Shop Item of the Week - ‘Puffin’s Lunch’ by Christina SooJa Massey


This week we bring you a real gem of a painting entitled ‘Puffin’s Lunch’ by the talented Christina SooJa Massey. Christina creates her art in our studios as part of our ReConnect programme, prolifically producing work of an excellent quality.

Priced at just £45, this acrylic on canvas-board work is a good opportunity to own a piece from an artist who is only going to get more popular.  Also available from our online shop.

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Artwork of the week - by Ralph Douglas

Artwork of the week features this beautiful rendition of 'A Hind's Daughter'. This painting, which measures 50 x 60cm was painted by Project Ability artist Ralph Douglas. Ralph's usual delicate application of paint and beautiful brush work gives this 'Hind's Daughter' a new perspective and energy. The original painting was created by James Guthrie, and is considered one of the finest Glasgow Boys painting in existence. The original can be seen at the National Galleries of Scotland.

Ralph's interpretation, done on stretched canvas, gives us a brighter sky and looser, more expressive brushwork. He has managed to make this painting his own whilst retaining absolute reference to the original work. Comparing the two paintings gives us great insight into the way in which Ralph translates imagery onto canvas. Although not currently on exhibition, this painting can be viewed in our gallery shop, both online and in our Trongate 103 gallery, and can be purchased for £80. 

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Kevin Cantwell in Converge 2016

We are delighted to announce that two pieces of work by Kevin Cantwell produced during his ReSearch residency at Project Ability have been selected for the Visual Arts Scotland exhibition Converge 2016.

Artists were invited to submit one or more piece of work and were encouraged to consider how their drawing, painting, sculpture printmaking or installation practices might be transformed or work alongside wearable design, furniture, graphics, ceramics and many other disciplines.

The group show will open on Friday 29 January and will run until Saturday 20 February. You can see some glimpses of the work on the VAS Facebook page.

Scottish National Galleries Academy Building, Upper Galleries
The Mound, Edinburgh

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Board Members Wanted

Project Ability is a leading visual arts charity which has developed and delivers an innovative workshop and studio practice for children and young people with disabilities, adults with learning disabilities and adults with lived experience of mental illness.  Our year round exhibition programme showcases the participants’ artistic practice and the work of key contemporary national and international disabled artists. 

Over three hundred people each week attend our workshop programme.  We are open six days a week, forty weeks a year.  Our studio and gallery provide 1500 square meters of accessible, first rate facilities for a range of visual arts media and processes.

Project Ability is supported by Creative Scotland as part of their Regular Funding portfolio.  Project Ability’s reach to diverse communities across Glasgow and the surrounding areas and its ambitious artistic programming makes it an important resource in the contemporary visual arts community.

Please download the attached Board Members role description and send your application form back by the 19 February 2016 to

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Tanya Raabe-Webber on her exhibition at Project Ability

"I was really looking forward to coming back to Project Ability to see what they had done with the work I'd made during my residency back in March 2015 and I wasn't disappointed! The exhibition of the portraits I'd made of many of the Aspire Artists and of the artists and delegates who came to the International Learning Disability Arts Summit really reflect what a great time we all had sharing our art and culture. I love the way the exhibition reflects the many people I encountered and the different painting and drawing techniques I explored during my residency, including iPad drawings, eye dropper ink drawings, and acrylic paintings on watercolour paper and on canvas. Plus the work had been hung at a wheelchair height. Perfect!

My aim for this work was to watch and see how the artists at Project Ability make their work in a supported art studio and to create a portrait gallery that reflected this whilst also exploring new ways of creating my own work in collaborative ways.

What I truly learnt whilst on this journey was that every portrait is a collaboration!

So here I was, back in the Gallery surrounded by my portraits, about to set about making a new portrait commissioned by Project Ability. Only this time we decided to set it up in the gallery with a live audience and to live stream the event on Twitter Periscope. Both a first for me and for Project Ability!

Another groundbreaking pivotal moment to add to my collection! Thanks Project Ability.

Another first was that fact that this was going to be my first portrait of a couple, a married couple and a gay and non-binary transgender couple, disabled activists as well. A perfect combo! How excited was I! Meet the sitters Nathan Gale and Robert Softly Gale, a fine and generous couple with faces of such character I was looking forward to paint them.

