Shop Item of the Week - ‘Mako Shark’ by Lesley Nimmo

Shop Item of the Week time again, and this week we bring you this delightful acrylic work by the ever popular Lesley Nimmo.  Lesley's work is immediately recognisable; with her use of bold shapes which are packed with beautiful colour, Lesley is able to create highly engaging works which charm all who see them. 

Available here for £50. 

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Artwork of the Week by Paul Dowden

This week we bring you this beautiful abstract piece by Paul Dowden as our Artwork of the Week.  Paul creates his pieces using various techniques and a plethora of materials, all coming together through time and patience to produce such stunning results.  The techniques Dowden has perfected come from years of painting practice and experimentation with materials; colours and organic forms play off each other in an infinite number of arrangements, each producing these stunning examples of tone, technique and arrangement.

Paul’s work will be shown in our Gallery 2 space during his solo exhibition ‘The Rainbow Collection’ which opens next Thursday, the 2nd of June.  Come along and see Paul’s excellent work, and while here, pop in to our main gallery space to have a look at fellow ReConnect artist James Smith’s exhibition ‘Steampunk Chassis’. James’ exhibition features a collection of Steampunk inspired models which he has skillfully and delicately created.  Both exhibitions run from the 2nd until the 18th of June and are well worth a visit.

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Meet the Volunteers - Simon Worthington

This week, we are very pleased to introduce Simon Worthington, another of our fantastic volunteers! Simon has been a great addition to our ReConnect workshops.

"I was attracted to Project Ability by the consistently exciting gallery programme and shop. On my first visit to the studios I was overwhelmed by the creative and supportive atmosphere.

Volunteering at Project Ability has given me the opportunity to spend time in the studios and, using art as common ground, connect with people I might have otherwise never met.
Being out of education for a few years it is really good to be back in a communal creative environment, the level of insight into other artists' practices is really valuable and I often find myself thinking 'I can't wait to try that when I get home.' As a shared working space, Project ability couldn't get much better. There is a sense that it is a place where many people come throughout the week and invest a lot of their creative and social energy, which contributes to an uplifting atmosphere.

Another thing that's striking about Project Ability is the range of materials and facilities available, this ethos of quality and professionalism is really impressive and must contribute towards the atmosphere of pride felt by probably everyone involved. In the studios seemingly anything is possible.

I chose to work with a ReConnect group and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I very quickly felt at ease in the group and very welcome in the whole at Project Ability. The open plan nature of the space means you can't go anywhere without a few smiles and 'hello's.

There is no visible structure to the classes which means you don't assume a predetermined role. Whilst this might seem daunting initially, it allows everyone to be themselves and work with autonomy. Most of my time is spent chatting to the artists about this or that. I can't offer much technical advice but enjoy talking about what work people find inspiring and why they think they're drawn to making art. It's great to see the same faces each week and watch their projects develop.
Celine, the tutor in our group is a master of facilitating a comfortable and informal environment- the importance of this over anything else is what I will take away from the experience."

Thank you very much, Simon!

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A Marathon Canal Walk

On Sunday 22nd May, a group of walkers walked an entire marathon (26.2 miles) to raise funds for Project Ability. The group included Project Ability board member Bevis Evans-Teush and ReConnect tutor Celine Mcilmunn. Their route took them along the Union Canal and Forth and Clyde Canal footpaths, all the way from from Polmont to Glasgow.

They have raised a fantastic £272 so far, and there is still time to donate by visiting

All donations will go to Project Ability, so dig deep! 

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Last week,16th – 20th May, was Learning Disability Week 2016 and we marked it in style.  First off, we opened the exhibition Flying Through Time by John Cocozza at Key’s office in Renton Street.  Flying Through Time showcases John Cocozza’s artistic talent and celebrates the long-standing relationship between KEY and Project Ability.  

John Cocozza works as part of the Aspire programme at Project Ability, Aspire being our visual art programme for people with learning disabilities.  The exhibition can be seen weekdays through to 10th June. (

Then, on Wednesday 18th May at a ceremony in Edinburgh, artist Cameron Morgan was presented with a lifetime membership of the RSA.  The initiative was led by the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD) in partnership with the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).   The RSA Lifetime Fellowships were awarded to six people with learning disabilities after a nationwide search.

The 2016 RSA Fellowship awardees include:
• Cameron Morgan, visual artist, Falkirk
• Leanne Clarke, author / playwright, Lochgelly
• Ross Inglis, piper, Dundee
• Maria Lauder, community activist, Coldstream
• Adam Sloan, dancer / choreographer, Glasgow
• Ian Stones, campaigner, Inverurie

We are delighted for Cameron and the award is well deserved.

