Meet the Volunteers: Karina Baillie

This week, let us introduce you to the brilliant Karina Baillie, who has been a great addition to our Create team. 

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
I am a graduate of Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art. My practice encompasses many different mediums, from video installation to sculpture, drawing and painting. Recently I have been working in the community, focussing on facilitating different groups such as a mural project in the East End with adults with mental health issues.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
I volunteer at the Create Workshop ages 8-12 on a Saturday morning.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I’ve admired many of Project Ability’s artists and frequently visit their gallery space, and have always known Project Ability to be a brilliant resource in the community. I had recently finished a Counselling course and wanted to spend more time working with young artists, because I knew it would be a great learning opportunity and a privilege to become part of the Project Ability team.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
The experience of volunteering at the Create workshop has far exceeded my expectations. Interacting with the young artists is an energetic and fruitful role, I have learned so much from the tutors knowledge and found every class to be invigorating and rewarding.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
The young artists are all uniquely talented individuals with brilliant ideas and different styles of working. It’s a lot of fun being in the workshop facilitating their various projects, from making clay sculptures to print making. I’ve learned loads of new techniques and the young artists have opened my mind to exciting creative processes which have influenced my own artistic practice.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
I find the work of two of our young artists Guy and Gabriel incredibly inspiring, they both have their own brilliant flair for colour and their use of this in our recent classes have produced beautiful Perspex panels that look like stain glass windows.

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
There is a real sense of community in the workshop that is unique to Project Ability. It’s a supportive environment which is full of fun and energy, I would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering becoming part of the Project Ability team.

Thanks a lot Karina! 

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Meet the Volunteers: Mij Rothera

For today's Meet the Volunteers, we focus on the amazing Mij Rothera, who has been volunteering with our aspire team.

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
I graduated from Glasgow School of Art more than 20 years ago (gulp), with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Photography. Nowadays I twiddle about with inks and brushes on paper in my spare time. I work with Enable and also occasionally as an Artist Practitioner at The Prince & Princess Of Wales Hospice.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
Wednesday Aspire Workshops.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I’ve been coming here for 2 years every Tuesday, supporting a young man to attend his art group. I love the atmosphere – it’s so positive and also informal. It’s great to see how focussed everybody is on their work. I have many years’ experience of working on arts projects for various marginalised groups (specifically with Artlink Central in Stirling), and wanted to play a small part in the wonderful creativity of Project-Ability.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
Definitely. It’s such a friendly environment. People are really well supported by the excellent Art Tutors to make, or continue working on, whatever piece they feel like that day. The large, bright space is really conducive to making art and there are loads of different art materials.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
The opportunity for creativity is vitally important – for everyone. Project-Ability plays a huge part in the lives of many people. It’s also important to not always have a set end-date for a project – people here can continue on their work for however long they feel. The experience has helped to make me create more art, too. Also, I’ve met a whole new bunch of talented people.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
I really like Andrew Boyle’s images. He works steadily and carefully on his detailed and very beautiful drawings and paintings. A stand-out artwork from the last year is Tommy Mason’s large painting of George Michael.  I loved the exhibition by Leslie Thomson too.Actually I’m inspired every time I walk into the studio.

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
Yes. It’s a wonderful way to get to know some very interesting, creative people, and to play a part in what I would say is a vital space and service for so many.

Any other comments?
Project-Ability offers a peaceful and positive space where all people need to focus on is their creativity. That’s priceless.

Thanks, Mij!

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Meet the Volunteers: Mij Rothera

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Project Ability podcast on Radiophrenia!

The Writing Group worked with tutors Joanna Peace and Anthony Autumn over several weeks to create an original podcast for the Radiophrenia Festival. Using sounds from the studios and their own writings, the artists have come up with a wonderful piece of recorded art.

The podcast will be live on Radiophrenia - 87.9 FM - on Saturday 18 June, at 11am. 