Plus this was going to be a challenge to paint: a finished portrait of two people in two afternoons! Was I biting off more than I could paint? I'm not one to shy away from a challenge and I love pushing the boundaries!

I set about making Nathan and Robert feel at ease with the process of a live portrait painting event.  This portrait would be in front of a live audience, so by letting them know that they would also have input into the making of the portrait this gave us a sense of ownership. Heather and Berengere set up the iPad and cameras for the live feed in Twitter Periscope and we were off. Live across the globe! We even had viewers from Dubai!

Where to start on a blank canvas can be a bit daunting but once I make the first mark, I'm off. I asked Nathan and Robert to tell me a potted history of their lives as individuals and then as a couple. This gives me time to map their portraits out whilst being influenced on an emotional level through my brush. It almost feels like a piece of dance at times! I'm looking for their physicality, their identity as well as a slight likeness. I begin to feel the essence of them as well as see what I see.

After a while people began to join us in the gallery, some took to drawing what they saw, some just watched and some wanted to discuss my portrait painting techniques. Some people chose to draw me drawing the sitters and other's just drew the sitters. The audience commented on the sitting as having a great sense of humanity being portrayed! Then there was the live stream virtual audience who were watching on their pc's and mobile devices at home and all around the country. A strange sensation as we could not see them but they could see us! Watchers were responding on Twitter with comments and we even got a couple of drawings tweeted that were drawn from people watching the live stream. Another first!

On occasion we would break and I would invite Nathan and Robert to look and respond to the portrait whilst encouraging the audience to offer their responses to the portrait too. I'm looking for their initial first responses so I can determined what direction to take the portrait. Of course they loved it every time we did a sharing and I think they were surprised how quickly the portrait developed and changed.

In two afternoons the portrait was made!

This live portrait sitting was a test run for a new live portrait project I've just got funding for coming soon.
#Portraits Untold
Ambitious live portrait project with artist Tanya Raabe-Webber, exploring and celebrating our common humanity – the beauty and strength of humanity lies in the diversity of its people.

Exciting details of sitters, partners and venues to be released soon….Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Twitter @PortraitsUntold  #PortraitsUntold

But before this I'll be back to see you all at Project Ability in February to run a series of master classes with Create artists and schools groups. So if anyone wants to have a gallery tour with me of my exhibition I'll be around between 2:15pm - 3:15pm 15-20 Feb in the Gallery."

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Shop Item of the Week - Battenberg by Cameron Morgan

Shop Item of the Week time again, and this week we bring you another fantastic creation by Aspire artist Cameron Morgan.  Priced at a bargainous £8, these ceramic treats are sure to sell out quickly, so head down and get yours today!

Also available from our online shop

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Artwork of the week - ‘The Rural Life’ by Carole Lee


The Rural Life by Carole Lee is pen on paper and measures 42 x59cm. This telling 'portrait' of Scotland outside of the city is filled with Scottish humour and culture. As with all of Carole's drawings, it is a document of Scottish life, and tells a story of people, places and things. The eye can not settle anywhere on this work, instead it follows the action and finds new content with every blink of the eye. This is one of four Carole Lee drawings on exhibit in our Gallery 2, located just outside of our main gallery. Carole works in her studio here at Project Ability up to four days a week through a new opportunity within our ReConnect programme. This drawing, along with the other three, will be on exhibit until March 24th.

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New studio equipment thanks to the People’s Postcode Lottery

Project Ability is delighted to receive an award from the People’s Postcode Lottery towards purchasing some new equipment for the studio. 

After years of hard use, our tables, chairs and easels are beginning to break down.  With this funding we can now replace worn out easels and purchase height adjustable tables which are suitable for people using wheelchairs.

We strive to deliver the highest standard of service and the best possible environment for the artists, and this new equipment will be warmly received!

Many thanks to the People's Postcode Lottery!

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TV Classics Part 1 - Second block

Cameron Morgan and Jason Pyper Davis are back in our studios for the second block of TV Classics Part 1, one of this year's Unlimited commissions. From September to December 2015, the artist and tutor researched, prepped and worked on five large paintings representing a classic TV show from five decades of television: 1930's to 1970's. 