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Artwork of the week - ‘The Tardis’ by John Cocozza

Artwork of the week this week could only have ever been The Tardis by John Cocozza. This sculpture has been hand crafted with the utmost patience and care taken by the artist, and can be seen on exhibition at KEY in Glasgow. It is one of the highlights of the exhibition, titled 'Flying Through Time', which features both Cocozza's work and some select pieces by artist Kevin Cantwell

John's work often centres around his love of science fiction, and The Tardis is one of his most beloved flying machines. This piece is strong and sturdy, measuring about 80 cm high, and the attention to detail means the artist has included everything right down to a miniature poster printed out just as it is on the real Tardis. Inside the light at the top of the piece the artist has inserted an LED flashlight so once the light gets dim the Tardis glows.

Using recycled bottles, cardboard and other various arts and craft materials, this sculpture truly is a magnificent example of upcycled sculpture and an incredible accomplishment for the artist. John worked with Kevin Cantwell as part of our  Research Rooms exhibition, during which time he was mentored by Kevin in the art of this type of sculpture. The Tardis is the first piece he has designed and created solely on his own, in the Aspire studios here at Project Ability. Visit Cocozza's artist page to see more of his work, and check out the exhibtion page to read more about his current show,  'Flying Through Time'.

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Meet the Volunteers - Jyni Ong

This week, please meet another of our fantastic volunteers: Jyni Ong, who has been an invaluable addition to our Create workshops.

"I was recommended to volunteer at Project Ability by a friend as an inspiring insight into Glasgow's Art community and a refreshing break from being an art student at GSA.

I have found it incredibly inspiring and have realised many things about my personal working process by working with Create participants. Their enthusiasm and love for creating art is wonderfully infectious and has inspired in me a resurged appreciation for making through materials. I love their spontaneity and energy to follow their ideas and their eagerness to explore new mediums. I have learnt a lot from them, particularly in their lightheartedness and enjoyment in their activities which I often miss in my own work in the attempts for perfection.

Seeing how unself-conscious and confident many of the participants are in their work is great to see and has taught me a lot about how I wish to view my own work. Also, witnessing the progression in their work over the weeks is incredibly fulfilling and how their ideas have manifested and developed in the things they have made, which are often of a really high standard. The tutors are also lovely and incredibly patient and generous with their time and knowledge attributed to each participant. Overall there is an immensely special feeling of community and welcoming support to all in Create. Most of all, I have learnt to try and enjoy myself as much as possible in my work like how all the participants do and I thank them and all the tutors for giving me these realisations and greatly inspiring me."

Thanks Jyni!

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Project Ability Marathon Canal Walk

On Sunday 22nd May, a group of walkers will walk a marathon (26.2 miles or 42.195 kilometres) to raise funds for Project Ability. The group will include Project Ability board member Bevis Evans-Teush and ReConnect tutor Celine Mcilmunn. Their route will take them along the Union Canal and Forth and Clyde Canal footpaths from Polmont to Glasgow.

You can support them by donating to their Local Giving page, no amount is too small!

If you'd like to raise funds for our charity, please get in touch: 0141 552 2822 /

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Walking Group - Week 9: Cuningar Loop

Sunshine, ice cream and a riverside walk in good company. Is there a better way to spend the afternoon?

Our walking group took a walk on the Clyde side last week for an exploration of the Cuningar Woodland Park, also known as the Cuningar Loop, a wonderful new Forestry Commission park in Rutherglen which opened in March.

It was a perfect day for a walk and some of the group took full advantage of the playpark facilities and tried out the zip slides, swings and bouldering rocks.

There is still some work being done on the park so the birdsong was occasionally interrupted by the sound of diggers but apart from that the day was quite idyllic.

You can find out more about the park at

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Emily Gorman raised over £500 for Project Ability!

On behalf of everyone at Project Ability, we'd like to say a big thank you to the fantastic Emily Gorman! The eleven year-old ran the Colour Me Rad 5K this past Sunday and raised an amazing £516 for our charity!

"I've had a great day, the run was so much fun! I even had a 99 cone to celebrate at the end! Thank you to everyone who sponsored me."

Emily's Local Giving page is still active for a few more days, so don't hesitate to donate if you'd like to show your support. If you plan on taking part in a sporting event and would be interested in raising funds for Project Ability, please get in touch: 0141 552 2822 or

Thanks again to Emily and the Gorman family!

