Artwork of the week- ‘untitled, 2016’ by Simon McAuley

Artwork of the week features a new painting by Simon McAuley, 'untitled, 2016'. This painting is one of several we will be exhibiting from April 9 to Aprill 21st, in our Gallery 2. The exhibition, titled Strange quarks, is a solo showcase of Simon's most recent explorations in painting. 

"My painting practice absorbs some ideas from my photographic work. The two media differ and are often squashed together. I think that photography is better compared to literature, (in the broadest sense) than to painting. I like this idea as it leaves painting lacking with an insubstantial material leftover. For me this reduces paint and finds itself within my practice as something to elaborate into a basic form. Often via something random or unplanned."

Strange quarks previews on the 8th of April from 5 - 7pm. All welcome.

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Walking Group - Week 5: House for an Art Lover

Our walking group have been to Bellahouston Park a couple of times before but had not had the opportunity to explore all of the park.

Last week they arrived early for their prearranged workshop with the Carolyn Alexander, the current artist in residence at House for an Art Lover so they took a walk in a different direction from usual and discovered some very interesting places.

It was tempting to stay outside in the open and enjoy the many signs of Spring but when it was time for the workshop the group headed down to the Pavilion where they were met by Carolyn who had the kettle on and plans for a very interesting workshop.

This included a visit to the House for an Art Lover and a couple of drawing sessions. The drawings were made in response to some of the features in the house and also to Carolyn's work in her exhibition 'Der Vogel [The Bird]' where she focuses on a carving of a bird's head which can also be found inside the house.

This exhibition is about to end but Carolyn will be showing some more of her work during Glasgow International in the Pod Room in the Sheds next to the Pavilion gallery. You can find some information about Carolyn's work at http://www.houseforanartlover.co.uk/arts/airborne-residencies/in-residence

After the workshop the group went for a quick look at another exhibition in the Pavilion complex; a series of beautiful bird mosaics by a community group hosted by Impact Arts.

There was time for a quick play on the swings and zip-slide in the play park before heading back into town.

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Meet the Volunteers - Florence Dwyer

Another week, another 'Meet the Volunteers'! As usual, we are more than pleased to introduce you to one of our amazing volunteers - this time, the brilliant Florence Dwyer, who has been both part of our Art Matters team and also undertook a ReSearch Residency.

'I've had a great time volunteering at Project Ability so far. Helping out in Art Matters on a Saturday afternoon, I was welcomed by a group of people, each unique and united in their dedication and enthusiasm towards their art. I straight away picked up on such a calm and relaxed atmosphere, and it was noticeable how everyone felt so comfortable in this environment. I was quickly integrated into this feeling and soon started to have good conversations with people about what they were working on.

The work that is created in these sessions is full of energy. I feel so lucky to have had an insight into this and have been amazed at how quickly people produce incredible things. People seem fearless of scale, making decisions impulsively allowing them to express themselves in non-restricting ways.
I've learnt from how the tutors work alongside everyone in a way that allows people autonomy, freedom to paint/ draw/ sculpt, and feels completely non-hierarchical. Both tutors provided such good energy and enthusiasm to the space which created such a trusting environment.

The positive energy and focus generated in these sessions is definitely something that's contagious. I feel uplifted leaving the project ability studios at the end of the workshop which is something that's had a good impact on my own work. My practice as an artist is predominantly sculptural, it mainly involves ceramics, casting, drawing and photography. I am interested in autonomy in spatial environments, and how physical infrastructures and furniture/objects can effect this. My time at project ability has definitely given me a lot to think about in relation to this and has also made me feel a lot less precious about the way I make work.

I would love to continue my experience in working in this kind of environment and am excited about starting the next block of workshops with everybody.'
-Florence Dwyer

Many thanks Florence!
 

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TV Classics posters in every Glasgow Subway station!

Cameron Morgan‘s TV Classics Part 1 posters are now in every Glasgow Subway station for the next three weeks! The artist took a trip to St Enoch and Buchanan Street stations this morning and proudly posed with his image of Dr Who.

if you come across one of the posters, send us a pic and you might win a selection of nine postcards representing Cameron Morgan’s nine TV Classics paintings. Just use #tvclassicsposter on Twitter, Instagram of Facebook.

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Artwork of the week - by Rainoir Clark

Artwork of the week is a work in progress by ReConnect artist Rainoir Clark. This piece explores ideas of childhood play and how this evolves over the ages; most recently with the introduction of tablets and iphones, giving young children hours of fun but perhaps lacking in several other important elements critical to the idea of play. Rainoir has been mastering the art of collage for some time and these works often express and encourage a critical debate in current issues. Rainoir works up to four days a week here at Project Ability in our  new ReConnect studio, and is one of our only artists working with collage. We will be sure to post an image of the final piece once it is complete!

