Congratulations! Lea Cummings has been offered an Unlimited Award

We are delighted to announce that Project Ability artist Lea Cummings has been successful in securing funding from Unlimited for his project “To open the eternal worlds, to open the immortal eyes” Blake! Twenty six artists and companies will be supported for Unlimited 2014, and will receive a total of £410,000!

Funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and Creative Scotland & led by Shape and Artsadmin, the 2014 round of the programme aims to build on the successful legacy that was at the heart of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, which celebrated the work of disabled artists on an unprecedented scale.

Multi-disciplinary artist Lea Cummings will use support from Unlimited (through Creative Scotland) to explore the spiritual aspects of physical reality, ritual performance and the role of human beings within the universe. Cummings will spend time working towards the development of an experience that transports audiences into a mystical, magical place outside day-to-day reality. The resulting work will incorporate visual art, video, audio and performance. 

Congratulations Lea!

(Photo by Celine Mcilmunn)

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FFFW: Felt eggs

Our latest Friends and Family Fun Workshops were all about colour and texture: participants learnt how to make and decorate eggs with felt, wool and feathers. Perfect for Easter decorations! 

The next Friends and Family Fun Workshop will be on Saturday 26 April. 

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Lea Cummings in Wales - Week 2

Another week has passed, and Lea Cummings' Welsh residency at Celf O Gwmpas is still going great. The artist sent us another series of photographs for his picture diary, enjoy!

More photos on our Facebook Page. 

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Oor Wullie’ by Cameron Morgan

Jings, crivvens! One of the most fun and engaging ceramics we've seen, Cameron Morgan's 'Oor Wullie' is our Artwork of the Week.  The artist's representation of this lovable character fully captures the personality of the subject, while showing some of his own style and verve. 

Part of the Hybrid Making exhibition, you will be able to see this among other fine works, including a number of other braw ceramics created by Cameron.  This exhibition will be closing this Saturday- the 29th of March - so don't delay!

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The Intern Diaries- Adrianne’s Blog Week 2

Happy Thursday, everyone! I know this is supposed to be a Friday post, but I’m off to London tomorrow, and it’s been such a busy week that I’ve got plenty to write about anyway. After this week it'll be back to the usual Friday post- next week's going to be a busy one too, so I'll have my work cut out for me!

I’ve been busy meeting lots more new faces this week- you’d think by now I’d have met everyone at least once, but there are so many artists coming and going in Project Ability that pretty much every day brings more! Thankfully I’ve been busy throwing myself into workshops and, slowly but surely, I’m starting to manage to put names to faces. Most of which I’ll no doubt forget, but I’m terrible with names as it is- I’m just hoping I can still play the ‘new girl’ card until I figure it out!

At the weekend I experienced my first Create Saturday classes. These run all day from 10am-4pm, and encompass age groups from 5 years old up to 21: a pretty wide variety by any standards, so a lot for me to be getting on with! I was expecting pandemonium from the younger classes but, like the Wednesday film group, they’re all really focused on their work.

There’s a range of activities including drawing, painting, collage and textile work, and the kids really embrace them all. The afternoon class was busier, although most of the artists were working independently on their own projects. There was so much going on that I ended up using two cameras and filling up the media cards, which can only be a good complaint.

I also got to chat to some of the artists and volunteers about art, film and everything in between- a pretty successful Saturday, I’d say! I’m sad to be missing the final Create class of the block this week as I’m away for the weekend: however, the next block starts on April 26th which I’m sure will be here in no time.

There’s a lot of buzz in the air about visual arts festival Glasgow International, and Project Ability is playing an integral part of it. Stockholm-based artist Henrik Pätzke’s first UK solo show, Cloud, will be debuting in our gallery. Henrik will also be giving a talk on Saturday 5th April, about his working practices and how the world around him shapes and informs his art.

Luckily for me Henrik is more than keen to talk about his work and I’ve already had the pleasure of speaking about it with him. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get some more behind the scenes chats in preparation for next week, so watch this space…

This Wednesday was the last of the Introduction to Film classes, which I’ve enjoyed being a part of over the last couple of weeks. This week was a bit more like what I’d been expecting all along: as it was the last class, the kids were in high spirits trying to get their work finished and the workshop was buzzing with activity.

