzz of voices and other noises that come from a well-used physical production space (as opposed to an office full of people on screens) was kind of wonderful. I liked it when people were passing by and keen for me to go and see what they were making or had questions about what I was up to. It sounds a bit of a daft realisation but it is very different from (and so much better than) sharing my work on social media to have real people 'liking' and giving feedback live on what you are doing. I'll miss that!

I am new to Glasgow having moved here to live and work just last summer, so this residency came at an important time for me. I have made new friends at Project Ability, set off a strong series of work based on exploring my new home city and started to settle in as a professional artist in Scotland.


'To give some kind of structure to my residency I had set a target of 100 paintings on polaroids (painted and drawn over polaroid snaps of city skylines have been my project for the past 6 years) and also wanted to start some three larger canvases of similar proportions to polaroids too. I hit my 100 pictures target, which gave me a sense of satisfaction but I also took time to have lots of chats with the artists around me, think, walk to bits of the city I'd never seen before, and watch clouds out of the window - it's all research.

'Mental health and well-being for creative people are strongly tied to having the space and resources to create, explore and make stuff. We all have what's in our heads and stuff to deal with in our lives and I'm no stranger to anxiety. My hearing disability has never stopped me from asking questions and striving to understand to what others are saying. Inclusive arts facilities are so important.

I'm really glad to know the brilliant people I've met at Project Ability and intend to stay in touch.

I loved going in to the studios every day, got loads done and found it a totally positive experience.'

Thanks, Sarah!

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘Mother and child’ by Scott Smith

This week we bring you ‘Mother and Child’ by Scott Smith as our shop item of the week. Scott’s beautiful drypoint print has been made into this delightful gift card – perfect for Mother’s day! These are sure to be popular, so get down to our gallery shop and get yours for just £2.50!

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Processions

We are pleased to announce our involvement in Processions, where many women from around the country will come together in creating a mass participation artwork celebrating one hundred years of votes for women.

We will be one of 100 organisations taking part, and are delighted to be involved in such an exciting and important project. Please visit the Processions website at https://www.processions.co.uk/ for more info, and to find out about getting involved. We will be running our workshop with Aspire tutor Sandi Kiehlmann who will be working with women from our workshops.


More information to follow.

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Artwork of the Week - by Stephanie Thomson

This week, in celebration of International Woman's Day, we bring you this very topical artwork by Stephanie Thomson. 'I've always wanted to stab someone with a ..' is part of our Gallery II show titled, 'The Queen Mothers'. This exhibition, initiated by workshops led by Mandy McIntosh, uses an existing feminist aesthetic vocabulary of textile and collage. In Thomson's work we can see a real passion for her political stand point. Without supporting any kind of violence, I think we can safely say we're on board with the sentiment behind this piece!

The Queen Mother's is on show in our Gallery II until 29 March. Running concurrently is our three woman show titled, Kay, Sharif, Smyth. Come by and celebrate!

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Walking Group - week 4: Perth

There were definite signs of spring last week when our walking group arrived in Perth. The sky was blue and South Inch park was awash with crocuses. 

The walk to the museum and art gallery was very pleasant and full of interesting things to see and the light was ideal for making photographs. A short diversion through Greyfriars burial ground revealed many beautifully carved historic gravestones.

On arriving at the museum the very pleasant staff told us that we were welcome to use their lecture hall for eating lunch in before directing us to the exhibitions. All three currently on were excellent with two exhibitions featuring artworks on paper and the third a display of wet-plate collodion photographs.

After lunch, a short walk through the town brought us to the Fergusson Gallery and another exhibition of photography, this time some contemporary work by Janeanne Gilchrist. Finally a look at the work by J D Fergusson in the upstairs gallery before walking back to the station and catching the train back to Glasgow.

A grand day out!

https://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/perth/greyfriars/index.html

http://www.culturepk.org.uk/museums-and-galleries/perth-museum-and-art-gallery/

http://www.culturepk.org.uk/museums-and-galleries/the-fergusson-gallery/

http://www.janeannegilchristartist.com/

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Important Message from Project Ability

Due to the weather conditions there will be no workshops or studio access to Project Ability from today through to Monday. This includes all activities here at Project Ability. We will reopen Monday morning as usual. Apologies for any inconvenience this will cause.

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Cameron Morgan and Gregor Wright - Week 4

In the four weeks since their residency started, Cameron Morgan and Gregor Wright have been experimenting with drawing on different mediums, including tea towels.

"At the moment I’m trying to encourage some abstraction and the work we’re making just now is a sort of fusion of our response to neo-expressionism, familiar pop culture icons and ideas of craft and making." said Gregor.

"The tea towels seemed like a good thing to paint on because as a surface to work on they're similar to canvas, but as an object they’re quite humble and mundane. The idea came to me after Cameron and I were looking at the plate paintings of Julian Schnabel, which Cameron liked compared to some of the darker, more abstract painted works."

We're looking forward to seeing where this collaborative partnership takes them! 

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Ladysbridge Stories - February Workshops

Collecting stories, collating conversations and rekindling old friendships

"The Ladysbridge Stories project continues to gather momentum as more ex-patients and staff come forward with memories to share and stories to tell.

We were delighted that so many familiar faces joined us once again at the C-Change offices in Aberdeen and that ex-staff members’ Alastair Minty and Jim Cook popped in to contribute to the session. The BBC also dropped by to hear what we’re up to!

Throughout the project we’ve been collecting imagery and building a picture, through writing, drawing and storytelling, which illustrates the day to day life at Ladysbridge Hospital. We’ve continued to map the site, designing a key of symbols which represent all areas of this remote hospital, from the kitchens and briquette shed to the farms and fields, the flora and fauna.

The sessions are industrious and conversation lively. Some of the stories are moving and often difficult to tell but many are also funny and heart-warming.
It’s so good to see old friendships lost with the closure of Ladysbridge hospital being rekindled through the Ladysbridge Stories project."
-Sharon Quigley, Project Ability tutor

The final Ladysbridge Stories workshop will take place on thursday 22 March in C-Change Aberdeen. 

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On the Road: Douglas Community Centre, Dundee

"Hard to believe that Project Ability artist Jonathan McKinstry and I are half way through this eight week project at the Douglas Centre, Dundee. Time seems to have hurtled by as the group has embraced each session with a real enthusiasm and produced some lively artwork.

We have continued to introduce ideas around playful mark making, like painting with edges of card instead of brushes. Jonathan had described to the group this technique he had seen in a film whereby a surface layer of paint can be scratched into to reveal a contrasting ground colour underneath – otherwise known as sgraffito !

The Dundee Artists tested these methods out using silhouetted images and a bit more drawing from observation."
-Meredith Crone, Project Ability Tutor

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Cameron Morgan and Gregor Wright start their collaborative partnership

After a very successful residency with Charlie Hammond, Cameron Morgan has started his new collaborative partnership with another Glasgow-based artist: Gregor Wright

The two artists met up twice already, familiarising themselves with each other's work and discussing how their respective practices can feed this collaboration.

Cameron showed Gregor some of his work currently in our gallery and in our shop, and they then went to Wright's studio near Trongate 103.

We are very much looking forward to seeing what they come up with in the next ten weeks!

Cameron Morgan's series of residencies is funded by Creative Scotland. Gregor Wright is represented by The Modern Institute. 

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