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Meet the Volunteers - Lucy Payne

We love reading about how volunteering with us impacts our volunteers' practice and outlook! This week, please read about the amazing Lucy Payne, who has been a great addition to our Aspire team.

"I am currently in my final year at The Glasgow School of Art, specialising in Illustration on the Communication Design course. I enjoy working across a range of mediums including ceramics, printmaking, animation and drawing. I am very much interested in the process of making not just the final outcome and seeing the work of those in my Aspire class has confirmed the importance of the process of making for me. Prior to this I had never worked in any sort of workshop context but had always wished to. After art school I hope to continue working with others in the realm of community art.

I volunteer on the Tuesday morning Aspire classes. It was amazing to see the range of materials on offer such as ceramics, printmaking, painting, glass, knit and batik. Members of the class could choose from week to week what they wished to create, this range of materials and resources allowed for their ideas to be fluidly translated through different mediums. It was also refreshing to see the speed at which people worked, being free to create as much as they desired in our 2 hour slot. On the other hand it was great to see the patience and determination of others involved in long, painstaking projects, of which you could really get under the skin of. It has also been great getting to know the different personalities of the class, all of which welcomed me wholeheartedly on the first week, casting aside any feelings of nervousness I may have had. Some of the artists I worked with more closely which allowed me to get to know what makes them tick and why they are drawn to their chosen subject matter. We also made great use on Project Ability’s library, using their wide range of artist and general interest books to draw reference from.

The workshop tutors were particularly helpful in showing me the ropes. Their love of the job is evident and they create a relaxed, trusting environment to work in. They gave me lots of advice when working with certain methods and materials which has broadened my knowledge and practice. Everyone I have met who works at Project Ability has been open and kind and I love the studio atmosphere where everyone you pass says hello. The studios are wonderful to work in due to their huge windows and the open plan nature of the space, allowing you to mingle with different people. Volunteering alongside my university work has been great for me as it creates a break in routine and allows me to see how other artists work, drawing influence from them.

Volunteering here has introduced me to working with artists in a supportive capacity, which I have found completely engaging and fulfilling. The artists in my class have definitely influenced my own practice, inspiring me to be less precious about the work I make. It also has confirmed for me the cathartic nature of making and creating and showed me the level of engagement making art can bring. Project Ability has provided me with a wealth of experience of working with others, equipping me with the skills I will need when finishing university. I am greatly looking forward to seeing all the faces I have gotten to know in the next block of classes.

Thanks for this great experience!"
Lucy Payne

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Multi–sensory, drama and storytelling workshops for people with learning disabilities

TV Classics Part 1 is an exhibition by artist Cameron Morgan. It is a celebration of the culture and history of television throughout the decades. Each painting marks an era, a style and a classic television programme. 

Tina Vision (aka drama artist Clare Hume) invites you to join her in her living room, in front of the television.  She's made a pot of tea and buttered toast, during the commercial break, and is looking for a chat on the sofa.

Prepare for a multi-sensory, TV Classics, trip down memory lane. Slippers are optional.

Where: Project Ability, Trongate 103, Glasgow, G1 5HD
When: Tuesday 12th, Wednesday 13th, Thursday 14th April and Tuesday 19th, Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21th April.
Time: 10 – 11.30am

Workshops are free of charge and suitable for people with learning disabilities, communication and sensory impairment.

Group bookings are welcome, just pick one of the dates and contact us on 0141 552 2822 or info@project-ability.co.uk

There is a maximum of 8 people per workshop including support staff.

 

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Launch of TV Classics Part 1 website

We are delighted to announce the launch of Cameron Morgan's very own TV Classics Part 1 website!

Designed by Cole Ad, and inspired by Morgan's colourful imagery, the website provides information on the artist, news, interviews, as well as behind the scene action and work in progress videos. 

The work, commissioned by Unlimited, will premiere on Friday 8th April for the Glasgow International festival, and will then travel to Wales and London. All the information you need is on tvclassicspart1.co.uk, have a browse!

Supported by Unlimited; celebrating the work of disabled artists

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘Urban Streets’ by David Bradley

Yours for an absolute bargain at just £45, this acrylic on wood panel piece by artist David Bradley is our Shop Item of the Week,  David's work flies off the shelves in our shop, and this represents another great chance to own some of his work.

Buy it here

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Artwork of the Week by Patrick Butterworth

This week we bring you Patrick Butterworth’s fine painting as our Artwork of the Week. Patrick’s work always attracts attention in our studios, and it’s easy to see why!  Patrick’s technical skill as a painter is without question, and his extreme attention to detail really gives his work a precise, almost photographic quality. Stunning!

See more of Patrick’s excellent work by clicking here.

