Artwork of the Week - ‘Holiday Stories’ by Fiona Patience

We are very pleased to bring you this charming holiday series by Fiona Patience as our Artwork of the Week!

'This is me going on holiday', pencil on paper

'This is a picture of me flying a kite', pencil on paper

'Lizard at the zoo', pencil on paper

'Swimming Pool Flume', watercolour on paper

Fiona's work is full of joy at the simple pleasures in life, making gorgeous drawings that show a sheer delight in the everyday. Fiona is one of our Create artists and will be exhibiting in our annual Young Talent exhibition, opening on Saturday 15 June 1-3pm in our gallery, Trongate 103. 

What do you think of Fiona's work? Tell us what you think on Facebook!



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A Day in the Life of Project Ability

On Tuesday 21st May, artist Sally Hackett spent the day documenting a typical day at Project Ability: people arriving and taking part in our different workshops, the new show being installed in the gallery, discussions taking place between artists... The result is a wonderful series of images that portray the variety of work being made in our workshops.



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Gartnavel Royal Hospital workshops



Project Ability received funding in August 2012, to deliver a programme of visual art workshops in the wards at Gartnavel Royal Hospital. Starting in February 2013, artist Tracy Gorman delivered a weekly art class over five weeks to patients in Timbury Ward. She introduced silk painting and the patients were so taken with the results that they carried on with this activity over all five sessions!



After the initial five workshops sessions and with positive feedback from patients and staff, artist Celine McIlmunn came into work with Timbury Ward for five sessions, working with glassine paper and pva glue to make collages of flower and insect motifs. The group then moved on to watercolour painting, continuing on the theme of insects, butterflies as well as landscapes.



Tracy Gorman moved to Tate Ward for a further five sessions, where the group explored silk and glass painting. 



The participants produced beautiful pieces of art, and demonstrated a keen interest in learning new skills. We are now back in Gartnavel Royal for five more sessions.





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Meet the Volunteers: Antonia Spagnoletti



This week, let us introduce you to Antonia Spagnoletti, who has been volunteering with our young 6-12yrs filmmakers on Wednesdays.

"I have always had a passion for the Arts. During my childhood, I spent most of my time engaging with the arts in some form or another, attending classes weekly in an array of art forms ranging from painting and drawing to dancing and theatre. My self-confidence has grown in direct relation to my appreciation and understanding of the arts.  As an adult, I found myself drawn to visual media and I achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Film and Photography at Edinburgh Napier University in 2011. The arts have become an integral part of my life now and I have been developing my practice ever since, working on some fantastic creative projects and even exhibiting my work internationally.

For me, imagery is a very powerful thing. you can express and inspire so much from an image, it opens discussion, challenges perceptions and can conjure up vivid emotions or memories. As a firm supporter of the arts as an important positive contributor to self-development and personal growth, I believe that the arts provide us with models to think differently, work differently and assist us in relating to each other.

I am currently involved with the Create workshop - Introduction to Film for 6-12 year olds. I wanted to be able to support other peoples’ creative practice whilst igniting their passion for the Arts, just as I was inspired when I was young. It is my favourite part of the week, being able to work with such free artists. I love to see their approach to creative working, and it’s really rewarding to see them get as excited about developing and exploring creativity as I do. It’s also been an invaluable and informative experience for me too, particularly in my own approach to creativity. Volunteering with Project Ability is a great opportunity to learn just as much as you are there to help and I look forward to being part of many more projects to come."

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A selection of Project Ability short films was screened in GMAC



On Saturday 25 May, a selection of Project Ability short films was screened in GMAC. The films were made during the last year by young filmmakers aged 6-25, who attended our different film classes.



The cinema was packed with people, and after a short introduction by Project Ability's Murray Wilson, the screening began. Afterwards, some of the filmmakers were handed a prestigious Arts Award. Not only did they write, direct and produce the films, they also made a portefolio with their research material.



Congratulations to all our filmmakers on your fantastic work!



If you would like to see the films, have a look at our Youtube channel.

