Artist Pum Dunbar was artist in residence at Project Ability from August 2010 to August 2011. The post was funded by Creative Scotland.
As part of the residency Dunbar invited six people with autistic spectrum condition to participate in a ten week research project examining creative practice and sense of self.
This research is now published in Creative Praxis: Portraits & Dialogues from the sensory Inter/face of Autism.
This publication is available from Project Ability at a cost of £5 plus £1 p&p.
We have been delighted to have artist Jason Pyper Davis mentoring Connect artist, David McCracken. Jason has lent us his expertise in sculpture, working with David to share his knowledge in casting. David has spent weeks creating a clay sculpture which he was keen to cast in another material.
‘Both my parents are artists and so I grew up playing in their studios which brought about my love for art. From a very young age I was drawn to working in 3D and this lead me to study silver smithing and jewellery after leaving school. I studied this for 2 years but became increasingly frustrated by the limitations on the size of piece I could make and so I went on to study Fine Art Sculpture at the Glasgow School of Art and graduated in 1996. Since then I have been lucky enough to work full time as an artist selling paintings and sculptures and also jewellery commissions.
'I became a volunteer at Project Ability after talking to Tracy Gorman who co-ordinates the volunteer programme and who I also share a studio with. It has been a great opportunity to work with a great organisation that does great work. The atmosphere around the place is one of fun and creativity. It has been a joy to come in and volunteer, sharing my knowledge of casting with David. I would highly recommend volunteering with Project Ability and I would definitely do it again if I have the chance.’
Watch this space for images of David’s final cast!
Friday 25th was the last of the current workshops in the Lennox Castle Stories project. Twenty people piled into the workshop to finish off a vast array of work; a wooden model of a tractor, the original Lennox Castle building modelled in clay, pigs (it’s a long story………) and many, many prints and paintings. After the workshop we met for a sandwich lunch and to have a bit of a chat about the project to date and to decide what happens next.
Everyone said how much they were enjoying the project and how they wanted to tell people what living in the “Castle” had been like. They thought more people would be interested in taking part in the next block of workshops. We have started interviewing ex-staff and other professionals who were involved with Lennox Castle and we have recruited two volunteers from the group to help with the interviews. A considerable number of people want to visit where the hospital had stood (nothing is left of the hospital buildings other than the ruin of the original Castle) and the local area. We hope to arrange this over the next few weeks.
Project Ability and C-Change would like to thank everyone who is taking part in this project for their enthusiasm, commitment and good humour! We are blown away with the dignity with which people are sharing their memories.
Next in the Artwork of the Week series, we are proud to present Cameron Morgan’s magnificently outlandish rendering of the prominent surrealist painter, Salvador Dali! We think Cameron’s ceramic portrait matches Dalí’s appetite for luxury, his extravagance, artistic repertoire and self-proclaimed love of everything that is gilded and excessive! You can see Dalí, currently for sale at £100, in Project Ability’s shop and take him home if you love him as much as we do…
Create's young filmmakers had a great time on Tuesday evening with a fantastic opportunity to work with two professional make-up artists. From bruised eyes to sawn off fingers the young filmmakers created some scarily realistic wounds and injuries using specialist make-up and techniques. Check out more of their work here if you dare!
Artist Julie Boyce is finishing her painting of a Bullfinch. This painting will be on show in the Gallery in October in an exhibition which will commemorate the success of the Connect programme and celebrate the artists’ achievements.
Over the last few weeks participants of the Lennox Castle Stories group have produced an astonishing amount of art work and they have generously shared some of their memories of Lennox Castle for a documentary.
The surrounding environment of Lennox Castle - the stretching hills, forests and wildlife of the Campsies - has been a huge influence on the paintings, drawings, 3 dimensional objects and animations produced. One of the animations reflected upon how the Castle was hidden away from the world behind the trees and other animations have captured very vivid personal memories.
Meal times, tea breaks and other day to day routines within the hospital are also strong themes which the ex-residents are keen to talk about and reflect upon within their art work.
It has been an honour to work with the group and see these themes develop, forming unique and poignant responses to their time in Lennox Castle.
Kate Burton film maker
The final event in the Everyone@Trongate 103 programme saw four volunteers; work with four artists, representing four organisations housed in Trongate 103, over five sessions. This whirlwind of activity was captured on film by Alain Johnston from GMAC. We would like to thank to everyone who took part in this project and who contributed with enthusiasm to a brilliant, creative collaboration.