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Meet the Volunteers - Sarah-Kate Goodwin

The first block of workshops this year is almost over, and our volunteers have been settling in brilliantly! They will all be back for the next block, and we're delighted to share their experience with you via this blog. For this year's first Meet the Volunteers, let us introduce you to Sarah-Kate Goodwin, who has been a fantastic addition to our Create team.

"With an education in the fine Arts and an interest in the relationship between human interaction and creative exploration I was very excited to be given the opportunity to volunteer with Project Ability. Feeling a bit nervous about how helpful I could be I was quickly put at ease by the children and young adults taking part in the Create workshops.

From sharing my own passion, skills and experience of art practices I have been rewarded with much more than I could have hoped for. Every week I learn something new from the experienced tutors and the many talented artists within the group. The enthusiasm and creativity present in the workshops are invigorating and not long after I had walked through the door did I find myself feeling like part of the furniture.  I have met so many interesting, unique and talented individuals who continue to inspire me every week and encourage me to experiment, play and explore my own art practice more honestly and freely.

Project Ability is a safe haven and a creative hub which provides a glorious space for individuals to come together and express themselves through many art resources.
I will be sad when my time comes to an end but it will always remain as one of my greatest experiences and I hope to continue working in this field in the future.

Thank you to everyone involved, I am having so much fun,

Sarah-Kate"

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Walking Group - Week 4: West Kilbride

The sky was the bluest of blues last Wednesday, making it the perfect day for a trip to the coast.

West Kilbride was the destination with a visit to the town's Barony Centre to see an exhibition of ceramics from Ireland. It was a very varied and stimulating exhibition and one of the gallery volunteers very kindly gave the group some information about the various types of ceramics on display.

It would be wrong to visit a coastal town on such a lovely day and not take a walk to the shore, so after the exhibition our group went for a hike to the beach. It was cold and a bit windy but a beautiful day and the group arrived just in time to see a kite surfer launch himself into the sea.

The day was rounded off with walk back up the hill to the train station and then back to Glasgow.

The ceramics exhibition continues at the Barony Centre until 27th March. For further information visit http://www.crafttownscotland.org/irish-ceramics-exhibition-2/

More photos on our Facebook Page. 

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘Cat and Kitten’ by Lesley Nimmo

This week, Lesley Nimmo’s ‘Cat and Kitten’ is our Shop Item of the Week. Acrylic on paper, this piece portrays a wonderfully friendly image and is a beautiful example of Lesley’s distinctively bold painting style. A welcome addition to your home or perhaps a gift, ‘Cat and Kitten’ can be yours for £50 and is available online now.

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Keir’ by John Duncan

This week we bring you 'Keir' by John Duncan as our Artwork of the Week. John created this fantastic painting during Tanya Raabe Webber's recent portrait painting master class workshops and has managed to capture his subject, as well as the essence of Tanya's workshop, with vibrancy and great skill.

You can currently find John's portrait on display in our gallery as part of an exhibition of works made during Tanya's master class workshops. This is an excellent collection of works so be sure not to miss it!

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Tanya Raabe-Webber’s Portrait Master Classes

Artist Tanya Raabe-Webber ran a number of portrait master classes for young people last month.  Below are her reflections on what was a very successful and enjoyable workshop indeed:

I do love sharing my drawing and painting techniques with other people and seeing how they interpret their own artwork by combining technique and styles which is exactly what we did when I came back to Project Ability to run a week of portrait master classes with young people across Glasgow, Paisley and Kirkintilloch.

I introduced each group to four different ways of approaching making portraits. Techniques that I have developed over the last 30 years. Gosh that's a lot of time to be making portraits!

These included acetate drawing, portraying each other using paint on canvas, iPad observational drawing, and projecting these images on to canvas to create a collaborative piece.

The idea was to explore different ways of looking at ourselves and other people. This gave us different ways to see what line, colour and shapes do when we use to these to make portraits of the human form.

Our first technique was acetate drawings. We got up really close to each other’s faces so we could see lots of detail in our portraits. We also used different coloured marker pens to draw each other’s faces on the same acetate drawing. We then explored colour theory by projecting these drawings and discussing which coloured line stood out and which colour stood back. You decide! The combined drawings also gave us a more abstracted image that was often dynamic and made us laugh!

We then moved on to the main event. A painted portrait on canvas. I wanted to set the Gallery out just like an old fashioned art school. This gave us the feeling that we were real artists using artist’s equipment and materials. We had easels with canvas set on them with lots of paint and big brushes making us all feel like artists in an art studio. The idea this time was to stand at an easel facing the person next to you to paint a portrait of them. But this time the portrait was to be started straight away with brush and paint or drawing it up with black ink and brush. Some people went straight for paint whilst others went for drawing with ink. There were many confident and expressive portraits coming to light. Some worked on their piece all day whist others finished within an hr or so. We explored paint techniques, some used found objects to create textures whilst others wanted to learn more about mixing colours, facial proportions and getting it right.