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Shop item of the week by Simon McAuley

Shop item of the week is this gorgeous oil painting on wood panel by Simon McAuley. 'Untitled 2013' measures 26 x26 cm and can be purchased from our gallery shop for £200.00. It mimics the look of a stretched canvas piece as the artist has encased the wood panel surface with 5cm deep white wood edges. It is a beautiful rendition of a hazy landscape. Coming in and out of focus continually the eye relaxes and gives in to the blurred technique in which the paint has been applied.

McAuley currently has a solo show in our Gallery 2, and several of his newest paintings can be seen here until the 22nd of May. For more information about the exhibition, 'Strange quarks' follow this link. There is also more information about Simon and his practice on his artists' page. Simon is very well versed in both painting and photography, which is evidenced in the plethora and quality of work he continues to produce.

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Artwork of the Week by James Smith

Artwork of the week features this small but mighty sculpture, as yet untitled, by James Smith. This industrial looking artillery tank is just one of many steampunk style locomotives that will be on exhibition as part of our solo show of James' work titled 'Steampunk Chassis'.

These pieces are handmade using many different unique signature techniques to bring each piece to life. The attention to detail in all of the separate components is a tour de force.
The exhibition opens June 2, as part of Trongate 103's 1st Thursday. Read more about James Smith and the upcoming exhibition here.

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Introducing ‘Artygarty’

‘Artygarty’ is a brand new bulletin from Art in the Gart and the introductory edition is available for you to download here.

"Artygarty aims to create a platform to showcase and celebrate indoor and outdoor activities, artwork, themes, ideas and anything else which is of relevance to you and reflects the ethos of Art in the Gart – to offer a space for participation, appreciation and self expression in meaningful activity, which supports mental health recovery and wellbeing across mental health services, northwest sector.

If you have any ideas for the development of this bulletin, themes for an edition, photographs you may have taken on site, a favourite poem or quote.....the list is endless, please feel free to contact us on or call Fiona on 0141 211 3681.”

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Meet the Volunteers - Katrina McCann

The sun is shining, our studios are once again buzzing with creativity after the Easter break, and our volunteers are back for another block of workshops! This week, we are delighted to introduce you to the fantastic Katrina McCann, who came to Project Ability via a student placement and has been volunteering in our Create and Aspire workshops.

"I have loved my time at Project Ability and found it to be one of the most welcoming and friendly organisations that I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I worked with both ‘Create’, on a Saturday and ‘Aspire’ on a Monday Morning and although both classes had extremely different environments, what remained the same was the unique, amazing standard of art and a warm welcoming attitude.

I was introduced to Project Ability through my placement at university where I study psychology, and felt my placement reached a personal level, as I have grown extremely fond to the people attending Project Ability, as well as the tutors and other volunteers. I have been inspired by the people who attend Project Ability and their fearless attitudes when approaching large scale pieces, along with their individuality which has created quirky and fun projects I could only imagine of doing.

I hope to do a post grad in art therapy at the end of my psychology course, and have found this experience to be both fitting to my degree and instrumental in learning the amazing effect art can have on people, outwith the workshop. Project Ability not only offers the development of skills, but also the chance to socialise and connect with a range of amazing people, which generates a positive energy that is contagious to everyone who attends.  You are offered the experience to not only assist the development of artistic ability, but also to see a person grow in confidence, and light up every time they enter the studio.
I would encourage anyone looking for a volunteering position to consider Project Ability, as the experience has been invaluable, and I would love to have the opportunity to return in the future."

Many thanks Katrina!

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ReSearch Residency - April: David Roeder

David Roeder spent the month of April in residency at Project Ability, working on his own practice and interacting with our artists. Here he tells us more about his experience.

"Doing the residency at Project Ability was such a rewarding experience on so many levels. I met so many interesting and highly creative characters and I loved working alongside them for a while.

I saw some exceptional pieces being made and I had great conversations, but most of all it was the relaxed and inclusive vibe that I enjoyed, which suggested a more than valid alternative to the capital-driven and elitist forces that are so strongly at work within the sphere of so-called "fine art".

I have read and written extensively about problems of evaluation in regards to creative expression (with a focus on non-academic art), so the residency felt like a natural, hands-on extension of that field of my research. I was amazed by the high quality of what I saw being made in the workshops, pieces that in my eyes (and without hyperbole) can easily raise the bar to almost any museum collection or contemporary art show.

I also loved the feedback I got from some of the artists in the workshop - although at times very critical, it was always rewarding and made me question my work outside the parameters as suggested by most contemporary art education/writing. What more can I say? A great experience, I wish I could have stayed another four weeks (or more)!"