Our latest Artwork of the Week is Robert McCamley’s Teapot on a plate, from the exhibition Home Works, shown in Project Ability gallery in 2011. The black, heavy pen-work creates a pictorially perfect image that appears to be content on a plate; a simple and charming piece of work that could comfortably exist in a souvenir cabinet or on a living room wall. Lovely!
Gerard McMenemy (Connect Artist) spent approximately 3 months filming, recording sound and editing, with the assistance of Ailidh MacGregor one of our volunteers here at Project Ability, and he has successfully produced a wonderfully informative and visually appealing short film about Glasgow City Centre. Having never worked with a video camera before he very much enjoyed the experience and learned a lot about camera techniques. Gerard is keen to develop his new found skills further and particularly enjoyed working in the documentary style which he used for this film, although recording the voiceover was quite nerve-wracking and he would definitely read from a script next time. Gerard already had some knowledge of the areas of Glasgow he speaks about in the film but he also did some research to make sure that all the information was accurate.
Earlier this year, a group of young filmmakers produced four 90 seconds comedy shorts for First Light. The films are now available to see on Youtube.
From the older group:
-The Empty: A surreal adventure when a group of young people are left alone with an empty house and decide to throw a party.
-An Important Documentary: A light-hearted mockumentary about disability documentaries.
From the younger group:
All films are supported by the lottery through the BFI's First Light initiative.
Project Ability artist Duncan Gray, who attends our Aspire programme, will see some of his most recent work exhibited in Cafe Cosmo at the Glasgow Film Theatre from Thursday 17 May to Thursday 07 June.
Duncan Gray’s paintings are wilderness-obsessed and resemble a slow-motion spanning of the world’s most inaccessible peaks. His mountain tops are luminous, in brand-new white with ruddy colour applications that give way to abstractions that drift from the landscapes they represent. Gray’s open foregrounds and swaths of sky show a remote earth where the human life appears to have vacated.
Cafe Cosmo @ GFT
12 Rose Street
Glasgow G3 6RB
Create are pleased to announce the first of our new ‘Art Matters’ classes starting in August 2012 at our Trongate 103 studios.
‘Art Matters’ is a supported group for older young people to meet, socialise and create great artwork. Young adults over 21 who are independently driven in their work can access this programme; whether you are interested in painting, film making, ceramics or any other visual arts come along to our weekly workshops and develop your creative skills and ideas.
Workshops run in blocks of eight weeks, four times a year. The first one will start on Saturday 18 August.
Cost: £5 per workshop (pay per week)
Age: 21yrs +
On the 27th May, Joannie Tough is running the Edinburgh Half Marathon and raising funds for Project Ability. Joannie has already raised over £300 from her friends and family.
On the 22nd June, Chris Gorman is competing in the Great North Swim and raising funds for Project Ability. Chris has set a fundraising target of £500.
We would like to give a massive thank you to Joannie and Chris for their support and huge thanks to everyone who has made a donation.
"This week’s 'Lennox Castle Stories' workshop was again a hive of activity. The session was kicked off with a screening of the collaborative film produced during the first block of workshops in March. The film features animations using drawings made by our participants and candid video interviews of people’s first hand experiences and memories of their time in the Castle. This screening generated even more enthusiasm amongst the group, with a queue of our participants eager to share their thoughts and memories on film too! Out in the workshop space, more beautiful drawings and sculptural pieces were produced, including a clay pig and a wooden tractor! There really is no stopping this group and it is a fantastic energy to have the opportunity to work with."
- Project Ability tutor Tracy Gorman.
Our latest Artwork of the Week is John Beaton’s xoxoxoxo, from the current exhibition The World Awaits (For More Info), showing in our gallery until 26 May. John Beaton expresses himself with a radical language of brightly coloured Xs, Os, motifs and repetitions of his own name. This spectacular triptych is a combination of his exciting style and devised through bold, asymmetrical compositions which texture the creamy background of the canvas, simultaneously characterising both primitive and classical art.
Project Ability has an exciting opportunity for young filmmakers to take part in a Special Effects Make-up Taster Class. This 45 minute workshop will provide a short demonstration on some of the key areas of special effects make-up with the chance to recreate one of these looks yourself!
Date: Tuesday 22nd May 2012
Time: 14-18yrs – 6-6:45pm / 18-25yrs – 7-7:45pm
To book your place please call us on 0141 5522822.
Please note that this opportunity was first offered to recent First Light Participants and is now open to our other young film makers. We anticipate high demand for these classes so please book early to avoid disappointment.