It’s great that there are workshops like these to get kids and young people involved in film making beyond just pointing a camera: I started making short films in my early teens and there wasn’t really anything to teach us about storyboarding, composition, editing or effects. I’m looking forward to getting more involved with these after the four week break.

The rest of my day is going to be taken up with more filming and editing ahead of next week- interesting for me, but I'm not sure other people want to read about it! On that note, I'm back up to the editing suite. Have a great weekend... once Friday's out of the way, that is.

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Meet the Volunteer - Stephanie Gaumond

Our first Meet the Volunteers of the year is focusing on the fantastic Stephanie Gaumond, who has made a big contribution to our Aspire workshops. 

‘It has been such a pleasure being involved in Project Ability and the Aspire programme on Tuesdays. As a volunteer I've been easily welcomed by the staff as well as the artists who attend. I've found it so inspiring to be able to assist the artists with their own work while having the opportunity to share some of my knowledge as a printmaker with them. Specifically, it's been a pleasure to do some screen printing and etching with some of the artists. 

I was originally inspired to volunteer because I feel as though Project Ability is an organisation who understands the power and necessity of art in our society, especially for people who naturally have a different way of seeing our world. Also, as a printmaker I was so pleased that printmaking was one of the mediums that was utilized. One of my greatest joys volunteering with Project Ability is that I've been able to share as well as learn. My personal practice explores the conventions used to describe human experience; conventions such as words and visual languages used to share information. Through the Aspire programme I've been able to experience first hand the creative urge and the power of communication through means other than words. The artists have inspired me and I hope to cultivate more of it myself.’

Thank you Stephanie!

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Walking Group - Week 6

Our Walking Group took a bus to Kelvingrove Park last week to have a walk along the Kelvin walkway to the Botanic Gardens.

The park was busy with skateboarders, joggers, walkers and lots of workmen making repairs and upgrades. It looked like the river had had a recent clean-up as there were several rusty shopping trolleys on the banks waiting to be taken away.

It being the eve of the spring equinox, there was lots of new life and colour appearing including lots of daffodils, crocuses and wild garlic.

In the Botanic Gardens the group walked through the Kibble Palace and other conservatories before going their separate ways.

More photos on our Facebook Page. 

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Henrik Pätzke has arrived!

Stockholm based German artist Henrik Pätzke has arrived in the Project Ability studios, and he is already hard at work! 

Several boxes filled with artwork were waiting for him, and the artist will now spend the week creating more work for his exhibition Cloud.

The show, Pätzke's first solo exhibition in the UK, will open on Friday 04 April, 6pm-8pm, as part of Glasgow International Festival. He will also be delivering a talk the following day, Saturday 05 April, 1pm-2pm.

You can read more about the exhibition here

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Friends and Families Fun Workshop: Felt Eggs

The next Friends and Family Fun workshops will be Felt Eggs on Saturday 29th March.

Come along to our Friends and Family Fun Workshops and get ready for Easter with some colourful felt eggs! Watch beautiful patterns and tactile surfaces emerge as you roll your sleeves up and get felting!

These classes provide the opportunity for children and young people with disabilities and their friends and families to participate in an exciting programme of visual arts activities. What's more you can take away a free goody bag of ideas and materials to help you continue structured arts activities at home.

All young people must be accompanied by an adult.

Places are limited and allocated on a first come first served basis, we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment.

Date- Saturday 29th March 2014
Time- 11:00-12:30
Cost- £5 per group
Please contact us on 0141 552 2822 to secure your place.

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Lea Cummings in Wales - Week 1

Lea Cummings has been in Wales for a week now, and has sent us a photo diary of what he's been working on. And by the look of it, it seems like this residency at Celf O Gwmpas is a productive one!

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The Intern Diaries- Adrianne’s Blog Week 1

The seasons are changing from winter to spring, and there’s been some changes here at Project Ability too. The popular Aspire classes ended last Friday and it’s been a much quieter workshop without them. Thankfully I snuck into one of their final workshops to speak with some of the artists, who were in the final push to get their works finished before their four week break.

