Artwork of the week - ‘Good Luck from Glasgow’ by Jacqui Smyth

Artwork of the Week is this charming drawing of a Scottie dog by Jacqui Smyth. 'Good Luck from Glasgow' is part of our annual Christmas exhibition, 'Scotland, The Land Beneath Our Feet'. Smyth has momentarily abandoned her favourite subject matter of pop music to make this piece especially for our Christmas exhibition. Smyth also has work up in our annual Mono exhibition, which is in keeping with her love of music and knowledge of bands and pop culture. Come have a look at both shows! 

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Walking Group - Week 23: Tramway

Our walking group braved the Scottish weather last week to make a visit to Tramway in the South side of Glasgow to see a trio of exhibitions. First stop was upstairs to Narrative: The Koestler Scotland Exhibition 2017, a display of works from prisons, secure hospitals, secure children’s homes, immigration detention centres and community justice services across Scotland.

The work in the exhibition is hugely varied and thought provoking and produced a wide range of responses from the group. Author and poet Jenni Fagan curated the show and said 'I believe creative projects are hugely important to rehabilitation in ways that we are probably only just beginning to understand'.

Next stop was the huge Tramway 2 gallery to see the Amanda Ross-Ho exhibition, Untitled Period Piece. The scale of the work with gigantic trousers and pattern pieces feels like a visit to a tailor's workshop in Alice's Wonderland. It felt like the perfect location to model the new rain-capes that were bought with a Scotmid community grant and have an impromptu photo-shoot - with help from one of the exhibition invigilators!

The last exhibition of the day was Momma! Momma! by Megan Rooney, a strange and in places unnerving installation that makes you wonder 'what just happened here?'

Some of the group had a short walk in the rather wet Hidden Gardens before everyone went their separate ways.

You can find more information about these exhibitions at http://www.tramway.org/strands/Pages/visual-arts.aspx

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Meet the Volunteers - Laura Gaiger

Today's Meet the Volunteers focuses on the fantastic Laura Gaiger, who has been volunteering with our Art Matters workshops.

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
I studied Painting and Printmaking at Glasgow School of Art and graduated last year, 2016. Now I have a studio in the East end and I make oil paintings - most of them are semi-abstract still life and interior paintings, or paintings from film photographs and film stills. They hint at stories of domestic and family life.


   

In what workshop did you volunteer?
I’m volunteering with the Art Matters group at 4.30pm on Saturdays.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I volunteered with Project Ability in the past, while I was studying, and loved the experience, so I knew I’d enjoy doing it again. I have a more settled routine now I’m not a student, so I’m able to be more committed, and it’s really important to me to feel that I’m making a meaningful contribution to others. I want to help other people find as much joy, fun and fulfilment through making things as I do.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
Absolutely. Saturday afternoons at Project Ability are currently the highlight of my week! The studio is really peaceful at this time of day, and it’s a really pleasant environment to be pottering around helping the artists with materials, and having a chat about what everyone is making or has been doing that week. I enjoy being part of a really relaxed and positive community and feeling appreciated for taking part.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
I’ve gotten to know many of the artists in the Art Matters group by now, and I have a much better understanding of the various needs that the different artists have. I’ve learned how to communicate with people with different ways of communicating to myself, and not to be afraid to strike up conversations with disabled or differently abled people. I have also gained a lot of ideas and artistic inspiration from seeing everyone’s work and all the exciting things going on in the other workshops.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
I always have a great time chatting with Peter - he sings me his favourite Disney songs each week and makes me guess which films they’re from, which I’m not very good at! I love seeing Jonathan’s work develop - I’ve never met someone so focussed on what they are making, and the detail in his freehand drawings is incredible!

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
Yes, definitely - anyone who enjoys being part of a sociable community of artists and wants to give back to the artistic community of Glasgow! It’s great fun.

Any other comments?
Thank you so much for involving me at Project Ability - I hope I’ll be able to stay involved for a long time.

Thank you so much Laura!

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Beautiful mural in Arden by Daniel Donnelly

ReConnect artist Daniel Donnelly has been working on a beautiful mural in the hallway of a residential home in Arden.

The artist, who was commissionned by the Richmond Fellowship, envisioned scenes of nature with flowers, wells and fountains. He consulted with the residents too, adding some of their suggestions to the mural.

Once the design was final, Donnelly started making a grid in pencil and drew the scene on the wall. He then painted the outlines in red acrylic and blocked in the other colours.

The mural is still a work in progress, as Daniel is working on his own and can only go once a week, but we'll make sure to post a photo of the finished work!

You can see some of Daniel's work on his Outside In profile. He also had a solo exhibition in our Gallery II this year: Gravitational Geometry; The Method of Movement and Attraction.

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Project Ability Fundraising Survey

Like many charities, Project Ability faces funding challenges and we must find more ways of generating income to allow us to continue to deliver our vital work.