Please wear old clothing and inform us when booking of any skin conditions or allergies which may be affected by the application of make-up.
The new block of workshops for our joint project with C-Change 'Remembering Lennox Castle Hospital' has started on Friday 4th May, and will run until the end of the month.
Here is what one of our tutors, Meredith Crone, had to say about last week's workshop:
"Friday 4th May saw the beginning of a second block of art workshops open to former residents of Lennox Castle Hospital. The session was very well attended and the group, that had been established in March, welcomed a couple of new participants who joined to share their memories and experiences.
After an initial recap and reflection upon the work produced in March the group were eager to resume their creative journey, again generating much energy and momentum, which I’m sure will push the artwork in some new and exciting directions.
Some really extraordinary images and objects are being made and produced and some very moving and poignant stories are being told and recorded. The next few weeks present an exciting opportunity for the artists involved in this project to develop, expand and build upon work they have made so far and to continue to explore their experience of having lived in a large institution and how that compares to their life situation today."
More photos on our Facebook page.
The European Outsider Art Association (EOA) is a pan-European network that brings together the broad field of Outsider Art. The Association was founded in 2009. During the 3 years it has existed it has gained 44 member organisations throughout Europe, including museums, collections, galleries, ateliers, studios, workshops and cultural organisations. The network has grown fast and this year it is eligible for applying to the EU Culture Programme for an operating grant.
In connection with the assembly the new book, On the Map – Exploring European Outsider Art – a Notebook, was launched. The book is the final result of the project Outsider Art Past Forward, funded by EU’s Culture Programme. The project arranged a survey throughout Europe for mapping organisations operating in the margins of visual arts. The notebook gives a short presentation of 60 good practices. More results of the mapping will be seen on the website of the EOA.
Thomas Röske, Director of the Collection Prinzhorn, Germany, was elected as the new President of the association. Arts Manager, Raija Kallioinen, from the Union for Rural Culture, Finland, was re-elected as the Vice President. The general assembly of EOA was held in Ghent, Belgium on April 27th.
Project Ability is a founding member of the association and at the AGM Executive Artistic Director Elisabeth Gibson was elected to the Board.
Project Ability actively supports collaboration with artists and organisations in Europe and further afield and has taken part in many successful trans-Europe programmes and exhibitions. In 2012 we are contributing to the exhibition “The World of Outsider Art” during the Arts Festival of North Norway from the 23 June to the 30 August in Harstaad, Norway and working with the Swedish arts group Inuti on a large scale textile exploring the historical relationship and cultural connections between the two countries.
The Aspire Friday group has once again created some beautiful batik banners that bring colour and texture to the first floor foyer at Trongate 103.
James Smith, John Cocozza, Steven Reilly, Cameron Morgan, William Smith, Edward Henry and Patrick Butterworth with their work which will be exhibited in the SECC concourse during May-June 2012.
Welcome back for round 2! The 'Remembering Lennox Castle Hospital' workshops will take place on Friday 4th, Friday 11th, Friday 18th and Friday 25th May.
The first series of workshops was very successful, and the participants were very generous in sharing their memories. We are still looking for old photographs or other mementos of the hospital, but this project is not just about looking back: there will be a section on the website where ex-residents can tell the story of their life today.
Chris Gorman, a long-time friend of Project Ability's, has decided to swim the Great North Swim and to fundraise for us. He is hoping to raise £500, and has already reached £100!
Here is what he had to say on his JustGiving page:
"I am swimming two events in this year's Great North Swim, the 2 mile and 1 mile open water events across Lake Windermere. This will be the largest open water swimming event in the UK. Project Ability is an organisation close to my heart. My wife Tracy has worked there for over 11 years and I have seen the impact that art has made to many of the participants who attend the Project. It is truely a unique place, supporting people of all ages with disabilies, to make art....anyone who has visited their gallery will know the great work that is produced.
As many of you know, I have competed in many swimming events in the past, however open water swimming is a relatively new venture for me and this challenge will be no mean feat! I'd really appreciate any donation you could make to support my challenge, and Project Ability."
Thank you very much Chris, and good luck! If you wish to sponsor Chris, please visit his JustGiving page, it is a very easy and secure way to donate online. You can also hand in cash or a cheque at our reception, 3rd Floor in Trongate 103.
Photo: Chris and Duncan Goodhew
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- Sally Hackett on her collaboration with George Stevenson
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