I’ve been hanging about the workshops with the camera for a couple of weeks now, trying to make my omnipresent face familiar to artists, tutors and volunteers. I didn’t want to go charging in asking questions without getting a feel for the work that goes on, so I’ve been making some (pretty rough) short observational videos. This week I was able to actually get some artists to speak to the camera about their work in this block- the results should hopefully be edited and posted soon!

On a technical note I’ve also been spending a lot of time holed up in the media room, editing footage and photos from workshops and walking groups. I haven’t edited much since I was in university, so it’s been a learning curve re-familiarising myself with the process! I’d forgotten how much of a time bandit editing could be- I’ve found myself losing hours cutting what amounts to a three minute clip.


With the changes in timetable it’s been a bit quiet in terms of filming, which has been good for me: I’ve learned how to edit photos and content to post to the blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts, which means I can share these weekly blogs all by myself! I’ve also been able to work on the annoying fiddly bits of editing, like fixing audio or working around clips where I didn’t have enough footage.

Wednesday night has been a late one for me these last two weeks: this week I attended the Introduction to Film workshop for a second time, but with more of a sense of what goes on. Last week I just sort of shadowed tutors Kate and Zeynep, seeing what went on and marvelling at the technical prowess of kids less than half my age. This week, I had a purpose: these classes are winding down too, and as they usually use the Canon 600D for stop motion animation, there isn’t a lot of photo documentation.

This week the kids were filming some live action scenes from their own scripts, but using the Sony camera- this meant I could also take behind the scenes snaps without being too conspicuous! I got to see the green screen equipment in action, which was a new one for me. We also had the donation of a puppet theatre, which could make for some interesting scene setting.

The Reconnect workshops started back this week, and I had the pleasure of meeting some artists on the Troon trip last Wednesday (12th). You can see some of my photographs from the trip on the blog and Project Ability Facebook page. I’m excited by the prospect of being here for the start of a new block and hopefully there’ll be lots for me to discover and document. I feel like I’ve got a pretty big task ahead in trying to document the goings on at Project Ability, but there’s a lot of exciting prospects too. Hopefully next week I can get back to using the camera and editing more so there’ll be lots more content for you all next week!

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Under Water Silver Sock Eye Salmon’ by Josephina Mena

This beautiful work arrived at Project Ability from across the pond in Canada to be part of our Hybrid Making exhibition. The artist, Josephina Mena - who creates work with the Garth Homer Society - has really captured the essence of the vibrant, intense existence of aquatic life.

The exhibition runs until March 28th, so do come along and have a peek at this and many other fine works of art from around the globe. 

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Our Online Shop is now LIVE!

Great news! We now have an online shop as part of our website! 

Wherever you live, you will now be able to purchase some amazing and unique works of art! The shop will be updated regularly, with paintings, prints, sculptures and crafts item. Don't wait any longer, have a browse!

Click here to see the online shop. 

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ReSearch Room - Doreen Kay & Celine Mcilmunn

A few of weeks ago, Aspire artist Doreen Kay and ReConnect tutor Celine Mcilmunn began a collaborative painting project.

Their starting point was looking at photographs of themselves in various locations and selecting elements they thought would be interesting to paint.

The plan that they have come up with is to make two self portraits with each artist painting the background location for the other. They will then swap canvases and paint the portraits.

'Doreen and I have quite different approaches to painting so it'll be interesting to see how the project develops and how our styles combine.'
-Celine Mcilmunn

We will post regular updates on the project, keep an eye on the blog!

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ReConnect artists in Troon

Last week, a group of ReConnect artists went on a day trip to Troon.

After meeting in Central Station in the morning, they enjoyed a walk on the beach, stopping to draw the local sights and taking photos.

They even squeezed in a short stop at the Wee Hurry for some delicious fish'n'chips!

Check out our Facebook Page for more photos.

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Meet the Intern - Adrianne Calgie

Adrianne Calgie recently started her 12 week internship as our Film Assistant, and has already proved a great addition to the Project Ability team! She has been meeting with artists, staff, and will work towards producing interviews and films showcasing our workshops. She will write a weekly blog about her experience with us every Friday. Until then, let her introduce herself:

"I graduated with a BA in Digital Film and Television in 2012, originally specialising in editing before changing to sound. Since then I’ve worked on a freelance basis, picking up assisting jobs in the sound departments of the film and television industry. I began to feel that this wasn’t offering me much of a creative challenge, and I wanted something that would allow me to use more than one part of my degree.