Many thanks David! You can see his photo diary on our ReSearch Residency Instagram: @PA_Research_Residency

1: Cameron and Celine at the Cosima V. Bonin show at the Goma
2: A cat painting I loved but whose author I couldn't find
3: John Cocozza working on his sculpture
4: One of the paintings I did myself: "Stuff washed up on the shore"

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Artist Talk - Cameron Morgan

With close to 1200 visitors and some amazing feedback, we can safely say that the Glasgow leg of TV Classics Part 1 was a great success!

On Saturday 16 April 2016, Cameron Morgan was in the our Project Space to answer people's questions about his exhibition. Our Media Unit was there to document the event.

Read some of the brilliant feedback left by visitors during GI 2016 here.

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CATS - a series of workshops with Joanna Peace and Luke Shaw

Join Joanna Peace and Luke Shaw for creative writing, image-making, and publication-creating workshops. Those who don’t like cats are just as welcome as cat lovers!

CATS’ will be launched alongside the exhibition of the same name in the Project Ability gallery in July 2016. Just turn up to one of the following workshops if you'd like to take part in the making of the publication:

Sat 14th May CREATE  1pm – 4pm
Tue 17 May RECONNECT 1pm – 3pm
Thu 26 May RECONNECT 10am – 12pm
Wed 1st June ASPIRE  1pm – 3pm
Fri 3rd June RECONNECT  1pm – 3pm

For more information, please contact

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘Spotted Beetle’ by Jonathan McKinstry

Shop item of the week is this golden ray of sunshine, 'Spotted Beetle' by Jonathan McKinstry. This small but colourful painting on stretched canvas is full of Jonathan's usual bold, sharp style. It is a lovely painting and would add lots of character and charm to any home. Measuring 31 x 31cm this mixed media painting is ready to be taken away and hung straight on the wall for only £35.00. 

Jonathan has a love of all things humorous and comic related. He spends hours creating comic style characters and clever compositions to set them in. Dynamic, entertaining, colourful and expressionist all describe McKinstry's work. Check out his artist's page to read a bit about Jonathan and see more of his magnificent artworks!

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Artwork of the week by Daniel Donnelly

Artwork of the week is this oil painting on canvas titled, 'Man with Cigarette (Robert Leroy Johnson)', by Daniel Donnelly. Daniel is an artist working in our ReConnect programme and in the autumn of 2016 we will be exhibiting a solo show of his work in the Project Ability Gallery 2.  Donnelly's oil paintings range from portraiture - such as this striking work- to large geometric abstract canvases. The two styles have a connection and although very different to look at, many similar thought processes over lap between the two.

This particular portrait is in Daniel's usual style, using a red underpainting to give the whole subject and composition a feeling of strength, confidence and depth. Robert Leroy Johnson was an American blues singer-song writer and musician. Johnson's shadowy and poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend, including the Faustian myth that he sold his soul to the devil at a crossroads to achieve success. It is a fascinating story which gives further power to his music and life's story-  Daniel captures this in his portrait of the great African American star, staring intensely out at the camera with guitar and cigarette.


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Project Ability Super 8 Campaign

During the months of July and August, some Project Ability artists will be experimenting with Super 8 filmmaking with artist and curator Alexander Storey Gordon. This work will result in an exhibition during October as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.

Do you have any Super 8 film equipment we can use? We are looking for cameras and projectors, and would need them as soon as possible in order to get the project started.

If you think you can help, please get in touch at or 0141 552 2822. Thank you!

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Walking Group - Week 8: Hunterian Museum of Zoology and Anatomy

It seems that the weather is a bit confused at the moment about what season it currently is. Last Wednesday, for our walking group, there was a mix of streaming sunshine one minute and snow and hailstones the next.

Their outing was also a mix, starting off with a walk through Kelvingrove to Glasgow University in search of the Museum of Zoology. This was the first time any of the group had visited this museum and it was full of interesting things to look at.

This was followed by a short walk across the campus to the Anatomy Museum. There was a large group of art students making drawings on the upper level so the group stayed downstairs where there was plenty to look at before going outside again and across to the Hunterian Gallery for a short look at one of the exhibitions there: 'William Hunter to Damien Hirst: The Dead Teach the Living', a show which spans the centuries with very recent works shown alongside some from several hundred years ago.

The Museums of Zoology and Anatomy are open to the public. Further information can be found at:

'William Hunter to Damien Hirst: The Dead Teach the Living' continues until 5 March 2017

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