With many not-for-profit organisations fighting for the attention of the general public, we understand that it is important to be focused, imaginative and offer something that is genuinely going to engage and benefit our audience.  That’s why we need your opinion on what we should do next. 

It will only take a couple of minutes to answer the four questions here but it will make a huge difference to us if you do it as it will help us to plan effectively for the future.  If you provide your contact details, we would like to offer you 10% discount next time you visit our shop in the Gallery or online.

Thank you!

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Shop Item of the week - by Anna Campbell

Shop Item of the Week features this lovely plush toy by Anna Campbell. This is just one of many items that will be for sale in our first ever Pop Up Shop, this Saturday! At £25 this is just one example of our Pop Up Shop stock. Please pop in this Saturday anytime between 10 - 5pm and get your Christmas shopping started!

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Glen Coe in Snow’ by Fiona Donald

'Glen Coe in Snow' by Fiona Donald is our Artwork of the week..... and our Landscape of the Day! This pastel drawing on paper is a truly unique and unusual depiction of the world famous mountain. Named after the River Coe, which runs through it, Glen Coe is the remains of an ancient supervolcano. It is a very popular tourist destination in the Scottish Highlands. We love the way Fiona has created a monocharomatic landscape with a repetitive design covering the whole of the mountain side. This drawing is for sale for 65 pounds and can be seen in our gallery until the 22 December. Come by to check out all the amazing Scottish landscapes in our Christmas show, 'Scotland: The Land Beneath Our Feet'.

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Meet the Volunteers: Karina Baillie

This week, let us introduce you to the brilliant Karina Baillie, who has been a great addition to our Create team. 

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
I am a graduate of Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art. My practice encompasses many different mediums, from video installation to sculpture, drawing and painting. Recently I have been working in the community, focussing on facilitating different groups such as a mural project in the East End with adults with mental health issues.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
I volunteer at the Create Workshop ages 8-12 on a Saturday morning.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I’ve admired many of Project Ability’s artists and frequently visit their gallery space, and have always known Project Ability to be a brilliant resource in the community. I had recently finished a Counselling course and wanted to spend more time working with young artists, because I knew it would be a great learning opportunity and a privilege to become part of the Project Ability team.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
The experience of volunteering at the Create workshop has far exceeded my expectations. Interacting with the young artists is an energetic and fruitful role, I have learned so much from the tutors knowledge and found every class to be invigorating and rewarding.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
The young artists are all uniquely talented individuals with brilliant ideas and different styles of working. It’s a lot of fun being in the workshop facilitating their various projects, from making clay sculptures to print making. I’ve learned loads of new techniques and the young artists have opened my mind to exciting creative processes which have influenced my own artistic practice.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
I find the work of two of our young artists Guy and Gabriel incredibly inspiring, they both have their own brilliant flair for colour and their use of this in our recent classes have produced beautiful Perspex panels that look like stain glass windows.

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
There is a real sense of community in the workshop that is unique to Project Ability. It’s a supportive environment which is full of fun and energy, I would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering becoming part of the Project Ability team.

Thanks a lot Karina! 

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Meet the Volunteers: Mij Rothera

For today's Meet the Volunteers, we focus on the amazing Mij Rothera, who has been volunteering with our aspire team.

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
I graduated from Glasgow School of Art more than 20 years ago (gulp), with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Photography. Nowadays I twiddle about with inks and brushes on paper in my spare time. I work with Enable and also occasionally as an Artist Practitioner at The Prince & Princess Of Wales Hospice.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
Wednesday Aspire Workshops.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I’ve been coming here for 2 years every Tuesday, supporting a young man to attend his art group. I love the atmosphere – it’s so positive and also informal. It’s great to see how focussed everybody is on their work. I have many years’ experience of working on arts projects for various marginalised groups (specifically with Artlink Central in Stirling), and wanted to play a small part in the wonderful creativity of Project-Ability.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
Definitely. It’s such a friendly environment. People are really well supported by the excellent Art Tutors to make, or continue working on, whatever piece they feel like that day. The large, bright space is really conducive to making art and there are loads of different art materials.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
The opportunity for creativity is vitally important – for everyone. Project-Ability plays a huge part in the lives of many people. It’s also important to not always have a set end-date for a project – people here can continue on their work for however long they feel. The experience has helped to make me create more art, too. Also, I’ve met a whole new bunch of talented people.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
I really like Andrew Boyle’s images. He works steadily and carefully on his detailed and very beautiful drawings and paintings. A stand-out artwork from the last year is Tommy Mason’s large painting of George Michael.  I loved the exhibition by Leslie Thomson too.Actually I’m inspired every time I walk into the studio.

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
Yes. It’s a wonderful way to get to know some very interesting, creative people, and to play a part in what I would say is a vital space and service for so many.

Any other comments?
Project-Ability offers a peaceful and positive space where all people need to focus on is their creativity. That’s priceless.

Thanks, Mij!

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Meet the Volunteers: Mij Rothera

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Project Ability podcast on Radiophrenia!