After a busy but fun stint volunteering at Glasgow Film Festival, I realised I wanted to work in an environment where I could actually have an input and work on a variety of projects. When the Film Assistant role came up through the SCVO Eligibility Internship scheme, I jumped at the chance: here was an organisation working towards a great cause, making film and the creative arts accessible to young people and adults with disabilities. I’d get to work with the different workshop groups, make film content to document my experience and the work of Project Ability and get to work in a varied workplace where there was always something going on.
When I was initially offered the job, I was a bit apprehensive that I’d forgotten everything I learned about film making outside of sound recording. Thankfully I was given time to familiarise myself with the equipment and play with cameras and editing software.

On my first day, I was sent out with the walking group on a gallery visit, which gave me a chance to meet artists outside of the workshop setting: it was a great way of getting to know everyone quickly, as I often feel like you can have the best talks when out for a walk and taking in the scenery, and everyone’s a bit more relaxed.
Since then I’ve made some (really rough!) short video diaries, attended the Young Talent on Screen Festival at the GFT, went on a day trip to Troon, met what feels like hundreds of incredibly talented artists and read and heard some really inspirational stories.

I helped out with the Introduction to Film workshop on Wednesday evening and was seriously impressed by the kids’ technical abilities and creative energy. I even had to ask them to show me how the animation software worked!
Additionally, I’ve learned a lot about the business side of things, such as marketing, exhibition, operations, volunteer coordination and running programmes. I didn’t get much chance to study this at uni, so it’s great to get practical experience and first-hand information. The next ten weeks are going to fly in as I’ve got a huge task ahead of me and a lot to learn, but I’m looking forward to the challenge!"

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‘Celebrate’ Commonwealth Visual Arts Opportunity

As part of our celebrations for Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games, we are offering ten Scottish schools the opportunity to work with our experienced visual artists to help create a large scale fabric banner, which will be displayed in Glasgow City Centre later this year.

Exploring ‘Flowers of the Commonwealth’ pupils will have the opportunity to create a fantastic flower patch through a one day, school based workshop. Our online resource pack will enable children and young people from across Scotland and the Commonwealth to explore Commonwealth culture through the investigation of national flowers, and contribute their own flower patch to our final banner. 

Workshops will take place in school from April-June 2014.  There is no cost involved for participation in this programme and all specialist tuition and materials are included.  We are looking to work with ASN schools from across the country as well as specialist support units and children and young people with additional support needs who are supported in mainstream education.

Workshops will be allocated on a first come first served basis, we predict there will be a high demand and interested schools who are not within the first ten to respond will be placed on a waiting list.

To register your schools interest in this programme please email with the name of your school and a named contact for this project.

Funded by the National Lottery through the Celebrate programme.

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Lea Cummings in Wales

Lea Cummings is off to Wales! The Project Ability artist is leaving today for a three week residency at Celf O Gwmpas in Llandrindod in mid-Wales.

Celf O Gwmpas are providing him with a flat, a studio and a small stipend as well as access to their workshop programme. Last year, Simon McAuley was their artist in residence.

Lea will send us regular updates about his experience in Llandrindod, so keep an eye on the blog!

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Creative Minds in Brighton

A group of artists from Project Ability attended the Creative Minds conference in Brighton on Monday 10th March. There were over two hundred people from across England and Wales (and five from Scotland) all engaged in some aspect of learning disability arts. Visual art, film, dance and music were represented and the theme of the day was “defining quality in learning disability arts”. 

It was remarkable that that many people attended and it was fantastic to see the enthusiasm and energy from people to be part of something tangible – a creative movement beginning to capture its history and make plans for the future.

It was also a chance to catch up with our friends from Celf O Gwmpas, Venture Arts in Manchester, Action Space in London and Outside In, Chichester.

(Photos by Doreen Kay)

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Roadsides’ and ‘People’ by George McLeod

We are very pleased to bring you a pair of drawings by George McLeod, ‘Roadsides’ and ‘People’, completed just yesterday in the Aspire workshop. These drawings in pen and ink are made up of a series of circles, free on the page or contained within boxes. The variations in shape and colour with the casual inclusion of a red pencil, adds to their liveliness. These forms seem to make something happen; something abstract or coded, like an encrypted text and create multiplicity as well as complex meanings.

