Project Ability was invited to work with a group that meets regularly at the Hidden Gardens. The group is a collective of individuals that access the gardens and participate in workshops exploring horticulture, gardening, cookery and art. The medium of choice for the workshops that took place over two afternoons in August was printmaking. In particular cyanotype printing, which is a photo based process that involves coating a surface (in this case paper and canvas bags) with chemicals that are then left to dry in the dark and become sensitive to UV light... as in sunshine!
Week 1. The sky was overcast with a persistent drizzle of rain and not ideal conditions conducive for working with cyanotype which is a process that needs sunlight! Instead of printing the group prepared the surfaces and painted silhouettes upon which could be placed objects found in the garden, like leaves, ferns, feathers, flowers etc. These objects foraged from the garden would then make shadows that would form a cyanotype print.
Week 2. Heatwave! One week later and a cloudless blue sky. The group spent the afternoon creating collages and montages to arrange on their papers and canvases and expose in sunlight.
You may be familiar with the expression ‘to have the blue print’,.. as in the original, well that is the essence of this process, a form of photo copying that dates back to 1842. A relatively simple process, but one that can produce stunning images... weather permitting!
- Meredith Crone, tutor
On the 18th August artists Cameron Morgan and Jason Davis travelled to the North East to meet people at Milltown Day Workshop in Arbuthnott.
Milltown is an integrated community with adults with learning disabilities and part of the Camphill movement.
The community has a day workshop, residential houses, gardens and animals and is set in beautiful countryside in South Aberdeenshire. Inspired by the gardens and the sunny weather, the group went into the grounds and made artworks using the natural materials which were all around with flowers and petals featuring highly.
“It has really made us look at what’s around us differently”
"I notice the colours in plants more”
The origin of the word necropolis is from the Ancient Greek language and literally means ‘city of the dead’. Our walking group visited the Glasgow Necropolis last week and found it to be very lively. It was a glorious sunny day and the terraces were alive with tourists and locals alike, enjoying a stroll in the historic surroundings.
The views across the city are spectacular and many of the tombs are beautifully sculpted and carved with interesting information. One of our walkers investigated Wikipedia and found a fascinating page that interpreted the symbols used on headstones which added a great deal of interest to the walk.
On the way up the High Street, the group called in to Civic Room, a gallery that was previously one of the Linen Banks that used to be found around the city. There they met MollyMae, one of the artists whose work was on display in an exhibition called Boundings.
On the way back to base, a couple of the walkers took a small diversion into another cemetery, this one to the rear of the old Ramshorn Kirk on Ingram Street.
We are hosting three fundraising events between now and Christmas! The first event is coming up soon, and it promises to be great fun: it's the Project Ability Quiz Night!
Are you unbeatable on popular culture? Join us on Friday 16 September, from 7pm for a chance to win the Project Ability trophy. You can come as a team, or join one on the night, everybody is welcome.
Only £5 per person, including a drink from the bar and a raffle ticket. The raffle will be drawn on the night, with plenty of fantastic prizes to be won!
Tickets are on sale now from our 3rd floor reception. Please, spread the word, and help us raise some much needed funds!
Friday 16 September, 7pm
3rd Floor, Trongate 103
Glasgow G1 5HD
Ailsa Sutcliffe spent the month of July as Artist in Residence at Project Ability. Based in a studio within the main Project Ability workshop, Ailsa spent the month developing a body of new work. Here, she tells us about her experience:
"The Project Ability Research Residency came at the perfect time for me in many respects. Having just encountered some unexpected personal hurdles, a month in the safe haven of Project Ability’s studios surrounded by enthusiastic, creative souls was exactly what I needed to get my mind and practice back on track.
Having a designated, light-filled space and the freedom to produce work of any kind, of any size, was incredibly liberating and I soon began to banish the self-inflicted restrictions I had placed on myself as an artist and illustrator. Unwarranted anxieties about what kind of work I could, or should, make, started to fade and I quickly started to enjoy being more bold or ambitious than I usually am.