Media co-op followed the different workshops and filmed the artists at work, from start to finish. They will release a short documentary in the coming months, but in the meantime they have edited a few teasers:
-Morag Recording
-Play and Harmony
-Stuart Reading

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Walking Group - Week 22: The Lighthouse Poster Exhibition

"On Wednesday the 8th November, the Walking Group went to The Lighthouse to visit an exhibition of posters and have the chance to make our own.

The International Poster Exhibition is part of Graphic Design Festive Scotland and showcases 140 posters and sets of posters, including the top three winners. Festival founders Warriors Studio, Jamie McIntyre former art director of It's Nice That, Jaemin Lee director of South Korean studio Fnt and last years winner Koos Breen recent graduate of Royal Academy of the Arts, the Hauge, made up this years judging panel.

The competition received 6095 entries from 81 countries and we were told about how hard not only the judging process was but to chose only 140 to exhibit. The posters were diverse, from moving images you would see on a bus stop to South Korean dream like glittery comics, to adverts for events and political pieces.

It was impossible to choose a favorite, fortunately we didn't have to. After looking around we got to take part in a poster making workshop each choosing a message we wanted to convey to the world.

The posters were simple, we all got one blank sheet of paper and a selection of letters to cut out and glue, the task of making them interesting and meaningful feel to each of us. I really enjoyed working on my poster and enjoyed seeing the different styles of work and how different countries view poster making."
-Morag McGilchrist

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Artist talk by James Jimbo

Last Thursday, former artist in residence James Jimbo came back to Project Ability to showcase the work he produced during his residency. Artists from Aspire and ReConnect came to engage with James and his work, and it was very interesting to see what inspired him during his time with us. The work was very well received and artists enjoyed the skills and playfulness in each drawing and painting.

‘Brilliant work – great colours’
-Edward Henry, Aspire

‘I liked the Elvis one and George Michael, I painted George Michael too, mine was much more colourful'
-Tommy Mason, Aspire

‘Refreshing to see work that’s been created a framework of joyfulness and freedom’
-Richie Davis, ReConnect

‘I really loved the use of line and for me being here in my first week of my residency, it couldn’t have come at a better time to see James work, someone so confident in their own practice – very inspiring’
-Emma Aitken, current artist in residence

Thank you, James Jimbo!

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘Wild Mustangs’ by Edward Henry

Shop Item of the Week is this lovely painting on wood by Edward Henry. 'Wild Mustangs' also features an ibis in the foreground, and together this trio makes for an unusual and playful composition. Sized at 60x40cm, it's just right for any wall, whether at home or work. You can find 'Wild Mustangs' in our online shop for £55, or come by our gallery shop at Trongate 103 to see it in person. Henry is a much loved artist here at Project Ability and has a loyal following of admirers across Scotland. His work has a unique naivety to it and his subject matter always shows the viewer a new perspective, giving insight into the intriguing mind of the artist!

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Artwork of the week - King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut by Jacqui Smyth

Our Artwork of the Week is 'King Tut's Wah Wah Hut' by Jacqui Smyth. As Smyth has declared in this drawing, King Tut's Wah Wah Hut is the "best UK live venue"! Smyth has recently created a small series of colourful drawings all based around the theme of music and Glasgow. Many of these pieces are in an exhibition that opens this evening. It is a group show of nine artists and it will be on show in Mono until January 14th. 

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Artwork of the week - ‘A World of Permanent Novelty’ Heversham 1975 by Lea Cummings

Artwork of the week is this quite strange lumen print by Lea Cummings. This print sits with 12 others in an installation titled, 'A World of Permanent Novelty'. This particular image is from Heversham in 1975 when the artist was a young boy (as seen in photo). Next to Cummings is what makes this body of work so unusual. He has superimposed the image of his long lost imaginary friend, a human sized hot dog with arms, legs and all the facial features of a person. He is a little sinister looking and very silly. 

For this exhibition the artist decided to use images of himself throughout his life and introduce his imaginary friend into the frame. He has used old negatives and had them enlarged and printed onto acetate. The acetate is then placed on the photographic paper and left to expose in sunlight. The resulting images have a ghostly quality, like they will soon disappear forever. Much in the same way Cumming's imaginary friend did one day. 