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The Research Room

2014 sees the start of an exciting new opportunity for artists to be involved with our organisation.  The ReSearch Room provides space and support to artists who have an interest in developing their practice through research and delivery in partnership with the artists at Project Ability

The ReSearch programme will give artists of all experiences and abilities, the opportunity to work and learn from each other in a series of creative conversations.  Over the forthcoming weeks we will showcase the work being produced in our ReSearch room, here on our blog, giving opportunity for you to see how these unique working relationships progress…watch this space!

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Last week of Aspire workshops

The current block of Aspire workshops will end on Friday 14 March. Once again, the Project Ability artists have created some amazing artwork!

The next block will start on Monday 14 April.

You can see more photos on our Facebook Profile. 

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Walking Group - Week 5

The Young Gallery in Sword Street was the destination for the walking group last week.

Turner Prize nominee David Shrigley recently became patron of the gallery and his 'Life Model' installation has been on show there for the past few weeks.

After some amusement at the model who blinks and 'pees' into a tin bucket the group spent some time drawing and then adding their works to the others that lined the walls of the gallery.

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Young Talent on Screen Film Festival

On Saturday the main event of our Young Talent on Screen Film Festival took place at the Glasgow Film Theatre.  The YToS Festival Team presented the 19 short films they had selected to a packed cinema.  There were comedies and adventures, live action and animation and the crowd loved each and every film!  There was even time for a short Q&A with the film makers and festival organisers as well as an awards event – hosted by our very own celebrity guest - Carmen Pieraccini, best known for her role as Kelly Marie in River City.

Four of the young film makers were recognised for their achievements and each received a £25 cinema voucher and a Project Ability tea towel:

Best Animation: Mark Flood for ‘Two Women, One Heart’.
Best Experimental Film: Matthew Kennedy for ‘Just Me’.
Best Script: Sam McIlmunn for ‘Interview in a Box’.
Best Actor: Euan Stewart for ‘Imposteration’.

A big thanks to everyone who entered work, the YToS Festival Team and Carmen Pieraccini.

Remember, there is still one more public screening event before the Festival closes tomorrow, Tuesday 11th March 3:15-5:15 at the GFT.  The event is free but ticket, tickets are available on the day from the GFT Box Office.

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Zebra’ by Ruth Howard

This week's Artwork of the Week has travelled all the way from Arts Project Australia to be a part of our new exhibition, Hybrid Making. Painted by the talented Ruth Howard, this representation of the wild zebra is both immediately engaging - with bold, familiar contrasts - and thoroughly, almost inexplicably complex. The way the artist has created such a recognisable, powerful image with such a limited pallet truly is a testament to the striking, boundless beauty of wildlife.

This exhibition opens this evening, the 6th of March, at 6pm, and features work made here at Project Ability, as well as work from The Garth Homer Society in Canada and Arts Project Australia. There is an abundance of beautiful work on display, so we'd highly recommend a trot round to the gallery soon!

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New block of ReConnect workshops open to new participants

ReConnect, Project Ability’s visual art programme for people with experience of poor mental health is opening up to new participants. 

Places are now available on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The course starts on Tuesday 18th, Thursday 20 and Friday 21st March for 12 weeks.

Expert tuition is on hand from 10 – 1pm and you can stay in the studio to carry on working until 3pm. You will have access to our painting studio, printmaking, ceramics and glass studios. All materials are provided. Cost £60.

And, remember if you are under 25 years old there is a choice of 8 week courses available (at no charge) which run throughout the year.

For further information please contact us on 0141 552 2822 or by email:

All courses take place in our studio at Trongate 103, Glasgow, G1 5HD

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Young Talent on Screen Film Festival

Save the date! The Young Talent on Screen Film Festival is taking place this week and next at the Glasgow Film Theatre.

The first event is on Saturday 08 March, 11.45am-2.45pm, and will include a screening, some talks and some prize giving!

The second event will be on Tuesday 11 March, 3.15pm - 5.15pm, and will include more film screenings.

We hope to see you all there! The events are free, but ticketed. 

12 Rose St,
G3 6RB
0141 332 6535

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