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No Create classes this Saturday

There will be no Create classes this Saturday, 25 May, because of the Bank Holiday.

The Gallery will be open.

Classes will resume on Saturday 01 June.


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Singing with Julia

Some of our Reconnect artists are getting creative with music and singing with tutor Julia Scott.



"We began by sharing some of our favourite music with one another. We talked about why we liked it and the place that music holds in each of our lives. We all found common ground in the magical quality of Alice Coltrane’s Journey Into Satchinadana that whisked us away to somewhere else.

In the afternoon Liam, a compare in a live 9 piece Karaoke band, joined us. We dared to sing in front of one another and by half way through most tunes Alan would be playing along on the fiddle so we turned off the backing track and were accompanied by him and some percussion; it was radical karaoke!

In the second week Irene joined us for a singing workshop. We began with vocal exercises, reawakening the tail at the end of our spine, sticking out our tongue and saying the vowels. We did some games to explore the potential of our voices, improvising and mimicry. We sang several songs in the round, one being a song for peace in several languages that had 6 parts so we all had to hold our own and it worked!



This week we are learning West African Rhythms with Laurie. We are playing traditional Ghanaian rhythms on djembe and kpanlogo drums, shekere shaker and bells and Gerry is playing guitar.



 The people in the band have a lot of talent; I’m really excited for next week when that can really come to fore as we come together with what we have learned so far, what we already knew and some other stuff we don’t know yet to play our own creations in a practice room. We’re going to need a name…"

-Julia Scott

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A visit from the Hayfield Day Centre and Aspire



Today was the opening of Aspire artist Catherine Rankine's Solo Showcase, and for the occasion, her friends from the Hayfield Day Centre came in big numbers to support her! 



Visitors perused the lively, colourful artwork and congratulated the artist on her show.



Soon after, it was a large group of Aspire artists who made it to the gallery, admiring the work.


Catherine Rankine's show is on until Saturday 1st June, 5pm. 

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Meet the Volunteers: Katie Hawson



This week, let us introduce you to Katie Hawson, who has been a wonderful addition to the Create team. 

"Having recently graduated from Glasgow School of Art, where in my final year, art became the most stressful element in my life, I felt I needed to be reminded that in reality art can be not only therapeutic but actually fun. Having volunteered now for a few weeks with the Saturday morning Create workshops, the children and staff at Project Ability have done just that. In the workshops there is a sense of excitement with the environment lending itself well to enriching everyone’s experience of art, encouraging equality and freedom of expression. The passion of the young people, the sheer concentration and their ability to show enthusiasm for a project over a number of weeks is quite remarkable, however the most valuable aspect of these workshops is sheer amount of fun both staff, volunteers and children have when working together.

Within my own practice I'm interested in the perception of reality and use my work to create conspicuous, esoteric images that suggest a narrative that isn't there. Working mainly within printmaking I often become heavily involved in the practical aspects of the medium as a whole. Since graduating I have been involved in a number of group shows and have recently shown my work in a small solo show at the Brunswick. Overall Project Ability has shown me how to approach my own work without giving myself any limitations. Although I'm on this blog as a volunteer for Project Ability, where in theory I should be telling you about how I've been helping others at the workshops, in reality it's those I have met at the workshops who have been helping me."

Thank you from all of us, Katie!

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Opening of Catherine Rankine’s Solo Showcase


Join us tomorrow for the opening of our third Solo Showcase, featuring drawings and prints by Aspire artist Catherine Rankine.

Catherine creates work where kitsch is a constant theme; her smiling pet portraits bring to mind the precious status of toys and animals that bring comfort. These fanciful images also include flowers, animals, girls and domestic objects with a mixture of off-beat humour and so much character; effortlessly creating more than just a static storyboard which takes her work beyond the cute. This subject matter seems inexhaustible to Catherine, it is her passion, bringing to life the strange and alluring world of inanimate objects such as ornaments, cuddly toys and notions of domestic decoration.

Wednesday 22 May, 1pm-2pm, Project Ability Gallery.