Today, they are starting work on the 1980's TV Classic: the A-Team! Working chronologically, Cameron aims to produce a new painting per decade up to the 2010's. "It's funny how it changes: the TVs used to be beautiful and original, and the shows were black and white. Now that I've started with the technicolour shows, the TVs are becoming less and less interesting. Nowadays they all look the same!" 

The paintings will then be exhibited in our Project Room Gallery for Glasgow International, and will tour to Wales and England (Southbank Centre) during the year.

Cameron's work is being documented by our Media Unit, and will appear on a new website dedicated to the project, which will launch in March. In the meantime, keep an eye on the website for some snippets! 

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Portrait masterclass with Tanya Raabe-Webber

Thanks to a generous donation from Trefoil, from 15th-19th February we will be inviting young artists to take part in an exciting day-long portrait painting workshop with acclaimed artist Tanya Raabe-Webber, whose work #SummitPortrayed is currently on show in our gallery

Tanya will deliver a day long masterclasses to young people from our Create Programme and to pupils from Secondary Schools across the city. Those taking part will have the unique opportunity to work with a professional portrait artist, using high quality art materials to create work on canvas and Ipads, utilising some of Tanya’s best known techniques. 

The work produced from the classes will be exhibited in our gallery in Trongate 103 in March 2016.

For more information, please contact

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Tomorrow, Saturday the 16th!

Join us tomorrow for an exciting day in the gallery!

From 1 - 4pm acclaimed artist Tanya Raabe-Webber will be painting a portrait live in the gallery (read more here). If you fancy creating your own portrait alongside Tanya we will be providing everything you need, just bring your own creativity.

Directly following this will be a drinks reception from 4 - 6pm for #‎SummitPortrayed  by Tanya Raabe-Webber in the Project Ability gallery and New Work  by Carole Lee in our Gallery 2‬. All welcome!

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Artwork of the week - by Tanya Raabe-Webber

We are delighted to present our first 'artwork of the week' for 2016, The Event: a gathering and sharing of learning disability art practices and cultural influences. This painting is one of three panels that make up a stunning triptych. Acclaimed portrait artist Tanya Raabe-Webber created this painting from photographs she took at the 'International Summit for Learning Disability Artists and their Support Studios', during her time with us as artist in residence.

This colourful depiction of the Summit shows the energy and creativity at play both at the Summit and in the artists' mind. This is just one of the many portraits Tanya completed during her residency. The exhibition, #SummitPortrayed,  opens this Saturday the 16th, with a live portrait painting in the gallery from 1pm, and a drinks reception at 4pm. All welcome!

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Watch Tanya Raabe-Webber paint a new portrait live

Tanya Raabe-Webber's portrait exhibition #SummitPortrayed will open on Saturday 16 January 2016, and will run until Saturday 05 March. The artist will be in our gallery on Saturday and Sunday 16-17 January for a live portrait sitting, where she will paint her first couple's portrait: that of activists Robert Softley Gale and Nathan Gale (read more here).

The sessions will take place from 1pm-4pm on both days, and members of the public are encouraged to engage with both artist and sitters, as well as try their hand at portraying them.

If you are not able to attend, don't worry: we will be streaming the sessions live online via Periscope, a free app linked with Twitter. You can also watch the video on your PC or Mac without the app, just by clicking on the link that will appear on our Twitter feed (@Project_Ability) at the start of each session.

Opening reception: Saturday 16 January, 4pm-6pm. 

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Lea Cummings in Letting in the Light

Letting in the Light is a vibrant new art exhibition set to illuminate the streets of Stratford, East London from Monday 25 January to Wednesday 23 March 2016. A series of large light boxes, featuring images of paintings, drawings, digital and mixed media work made by artists with personal experience of mental health issues, will be situated on The Grove, opposite the Stratford Library.

Produced by Bobby Baker’s pioneering Stratford-based arts and mental health organisation Daily Life Ltd and in partnership with Outside In and Bethlem Gallery, the project received over 150 submissions, and we are delighted to announce that our very own Lea Cummings has been selected as one of the 35 exhibiting artists. 

Click here for more information.

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Volunteer and Research Opportunities at Project Ability

Want to volunteer with us? The new block of workshops will start soon and we are looking for volunteers for our fifferent visual arts workshops. You can read more about it here.

We also have a series of month-long Research Residencies, starting in February, and open to artists based in or around Glasgow. Click here for more info.

The deadline for applications is Monday 11 January.

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