Lea Cumming's is one of six artists in our current exhibition, Lumen Essence. Each artist has approached the project in their own way, making this show dynamic and beautiful. It is up until 11 November!

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Artist in Residence – Emma Aitken

Today we welcome another new artist in residence to our busy studios: Emma Aitken, who will be working alongside our artists for the month of November.  Emma was formerly a volunteer with Project Ability in our Create programme back in 2015, and has recently completed her Master’s Degree in Community Learning and Development.

‘After a 2 Year break from the studio, including a year being based in a library. I could not be more excited to be back in Project Ability with a chance to concentrate on my own practice!  Already everyone has been so welcoming and inspiring – I can’t wait to see what comes out of the month ahead!’

We are all very excited to see what you do with your time with us too, Emma!

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Walking Group - Lambhill Stables

Lambhill Stables is a community development organisation located next to the Forth and Clyde Canal to the North of the city. The stables complex was originally built around 1811 for the horses that pulled the barges along the canal and there are many references to it's history around the gardens and inside the buildings themselves.


Our group arrived at the stables after a short bus journey from the city centre and were greeted by a friendly swan, some sunshine and a rainbow! Rather than go into the Stables straight away and inspired by the sunshine, the group had a walk along the canal pathway and stopped at several viewpoints along the way. There are several entrances to Possil Marsh from the pathway and one of these was taken for a short while but the ground underfoot was quite flooded in places so it was decided to return to the canal pathway and head back to the Stables.

The Stables has been beautifully renovated and put to good use as a community hub with many varied activities for locals. On this day, being a Wednesday, there was a community group lunch in the cafe so it was quite busy but there was still plenty of room for our group to sit down for a drink and a snack. The group also had a walk around the gardens where there was work going on to create a sensory garden.

This is a lovely area for a walk with good level pathways along the canal and very easily accessed from the city by public transport.

There is lots of information about Lambhill Stables, both current and historic, on their website:


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Project Ability pop-up shops coming soon!

Save the date! We will be hosting a series of pop-up shop in the gallery in the run up to Christmas! 

Looking for something original, inspiring and that can't be found in the high street shops? This is your chance, our pop up shops will be packed with original gift ideas, cushions, cards, ceramics, artworks, mobiles, wooden objects, and plenty more! 

Saturday 25 November, 2nd & 9th December, 10am - 5pm in our gallery in Trongate 103.

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Radiophrenia Festival - Writing Group podcast

The Project Ability writing group has been working with tutors Joanna Peace and Luke Shaw towards a podcast (or podcasts) to be broadcast at this year's Radiophrenia festival, which runs from the 6th - 20th Nov: "Radiophrenia is a temporary art radio station – a two-week exploration into current trends in sound and transmission arts. Broadcasting live from Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts, the station aims to promote radio as an art form, encouraging challenging and radical new approaches to the medium."

Participants have been exploring the themes of radio, sound, transmission, recording etc. through a series of writing exercises, and have been given the opportunity to learn about and use recording equipment to capture each other conversing and reading their work and to record sounds from around the studios and the wider building. Alongside this, they have been working with Vilte from Media Coop to construct their own documentary film about the project.

Radiophrenia and Media Coop are working with three other workshop facilitators and their groups across Glasgow, and will host an event on the 17th November, so that participants from all of the groups can come together and have a 'listening party' to hear what each other have produced. It will be in the Clubroom at CCA, between 4pm and 8pm. 

The film by Media Coop will launch in the new year, so keep an eye on the website for more information. 

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Spooky Movie Night 2017!

Thank you to everyone who came along to our 2017 Spooky Movie Night! A great time was had by all! A great film, good pizza, a wonderful raffle, superb fancy dress – what more could you want for a Halloween party? We also raised over £350 for our charity, to the Spooky Movie Night was another big success!  Have a look at some photographs of the night below:

The spooky scene is set!

Tread carefully!

Some excellent costumes were on show all evening, and we had some fantastic raffle prizes too!

Harriet, the lucky winner of a £50 voucher!

The 3 faced, best pumpkin prize winner.  What a night!