This enjoyment was perhaps due to my familiarity to Project Ability; the studios, the artists, the tutors. From volunteering and working at Project Ability for some time now, it’s become one of my favourite places in Glasgow and probably where I feel most comfortable outside of my own home environment. It’s what made me realise that I wanted to teach, tutor and work with people and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities that it has given me.
I saw the residency as an opportunity to develop my skills in areas I wasn’t particularly confident in, improving my range as an illustrator and enabling me to help people with techniques I previously didn’t know much about. Amongst various drawings, I completed two large canvasses for the first time, several drypoint prints and made some (wonky) ceramic bowls. For me, it was a pretty big achievement.
I have an infuriating tendency to freeze up and overthink what I’m making while I’m making it, and more often than not it goes in the bin before it’s even finished. Working with the artists at Project Ability has definitely helped me eliminate (or at least reduce) that perfectionism and I found that working in the studios alongside them really improved my productivity and ability to make worry-free. There is a tangible sense of enthusiasm, talent and creativity in the studios that is infectious. You soak it up without even realising."
Thank you very much, Ailsa! You can see Ailsa's photo diary on our ReSearch Residency Instagram: @PA_Research_Residency
Shop Item of the Week time again, and this week we bring you a rather delightful little wildlife painting. Expertly painted by the ever prolific Edward Henry of the Aspire programme, this charming piece can be yours for an absolute pinch at just £30 from our online shop. Better swoop fast or this one will take off!
Over the past school term, Project Ability have been working with Capability Scotland in their Stanmore House School in Lanark and Corseford School in Renfrewshire. Artist Tracy Gorman has worked with all of the children, from primary up to senior phase, who attend both schools, exploring a wide variety of art materials and techniques.
‘Over the weeks it has been fantastic to really get to know all of the children, seeing what materials they like to work with best and learning all of their favourite colours and personal interests. We have all very much enjoyed exploring new mediums together and have made some fantastic pieces of art along the way. The ceramic birds and vases that everyone made were particularly successful. Each one bold and unique to the maker.
It has been a great experience working with everyone at both of the schools, both pupils and staff.’
- Tracy Gorman, tutor
This week we bring you this mixed media canvas by Project Ability artist Judith Abubakar as our Artwork of the Week. Judith very often uses glitter and tissue paper to create her artworks. They are bright, colourful and full of energy. Working with these materials on a stretched canvas gives the finished piece a mix of both two and three dimensions. The bright pink back ground is applied first and given time to dry. Then the colours and composition of the glitter and tissue paper are carefully considered to make the work as brilliant and bold as possible. 'Glitter' is part of our Young Talent 2016 exhibition, on display in our gallery until Saturday the 24th of September.
Each year our annual Young Talent exhibition showcases and celebrates the artwork created by children and young people from Project Ability’s Create Programme, now in its 16th year. Our Create programme engages with children and young people with disabilities in a wide range of creative activities including visual arts, film and new media. For more information about this exhibition follow this link.
Judith's piece is a small but mighty work of art. With its colour, contrast and sparkling glitter, it joyfully shares Judith's talent and creativity.
Project Ability’s ‘On the Road’ project recently travelled to the Northeast of Scotland to deliver workshops in Forres and Elgin.
Groups created textile bags using collaged fabric that was applied using heat bond paper and an iron. The themes of birds, flowers and boats were the inspiration for the designs.
The workshops were carried out over two days, the first of which took place in a day centre in Forres with two small groups of participants and staff. The groups engaged extremely well with the project, responding well to ideas and technical help. The end results were a fabulous collection of designs that explored colour and shape.
The bag making sessions in Elgin took place in a purpose built day centre, again with two groups of around six participants as well as a staff member to help out. The group worked extremely well with support and there was a strong social element within the groups.
The end results were again simple, bold fabric cut outs that explored the different themes with an individual approach. Staff members in Elgin also expressed an interest continuing to create bags with the participants in the future to raise money for projects at the centre.
The workshops in both venues were a positive and welcoming experience. The participants along with all the staff that we met were extremely enthusiastic and eager to be involved. The creative and social aspects of the workshops contributed to the overall enjoyment of the sessions.
