Reflections on her short residency and talk by Clare Hume.
The Art of Confidence
Recently, I had the chance to share some of my thoughts on the experience of working with a lovely group of adult artists who experience learning difficulties.
I decided to deliver a fairly informal chat on my experiences – the kind you might have over a nice cuppa, and feel free to dunk your hob-nob, kind of chat - reminiscing over the group’s exploration of Trongate 103 and our developing a relationship with the galleries and the art contained within.
I guess the talk was about this:
Too often, the pleasure that the artist takes in creation, outweighs the pleasure given to his or her audience. Too often we are too passive, wondering if we are interpreting it as we should. Often we pass it by for pursuits we feel better connected with. All too often we feel that we have no business being in the gallery at all.
I wasn’t surprised then, when told by Elisabeth (Elisabeth Gibson, Director of Project Ability), that members of my group of artists were making their way straight up stairs and into the studios to create their own art but made no attempt to visit the gallery spaces below. ‘Let’s see if we can’t change all that?’
I talked about how I led the group into the gallery spaces, creating trails on the floor and in the lift… a shoal of fish, pointing the way to the Still Water Exhibition. Colourful foam hand prints, suggesting that someone had made their way along the corridors on their hands, leading the way to the Print Studio; quirky music leading us to the ever so quirky exhibition of The Theatre of The Self.
Once in the space my group claimed it as their own, we now had a right to be there. Warm-ups/drama games done, making ourselves as tall and as wide as possible, roaming the space in our giant bubbles we began finding ways in to the pieces through multi-sensory story-telling - We used, Swathes of colourful cloth, feathers tickling us on the nose, print rollers rolling on our arms and hands…
All art is play and all play is learning. If we get it right, then it’s joyously spontaneous and we interact with and become part of the art. Happily, this is what we did as a group over my month-short residency. There was an immediacy and an unpolished honesty and joy in the work presented on our final day – happenings not performances.
It’s not until after this kind of work, you try to establish in your mind exactly what had taken place and why was it so effective? It was art as interaction not a passive, intellectual exercise.
One thing that I was certain of was that this had been a truly special experience. We had, as I hoped we would do, dived in and splashed about in the wonderful works adorning the gallery walls.
The last day, in particular, had been a time of great merriment, adventure, togetherness and empowerment. A time that I will never forget and hopefully my new friends at Aspire (my group of artists from Project Ability) will not forget either.
At the end of each session, I asked each of the participants to share with the group what they liked best about the session, “I liked the fish, they were like arrows”, “I loved the story of the strange creature coming out of the picture”, “I liked the busy print because it reminded me of Glasgow”. Every time, without fail, there came the same reply from one of the most astute in the group, “I liked the confidence”.
And hopefully this is what I managed to convey in my little chat. So go on have another hob-nob, that’s what they’re there for.
For more information about Clare Hume and her work, please visit her blog.
The Foyer of Trongate 103 is full of vibrant, summery colours!
A group of artists who attend our Aspire workshops created a series of beautiful batiks to celebrate summer: bright yellows and oranges, they bring a splash of colour to the building.
We now have a new server, and things are back to normal. Some emails have been lost, so if you haven't heard back from us, please email us again or call us on 0141 552 2822.
The website and Facebook are fully functionning again, so keep an eye on them for updates on our upcoming events.
We are sorry for the inconvenience.
Nearing the end of her solo exhibition, artist Pum Dunbar will be discusssing her current practice in relation to her exhibition, The Theatre of the Self: A Play of Parts, including her own thoughts on the sense of self through the world of material, culture, art and creative processes discussing the themes and visual imagery manifested in the work on display.
When: Friday 17 June 3-4pm
Where: Project Ability Gallery
This event is free, all welcome.
There are now only about two months left for you to submit your work for our October-November exhibition 'Collected'.
Paintings, drawings, sculptures, we welcome any medium, the only restriction being one of size.
For more information on the exhibition and how to submit a piece, please click here.
The group got to meet new people in a nice and relaxed atmosphere, participated in creative activities such as drawing, painting and making original 'comfy cushions', and by the looks of it, everybody seemed to enjoy the evening!
The Create Summer film / animation workshops are back! Want to learn the basics of film-making, how to use a camera and an editing programme?
We have two workshops of one week each, for children aged 6 -12 years-old.
Workshop 1: Monday 4th – Friday 8th July, 10am-12noon / 6-12yrs
Workshop 2: Monday 11th – Friday 15th July, 10am-12noon / 6-12yrs
Costs: £25 per weekly workshop
Click here to read more about Duncan Wilson, our artist in residence for the month of May.
His work will be exhibited in the gallery in January 2012, as part of our second Residency show.
After a very interesting artist talk by drama artist Clare Hume (more information on the talk coming up soon), Project Ability's gallery opened its doors to 'Le Pop-Up Shop', a wonderful event organised by the lovely ladies at Preloved Popup.
Shoes, bags, jewellery and other vintage / preloved clothes were on display and for sale for one night only. The vibe of the shop mixed in perfectly with Pum Dunbar's exhibition, with the items on display colour-coordinated in response to Pum's incredible paintings!
Many people (staff included!) found something to their taste, and asked for the shop to come back in the future. A really great evening if you ask us!
Today marks the start of National Volunteers Week, and we take this opportunity to say once again a BIG thank you to all our volunteers, past and present! It is also a perfect opportunity to introduce you to one of our volunteers: Sarah Vincent.
Sarah graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2000 in painting and went on to study Art therapy at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh. She currently teaches art to adults with disabilities at Cardonald College and has been a member of the Independent Studios for about 3 years, where she shares a space with her partner Sandy.
Sarah volunteered with us to deliver a series of 4 full day workshops. The workshops produced a body of work which will be made into a fundraising calendar. Participants in her workshops produced fantastic images around the theme of 2012 Olympics.
Sarah’s recent personal work has been a series of small oil paintings inspired by Google Streetview's of urban areas of Glasgow. She is also interested in making some work about silence and recently made a full body cast in tissue paper!
The result of her workshops, the Project Ability 2012 calendar, will be available to buy in our shop and online in the last few months of 2011. Keep an eye out for it, the artworks are beautiful!
(Image: 'Fencing' by Edward Henry)
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