Whilst some carried on with their paintings others moved into the digital world of drawing portraits on iPads. Drawing on iPads seemed to be very much a new way of making portraits that the young people and their teaches had not experienced. So we set about facing each other in a seated position and took it in turns striking a pose and letting the other draw from observing the sitter.


The last technique we used was to project some of the iPad drawings up on to a large canvas using black ink and eye droppers to draw with. This piece was a collaboration and a celebration of a collective. It's a montage of portraits that depict a great sense of natural raw talent, style and visual aesthetic of a young generation of learning disability artists in the making. It's visual language is at its best and in its most simplistic form. For me, is an absolute winner!
Thanks to everyone who gave their creativity, time and artistic responses so generously.

Lastly, the week’s master classes were a great way to celebrate my work and my exhibition at Project Ability.

I'll be watching out for the exhibition of the young people's portraits and no doubt will be commenting on it on Facebook and Twitter! 

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Harris’ by Euan Stewart

For Artwork of the Week we bring you this exquisite portrait by Create artist Euan Stewart.  Euan took part in the portrait master class workshops by Tanya Raabe Webber, and with the help of her expert tuition – coupled with his clear artistic talent - created this expressive work, capturing his subject in a highly imaginative and engaging way. 

All of the work created during Tanya’s master class will be on display in our gallery as part of an exhibition opening on the 10th of March, so be sure to take some time and come and see the excellent work on display.

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Research Residency February 2016 - Joanna Peace

Project A – warm. Full.

I had been trying to find a way back to Project Ability since finishing a six-month project with them in May 2015. Returning to the ReConnect studio as an artist rather than a tutor has been a happy challenge. A colourful puzzle. What is the magic that happens daily in those studios? I began by opening myself to the currents of the studio, how it works as a shared and individualised mesh of negotiated spaces and rhythms, and what my place within it, though temporary, might be.

I had been lonely working at home. The days of January felt especially short with few human faces to fill them. The best thing about my cubby hole at the edge of the ReConnect studio was the empty chair that fellow artists would fill and offer stories, and advice, and recommendations for TV shows and books, and ask “just what is it you’re doing?”. Another best thing were the white walls onto which I could stick emergency yellow, baby blue and apple green post-it notes of thoughts lest they fly away and experiments in type and collage. Another best thing was entering the studios and having smiles met with smiles met with generous expanses of colour and line.

Gifts I received – Cathedral, a book of short stories by Raymond Carver. Yellow-topped mountains painted calmly into a Canadian lake. A raspberry ink box and a slice of spongy carrot cake.

Mostly it was words I worked with during this residency. Words heard and read and conjured then scattered to walls, to notebooks, to the floor, out of mouths and into the bin. With a big box of old Letraset I could stretch and repeat words into time as I rubbed them on to sheets of coloured sugar paper where they could then take up physical space (the further from my laptop the better). These words placed map-like across the wall formed patterns of meaning and attempts at order - a studio cosmos. “The cosmos … is a tingling in the spine, a memory of falling from a great height” – from Cosmos, written and presented by Carl Sagan.

 

Trust the triangle. Three points of contact was the genesis of a collaboration with Simon McAuley, ReConnect artist, photographer and friend. Simon used the climbing analogy of three points of contact to describe how he navigates the daunting task of a drawing. We decided to spend five days finding points of contact and passing, repetition and routine within the studios, and through writing exercises the architecture and objects we studied took on distinctive gestures, sounds and personalities.

‘That’s a funny story, Rita says, but I can see she doesn’t know what to make of it. I feel depressed. But I won’t go into it with her. I’ve already told her too much. She sits there waiting, her dainty fingers poking her hair. Waiting for what? I’d like to know. It is August. My life is going to change. I feel it.’  - from Fat by Raymond Carver. 

Murmer…crescendo…murmer. Rumours of cats are flying around the studio these days. Over the next few months I will be working with Luke Shaw and Project Ability artists on a publication of their writing and image-making. The launch of this will coincide with the opening of ‘Cats’, a group show in the Project Ability gallery.
-Joanna Peace

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Walking Group - Week 3: Tramway

Spring is in the air, and an ideal place to witness its approach is the Hidden Gardens at Tramway. Snowdrops and crocuses are beginning to bloom in these tranquil surroundings, and our walking group spent some time exploring the nooks and crannies and discovering some of the half-hidden gems that are to be found there.

The starting point for the outing was the Richard Slee exhibition which can currently be found in gallery 5 at the front of the building; a beautifully presented show of colourful and amusing sculptures.

Then it was an exploration of some of the rest of the building before a visit to the gardens at the rear.

Across the road from Tramway, on the site of some demolished buildings, a group called Playhouse have begun to create a series of buildings and walkways with a view to creating areas for social and artistic activity.

The group had a chat with the people working there before having a look around the site and then walking back into the city centre.

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