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Shop item of the week - Zebra screen print by Brian McGinnis

Our Shop item of the week is this colourful screen print by Brian McGinnis. We fell in love with this picture the moment we saw it. The texture of the ink is thick and the roughness of the lines give this playful print its character and charm. McGinnis has done a few prints with the zebra motif. This screen print is available on pink paper as well. Both prints are for sale in our online shop. At £25 this screen print would make a wonderful Christmas present. We offer framing services for all pictures bought from our gallery & shop. You can contact us to enquire about pricing, Find the print, unframed, in our online shop or come by our Trongate 103 gallery to see it in our gift shop!

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Artwork of the week - ‘Unconed space 1’ by Simon McAuley

Artwork of the week is this beautifully quiet lumen print by Simon McAuley, currently on exhibition in our gallery as part of 'Lumen Essence'. This exhibition is part of the 2017 Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. In the lead up to the show Project Ability held a series of lumen printing workshops in the studios. Led by Celine Mcilmunn, the participating artists each learned how lumen printing works and experimented with making their own prints. A selection of these were chosen to be exhibited in the gallery. 

Simon McAuley has a background in photography and also enjoys painting. The prints he has in the show, including 'Unconed space 1', look like they were made from the layering and/or manipulating of different types of paper. The colours of the prints vary but are all subtle with a monochromatic feel. Each artist in the show has used the process in very a different way, resulting in each body of work being unique.

'Lumen Essence', together with our Gallery II show, 'Some Pictures', will be up until the 11 November. 

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Project Ability artists at Manchester Buy Art Fair 2017!

Now recognised as one of the UK’s leading festivals of visual arts, Buy Art Fair 2017, featuring The Manchester Contemporary, will bring galleries and artists to Manchester from across the UK. Over 3,000 original artworks will be for sale and we are delighted to announce that three Project Ability artists will see their work exhibited during the fair.

Grace McArthur and Tommy Kemp are two of the very talented artists that will show some work with Heart and Sold, a pioneering arts initiative that promotes and supports artists with Down Syndrome and provides a platform from which to sell their work. More info here.

We are also very excited to announce that Cameron Morgan has been selected to exhibit work at the Manchester Contemporary this year with Venture Arts! Venture Arts are partnering with Castlefield Gallery for the event from 27 – 29 October. He will be showing some of his ringtone ceramics and 'The Three Stooges', a print made during his residency in Wakefield. More info here

Manchester Buy Art Fair 2017
27-29 October 2017.

Image: 'One Direction' by Grace McArthur

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Shop Item of the Week - 2018 Superheroes Calendars!


Shop Item of the Week..... is it a bird, is it a plane, no! It's our 2018 Superhero Calendars!! Featuring many of the exciting and brilliant Superhero paintings from Project Ability's 2016 Annual Christmas Show. You'll find Elasti-girl, Superman, The Thing, The Human Torch, The Hulk, Supergirl, Wonder Woman and loads more! For ten pounds it is a great gift for yourself, and for someone else. You can find the calendars for sale in our gallery shop at Trongate 103 and our online shop

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Artwork of the week - ‘Brexit’ by Alan Straiton


Artwork of the week features this abstract painting by Alan Straiton titled 'Brexit'. 'Brexit' is one of several new paintings on exhibition in Project Ability's Gallery II. The title of this solo exhibition is a modest one, 'Some Pictures'.

Straiton's painting style is varied but often abstract and always thoughtful and filled with intention. Brexit is a hot topic at the moment, with the entire country wondering, will it happen? Who knows.... the artist clearly has it on his mind and with the title of this painting he is looking to open a conversation about the subject. It is an entagled web of facts and fiction, bewilldering politicians and world leaders, leaving the rest of us confused and unsure of the future. This painting portrays mass social confusion and a misplaced sense of British identity.

Straiton's exhibition is definitely worth a look, and at the same time you can check out Lumen Essence, a group show of lumen photgraphic prints. Both shows are up until 11 November, all welcome!