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Screening of Project Ability films at GMAC on Saturday 25th May



Project Ability is excited to announce that we will be screening work from our Introduction to Film Workshops 2012/13 and Arts Awards Programme at GMAC, 5th Floor, Trongate 103 Glasgow G1 5HD on Saturday 25th May at 12noon.

Additionally, Arts Award participants who’s folios were submitted for moderation and passed will receive their Bronze Level Arts Award Certificate on the day.

Places are limited, if you would like to attend this event please contact us on 0141 552 2822.

Image: still frame from Greg and the Aliens by Rory MacDonald

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Open Gallery - George Stevenson Solo Showcase



Drama artist Claire Hume led another lively session in Project Ability's workshop and gallery space on Tuesday 14th May.  The captive audience from Crookston Speech and Language Unit were led on an exciting, tactile, multi sensory adventure inspired by the ceramic sculptures of George Stevenson. 



Tales of monsters, mud, mountains and seas left everyone in awe and inspired our young art critics to touch, talk about and recreate some of the fascinating pieces on display.



The Open Gallery workshops are funded by the Bank of Scotland Foundation and provide children and adults with learning disabilities, sensory impairments and autistic spectrum disorders, their teachers and carers, with opportunities to explore and engage with contemporary visual art.

More photos can be viewed on our Facebook Page.

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Friends and Family Fun Weekends: Glass-painting



The last workshop of our Friends and Family Fun Weekends series took place on Saturday 18 May and was all about glass painting. And what a fun day it was: glass plates and jars turned into wonderfully colourful pieces of art!



The Friends and Family Fun Workshops have proven very successful throughout the year, and we would like to thank all the young (and not so young) artists who came along. Here are a few quotes from participants on what they thought about the workshops:



"They offer fun, knowledge and therapy and allow us, as a family with a child who needs extra support, to just 'switch off' and live in the moment, where all we have to worry about for that hour and a half is where to place the next line or wonder about what colour would look best. "


"Great for bringing our family together; no need to worry about our daughter or what she's doing"


"The opportunity to attend projects/clubs which cater specifically for kids with learning difficulties are minimal in Glasgow. This is a project which really delivers on all levels, artistic, therapeutic, teamwork and enjoyability. Thank you."


"Being creative in a relaxed environment - trying something new with the kids."


"A great way to spend some interesting time with the whole family. My 15 year old was initially reluctant but he seemed to really enjoy it and it was great building something together."


"Working together with the family, with expert tuition, there is nothing else like it in Glasgow."


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Sculpting with Jason

Over the next six weeks, sculptor Jason Pyper-Davis is in the studio on Friday's teaching ReConnect artists the basics of portrait modeling in clay.


Jenny and David starting work on their armatures.


Margaret starts work.


David, Jenny, Veronica, Margaret and Norrie make a start!


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Artwork of the Week - ‘Sky Cloud’ by Sandra Ormiston



This week we are very pleased to bring you a painting by Aspire artist Sandra Ormiston, 'Sky Cloud', which featured in our Big Skies exhibition. 

Sandra makes texts and images and in her pictures she often fills the blanks with words that she has invented to sound like the object she is trying to portray. Her work recalls everyday life, yet always remains whimsically illustrative; creating a narrative account of her life through a unique visual onomatopoeia.

If you love Sandra’s work as much as we do, you can view her works for sale on our Culture Label shop.

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Sally Hackett on her collaboration with George Stevenson

Our current exhibition Solo Showcase: George Stevenson features a series of ceramic sculptures which he made in collaboration with artist, Sally Hackett; exploring abstract forms and an organic approach to artistic collaboration.

Watch here a short interview of Sally talking about their collaboration.

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Mental Health Awareness week 2013


The theme for this year's campaign, which runs from 13-19 May 2013 is physical activity and exercise, highlighting the impact they have on mental health and wellbeing. We agree but let's hear it for visual arts activity and participation in the arts !



ReConnect is a dynamic visual arts project for people in recovery from mental ill health. Each week sixty people have access to studio space at Project Ability to make work, develop their practice and right now prepare for their forthcoming exhibition which will be on show in our gallery in August.