- Susan Bryson, tutor
Over the summer our arts team has been working in Kirkintilloch providing visual art opportunities for people with learning disabilities. Workshops have taken place in Hillhead Community Centre and the Barony Chambers at the Auld Kirk Museum.
The team has introduced a wide range of art materials and processes including print making and ceramics and have been meet with enthusiasm and good humour.
Thank you Kirkintilloch! We plan to be back in October.
Today we bring you a rather sporty Shop Item of the Week as a nod to the ongoing Olympic Games in Rio. ReConnect artist Ruth Mutch created a much loved penguin themed series of postcards for the Commonwealth Games, and it seems right for them to be featured once again in this time of exciting sporting activity. We have wrestling, judo, badminton, boxing, cycling - the lot!
Click here to see all we have available from our online shop.
In 2015, we were delighted that artist Cameron Morgan was awarded a prestigious Unlimited Commission to produce a collection of new paintings for exhibition in 2016. Morgan and his mentor artist Jason Davis set up their studio and worked steadily through the year towards presenting the work at the renowned 2016 Glasgow International Visual Arts Festival.
The exhibition TV Classics Part 1 was publically and critically acclaimed.
“One of the best shows I have seen”
“Such a wonderful, imaginative and fun idea. The paintings explore both interior design and television through time, which combined are really fascinating”
In July, at the invitation of the arts organisation Celf O Gwmpas the exhibition opened at Celf Centre in Wales.
Cameron attended the exhibition opening then we left him in Wales to enjoy the sights!
The exhibition at Celf o Gwmpas coincided with a poster campaign around the town of Llandrindod Wells, and mid-Wales. A life-sized (and very life-like) cardboard cut-out of artist Cameron Morgan and TV Classics Part 1 advertising trailer were accompanied on their tour by Geraint Edwards. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, they made a number of stops visiting dams in the Elan Valley, Clewedog reservoir and dylife valley, Aberystwyth, the Royal Welsh Showground and the black and white tudor villages of Pembridge and Eardisland.
Also on their tour were Hay Castle and Hay-on-wye, White Castle and Llandrindod Lake, and Stokesay Castle near Craven Arms.
Cameron even met a celebrity along the way! They bumped into Andrew Logan at the Andrew Logan Museum.
The last stop on the tour was the Mid Wales Art Centre, which is home to several galleries, a sculpture trail and collection including works by artist Stefan Knapp.
TV Classics Part 1 will open at the Southbank Centre as part of Unlimited Festival 2016, 6 – 11th September 2016.
Morgan who is also a proficient ceramicist has been working with artist Allan McKeown to produce work for an exhibition at Glasgow's Tramway for the Unlimited Festivals’ first outing to Scotland, 15 – 25th September 2016.
In June 2016 Cameron Morgan was made a lifetime fellow of the RSA.
Artwork of the week is this ceramic sculpture of the droid BB-8 from the latest Star Wars film- The Force Awakens. The sculpture is about as cute as the real thing, and very skillfully made by Alistair Downie. Alistair is part of our Create programme for young artists. Our annual Young Talent exhibition will feature this work, along with about 40 other artists' works from our Create programme. Opening this Saturday at 2pm, we welcome all of our young artists, along with their friends and family- and the general public- to join us in celebrating the amazing Young Talent of 2016 at Project Ability!
Shop Item of the Week is this wonderful handmade bag by Aspire artist Doreen Kay. This rather stunning item can, amazingly, be yours for a snip at just £12, so make sure to get in quickly if you want to be the very lucky owner!
- Shop Item of the Week - ‘Linda and Harry’ by Tommy Mason
- Artwork of the Week - ‘Tam o’ Shanter’ by Steven Reilly
- Shop Item of the Week - ‘There’s no place like home’ greeting card
- Artwork of the Week - ‘The Duke’ by Cameron Morgan
- Meet the Volunteers - Bethan Turner
- Film & Animation
- Recruitment & Volunteering
- Trongate 103
- Walking group
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