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WalkingGroup - Week 20: the Tenement House

"On Wednesday 11th October, the walking group took a rare morning trip to visit the Tenement House in Garnethill. It was a wet day so we took a brisk walk through George Square before heading to the Garnethill area via Sauchiehall Street. Once there we were given a private tour of the house and museum.

The tenement itself is amazing to see, Miss Toward who lived there with her mother Mrs Toward until her death, had collected and saved everything. The wealth of information about the time period and how Miss Toward lived was vast due to her desire to not waste and throw stuff away.

The house is set to be staged as it would have been in the late 1800’s with the gas lighting restored. The furniture is exquisite with a gorgeous grandfather clock over 200 years old in the hallway.

In the kitchen the original range and Belfast sink are still there and the bathroom has been restored to show what Victorian indoor plumbing was like.

Downstairs there is a museum area with more information about Miss Toward and her mother, and more items of theirs as well as information on life in Glasgow at the time, why tenements were built and how they housed different people."
-Morage McGilchrist

You can find more information on the Tenement House here

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Cameron Morgan & Charlie Hammond residency

Charlie Hammond and Cameron Morgan have started their creative partnership a few weeks ago, and they are already experimenting with ideas and producing some work.

Hammond has a scrapbook showcasing the top of match books, each with its own design and imagery. The artists went on to make a stencil inspired by the match books, which will then be used to produce a print next week. 

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Get your Superheroes calendar now!

Pow! The 2018 calendars are just back from the printers, and this year's theme is: Superheroes! 

With drawings and paintings from last year's 'Superheroes' exhibition, this calendar is bright, fun and full of powerful characters: Superman, Elastigirl, the Human Torch, Wonder Woman and many more!

Only £10, on sale in our gallery shop and online

Artworks by Jack Woodall, Michael McMullen, Edward Henry, Gerard Gallagher, John McCormack, Jonathan McKinstry, Lea Cummings, Lesley Nimmo, Obi Oguguo, Pauline Jackson, Peter Johnston, Ronnie McCulloch and Ruth Mutch.

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Project Ability at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children

With generous funding and ongoing support from Trefoil, Project Ability have been working in Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children since May.

Part of a diverse and exciting visual arts programme, artist and arts practitioner Iona Grey has been working with a small group of young people on their own creative projects.

Recently, the young artists have been working on graffiti posters using stencils and spray paints, inspired by graffiti artist Banksy.

“First the children draw their chosen images onto card which I carefully cut out. We then take their work outside to the garden to work with spray paints of varying colours and overlapping chosen areas creating more depth” – Iona Grey

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Shop Item of the Week - by Nicole Cheong


Shop item of the week is this hand made coil vase by Nicole Cheong. Measuring 18cm tall with a diameter of about 12cm, this is a quirky and beautiful creation. Priced at £35 we don't think it is going to be around for long. If you're interested you can come by the Project Ability gallery shop at Trongate 103, or head over to our online shop where you can buy it right now.

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Artwork of the week - ‘Garden of Heavenly Delight’ by Rainoir Clark

This week our artwork of the week is this gorgeous lumen print by Rainoir Clark titled 'Garden of Heavenly Delight'. This piece is part of our current show, 'Lumen Essence', which is part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. There are six artists showing lumen prints in the exhibition, and each has discovered their own unique way of working with this fascinating medium. Rainoir Clark, who often works with collage has very successfully transferred those skills over to the lumen prints. Her pieces in the show combine both figurative subjects which have clearly been cut out with a pen knife, and composed them with the organic forms and transparencies of flowers. The result is a sharp, beautiful and slightly surreal composition.

Each artist in Lumen Essence has created brilliant work for this show, and it is well worth a look. It will be up in our gallery until 11 November. Alongside 'Lumen Essence' we also have a solo show of new work by Alan Straiton in our Gallery II. Titled 'Some Pictures', Straiton's show is also part of SMHAFF. 