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Casting with Aelfred


A group of ReConnect artists has recently started a series of casting workshops with tutor Aelfred de Sigley

"We began the workshops last week by reading aloud a series of poems by Jakie Kay from her book Life Mask (a series of poems in part written in response to the casting process) and two Edwin Morgan poems which examine trace, memory and the mask- and I invited each of the artists to respond in any way that they wished to in relation to the casting process. Today Dibby, one of the participating artists re-read aloud Life Mask which I felt informed the day's casting.

Two of the artists made face moulds today which so far is proving to be quite an intense process both physically and personally. One participating artist said that he imagined what it was like to be buried and there is something about the process of casting the face and going under, and committing to a process and trusting another to cast, which is immediate and vulnerable, especially in a group context when there is a lot going on.

Each artist has been engaging in their own process of inquiry and making moulds from the body alongside moulds from objects. Formally the workshops are an opportunity for learning a new skill (we are making moulds from silicone, alginate and plaster) and we will be trying out casts in a variety of materials and from ceramic slip(porcelain and earthenware), wax, pigmented plaster, latex, gelatin and chocolate. Later on in the workshops I will be encouraging the artists to experiment through the production of multiples, pigmentation or painting the casts alongside working into the casts/masks surface or manipulating the casts into finished sculptural works."
-Aelfred de Sigley


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Vacancy: Administrator (Full Time)

Administrator (Full Time). Initially for 12 months with the possibility of extension
37.5 hours per week.
Salary Scale £18441-£19959

We are seeking an organised professional to provide a comprehensive administrative support service for the organisation.

You will have excellent communication skills; verbal and written and first class IT skills including Microsoft office (word, access and excel).
You will be able to demonstrate experience in a similar administrative role and experience of working in a face to face customer service environment.
You will be flexible, able to manage a complex workload and to work on your own initiative without supervision and as part of a small dedicated team.

Closing Date Monday 3rd June 2013

Interviews Wednesday 19th June 2013 in Glasgow

Download your application pack:
- Job description and person specification
- Application form

Tel: 0141 552 2822

Scottish Charity No: SC005226


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LATE @ The Arches is back!



The Arches is once again joining forces with Dates n Mates and C-Change to bring you Scotland’s first and only inclusive nightclub.

The next club LATE takes place on Thursday 23rd of May from 7:30pm - Midnight. There will be many DJ’s on the night playing the latest club favourites as well as some dance classics.

Tickets are available now by contacting Dates-n-Mates:
By phone: 0141 427 2957
By e-mail on:
or you can buy tickets online by visiting the dates-n-mates website:


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ReConnect artists attended Arts & Wellbeing conference in Carlisle



On 8th May Veronica, Morag and Celine from ReConnect boarded a train to Carlisle to attend a seminar the following day on ‘Exploring How Participatory Arts Can Improve Wellbeing’ in Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery.

The seminar gave some insight into the workings of other arts projects and delegates were given the opportunity to attend sessions exploring various approaches to delivering music and visual arts workshops.


'We all agreed it was an interesting visit and particularly enjoyed the exhibitions in the venue. There was an exhibition of work from 'Outside In' where some of the artists were present to discuss their artwork and there was also an excellent exhibition of British collage.' said Celine.


The day passed very quickly and on returning to Glasgow all three said they would like to go back to Carlisle, and particularly Tullie House, for further exploration!'


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Project Ability Film Shorts: George Stevenson Preview

Yesterday, we opened George Stevenson's show as part of our solo showcase season presenting a series of ceramic sculptures, made in collaboration with artist Sally Hackett.

This short film gets up close with the objects and reveals George's first glimpse of the work on show in the gallery.

The exhibition continues until Saturday 18 May, open Tuesday-Saturday 10-5pm - another short showcase not to be missed!

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Next Friends and Family Fun Workshop: Glass painting



The last Friends and Family Fun Weekend will take place on Saturday 18 May. These workshops have proven very successful throughout the year, as they provide the opportunity for young people with disabilities and their friends and families to participate in an exciting programme of visual arts activities.