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Artist in residence: James Jimbo

James Jimbo was our first artist in residence this year, when he spent the month of September in our studios, interacting with our artists and finding inspiration in their work. Here is what he had to say about his time at Project Ability:

"I've developed new ways of drawing for my armoury, directly based on diving into the blue boxes of Project Ability artists’ reference materials in the Aspire workshop.  A series of works in pen on paper resulted from this, which were developed further into expanding the ways in which I draw by drawing with paint, combining images and using my own source material.

Looking at the artists in the studios and the way they draw got me trying to be (even) freer with my approach. Not worry that something is exact, not necessarily worry about what it is about but accept (and hope) that the works construe an idea, an element, or a something else that can be identified.  It will take many moons to digest my experience of being in the Project Ability studios, seeing the work here, and the way my work has developed.

I have observed and admired the many varied ways the artists approach their work. The Aspire artist who painted the two tigers. Andrew Boyle, who painted the Train over the Glenfinnan viaduct, Doreen Kay and her yacht and castle Landscape. John Cocozza and his Bruce Forsyth paintings have been great to look at. So much so that I had to have a go at drawing ol' Brucie myself.

I've also seen works by artists I already admire, like Scott Smith, Terry Kerr, Michael McMullen and Cameron Morgan, the latter whom I have had the pleasure to chat to about his work on a couple of occasions.
I also had some brief but frank conversations with Paul and Alan which will stick in my memory. Alan's procrastination helped allay my fear of procrastination and Paul's enthusiasm for working is infectious!

All the tutors have been great too, and I have enjoyed my conversations with them."

It was a pleasure to have James work in our studios for a month. He will be back for a talk about his work in the coming months.

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Shop Item of the Week - Christmas Cards!!!



It's that time of year again! We have a selection of three different holiday cards by Andy Adams, Edward Henry and Ruth Mutch. You can find all three in our gallery shop and also our online shop. The inside message on all three reads 'Seasons Greetings'. They are being sold in packs of ten for £5. Follow the image links below for each of the three different cards:

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Artwork of the week - ‘Contemporary Couple’ by Alan Straiton

'Contemporary Couple' is our chosen artwork of the week. This figurative painting is in our current exhibition, which opens this evening titled 'Some Pictures'. This is a solo show by Alan Straiton in our Gallery II. 

We are proud to be exhibiting this new selection of work by Straiton as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. His work investigates topical issues, seen in the title of his painting ‘Brexit’, and also the integration of technologies into domestic and intimate settings, as is portrayed in our artwork of the week, ‘Contemporary Couple’. His paintings embody and embrace paint. Straiton uses his artistic practice as a medium to keep him grounded whilst allowing him to express his concerns and appreciation of the complexities - and mysteries- of the human psyche.

At the same time as 'Some Pictures' is showing in our Gallery II, we also have a group show of lumen prints in our main gallery. 'Lumen Essence' is also part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. Both shows are up until 11 November. All welcome!

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Ceramics Workshop with Tracy!

Earlier this week, Volunteers Coordinator and ceramics whiz Tracy Gorman hosted a special ceramics workshop, with participants focusing on creating multiple, beautiful pieces to soon grace the Project Ability shop.

Many great looking items were started, and we look forward to seeing the finished results!


Check back soon to see the finished pieces. 

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Walking Group - Week 19: GSA

Last Wednesday the walking group had the pleasure of again visiting the Glasgow School of Art. We walked leisurely through the city center, enjoying the good weather before arriving and seeing the first exhibition.

This was a fabulous event hosting work by Friday's Aspire group and organized by volunteer Jonny Kirkwood. It featured beautiful work displayed over two rooms and we were fortunate to have two of the artists, Cameron Morgan and Doreen Kay in attendance with us.

We then went into the Vic Cafe to see Jonathan McKinstry's mural Not The Last Supper. As I remember being a huge fan of the original painting it was amazing to see it so large and perfectly recreated on the wall.

We then returned to the Reid Gallery to see SoFA Presents: East and West Walk Forward School of Fine Art. A fabulous exhibition with paintings, prints and sculptures from China. The exhibion runs until October 29th. We also were able to see an exhibit of post war print design for fabric which is in the main corridor outside the Reid Gallery.
-Morag McGilchrist

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