Participants have had the chance to try their hand at making junk sculptures, snow globes, cards, mosaics, and many more! For our last workshop, young participating artists will try glass painting! What's more you can take away a goody bag of ideas and materials to help you continue structured arts activities at home.

Saturday 18 May, 11am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-3pm. Free.

For more information, please click here or call us on 0141 552 2822

Photo by Tom Manley

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Art Matters



The Art Matters workshops will be turning one this summer! Now in its fourth block, Art Matters is a supported group for young adults aged 21-28yrs to meet, socialise and create great artwork.

"Art Matters is a group that comprises mostly of artist who have come through Project Ability's Create programme." says Tutor John Fitzpatrick. "Many of these artist have long standing relationships with each other and Project Ability and Art Matters provides a forum to develop their already established practice.

Working on both independent projects and group activity the group is a supported, social and encouraging platform for young artists to make the transition from the children and young persons program to a more independent art practice.

Art Matters recognises the artists as individual and allows them to maintain their own interests and approaches while supporting and motivating new ways of working."

The work created during the workshops will be exhibited in the Project Ability gallery from 05 to 28 September.

For more photos, have a look at our Facebook Page.


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George Stevenson Solo Showcase - opening 08/05, 1pm-2pm



Our second Solo Showcase is a series of ceramic sculptures made by George Stevenson in collaboration with artist Sally Hackett.

“The first clay shape George made was a small pinch pot. He began forming the hollow shape. When it was finished I handed him another piece of clay which he proceeded to drop slap bang in the middle of his first creation with great satisfaction. This became the central, joyful feature of his work. Simply making shapes, and putting one on top of another, whether it was a conventional placing or not.”
-Sally Hackett

Join us tomorrow (Wednesday 08 May) for the preview of the exhibition and some refreshments.

1pm-2pm, Project Ability Gallery, Trongate 103.


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New stock in Project Ability’s shop


This week we have had various new additions to our shop here at Project Ability. Above is just one sample of some brilliant new watercolour and ink drawings by Cameron Morgan.


We also have a few more of Ruth Mutch's wonderful hand-stitched felt dolls. Each doll is a unique design and they are for sale at a bargain £20.00, and are only available in our shop.


Artist Susan Christie has added to our stock of small drawings with these quirky little pieces, which can also be given as gift cards.


Our shop is open for business Tuesday to Saturday from 10am till 5pm and is right next to our gallery where we are currently showing a solo exhibition by Luigi Bertonesi.

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Cameron Morgan, Commission for the Golden Jubilee National Hospital – Artwork of the Week #04


This Artwork of the Week features a commissioned painting for the Golden Jubilee National Hospital by Cameron Morgan. Cameron’s work spawned from a visit to the hospital where he sketched and photographed his surroundings and, inspired by the drama of the operating theatre, he created this surgical procedure in paint. 

Cameron’s imaginative skills drive the construction of his paintings where he illustrates how to apply paint, draw a figure and depict a movement with a devoted absorption and curiosity.


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‘Time & Process’ - a study of artist Simon McAuley

Filmed over two days in April 2013 at Project Ability's studio in Glasgow, this study of artist Simon McAuley portrays his artistic process, and demonstrates the work developing over this period of time.

Filming and music by Max McIlmunn.

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Meet the Volunteers: Gillian Datlen



This week, meet Gillian Datlen, who has been a great addition to the Art Matters team.

"I started at Project Ability in January and have been volunteering on the Art Matters project on a Saturday evening.

Although I have a lot of experience working with children in schools, working with adults has given me a very different, valuable experience. It has been such a rewarding time for me and I have enjoyed meeting and working with the creative individuals who participate. Each person has their own style, unique ideas and very different approaches to their work so it’s great to facilitate this without structuring each week as a lesson. I have been extremely impressed at the quality of work being produced and the skills of the young people, some of whom have been attending Project Ability workshops from a young age. This is proof of how successful Project Ability is, not only for enhancing skills but for providing individuals with an artistic outlet, and ultimately, improving their confidence."

Thank you from all of us at Project Ability for your hard work!


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