The Writing Group worked with tutors Joanna Peace and Anthony Autumn over several weeks to create an original podcast for the Radiophrenia Festival. Using sounds from the studios and their own writings, the artists have come up with a wonderful piece of recorded art.

The podcast will be live on Radiophrenia - 87.9 FM - on Saturday 18 June, at 11am. 

Media co-op followed the different workshops and filmed the artists at work, from start to finish. They will release a short documentary in the coming months, but in the meantime they have edited a few teasers:
-Recording
-Morag Recording
-Play and Harmony
-Stuart Reading

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Walking Group - Week 22: The Lighthouse Poster Exhibition

"On Wednesday the 8th November, the Walking Group went to The Lighthouse to visit an exhibition of posters and have the chance to make our own.

The International Poster Exhibition is part of Graphic Design Festive Scotland and showcases 140 posters and sets of posters, including the top three winners. Festival founders Warriors Studio, Jamie McIntyre former art director of It's Nice That, Jaemin Lee director of South Korean studio Fnt and last years winner Koos Breen recent graduate of Royal Academy of the Arts, the Hauge, made up this years judging panel.

The competition received 6095 entries from 81 countries and we were told about how hard not only the judging process was but to chose only 140 to exhibit. The posters were diverse, from moving images you would see on a bus stop to South Korean dream like glittery comics, to adverts for events and political pieces.

It was impossible to choose a favorite, fortunately we didn't have to. After looking around we got to take part in a poster making workshop each choosing a message we wanted to convey to the world.

The posters were simple, we all got one blank sheet of paper and a selection of letters to cut out and glue, the task of making them interesting and meaningful feel to each of us. I really enjoyed working on my poster and enjoyed seeing the different styles of work and how different countries view poster making."
-Morag McGilchrist

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Artist talk by James Jimbo

Last Thursday, former artist in residence James Jimbo came back to Project Ability to showcase the work he produced during his residency. Artists from Aspire and ReConnect came to engage with James and his work, and it was very interesting to see what inspired him during his time with us. The work was very well received and artists enjoyed the skills and playfulness in each drawing and painting.

‘Brilliant work – great colours’
-Edward Henry, Aspire

‘I liked the Elvis one and George Michael, I painted George Michael too, mine was much more colourful'
-Tommy Mason, Aspire

‘Refreshing to see work that’s been created a framework of joyfulness and freedom’
-Richie Davis, ReConnect

‘I really loved the use of line and for me being here in my first week of my residency, it couldn’t have come at a better time to see James work, someone so confident in their own practice – very inspiring’
-Emma Aitken, current artist in residence

Thank you, James Jimbo!

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘Wild Mustangs’ by Edward Henry

Shop Item of the Week is this lovely painting on wood by Edward Henry. 'Wild Mustangs' also features an ibis in the foreground, and together this trio makes for an unusual and playful composition. Sized at 60x40cm, it's just right for any wall, whether at home or work. You can find 'Wild Mustangs' in our online shop for £55, or come by our gallery shop at Trongate 103 to see it in person. Henry is a much loved artist here at Project Ability and has a loyal following of admirers across Scotland. His work has a unique naivety to it and his subject matter always shows the viewer a new perspective, giving insight into the intriguing mind of the artist!

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Artwork of the week - King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut by Jacqui Smyth

Our Artwork of the Week is 'King Tut's Wah Wah Hut' by Jacqui Smyth. As Smyth has declared in this drawing, King Tut's Wah Wah Hut is the "best UK live venue"! Smyth has recently created a small series of colourful drawings all based around the theme of music and Glasgow. Many of these pieces are in an exhibition that opens this evening. It is a group show of nine artists and it will be on show in Mono until January 14th. 

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Artwork of the week - ‘A World of Permanent Novelty’ Heversham 1975 by Lea Cummings

Artwork of the week is this quite strange lumen print by Lea Cummings. This print sits with 12 others in an installation titled, 'A World of Permanent Novelty'. This particular image is from Heversham in 1975 when the artist was a young boy (as seen in photo). Next to Cummings is what makes this body of work so unusual. He has superimposed the image of his long lost imaginary friend, a human sized hot dog with arms, legs and all the facial features of a person. He is a little sinister looking and very silly. 

For this exhibition the artist decided to use images of himself throughout his life and introduce his imaginary friend into the frame. He has used old negatives and had them enlarged and printed onto acetate. The acetate is then placed on the photographic paper and left to expose in sunlight. The resulting images have a ghostly quality, like they will soon disappear forever. Much in the same way Cumming's imaginary friend did one day. 

Lea Cumming's is one of six artists in our current exhibition, Lumen Essence. Each artist has approached the project in their own way, making this show dynamic and beautiful. It is up until 11 November!

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Artist in Residence – Emma Aitken

Today we welcome another new artist in residence to our busy studios: Emma Aitken, who will be working alongside our artists for the month of November.  Emma was formerly a volunteer with Project Ability in our Create programme back in 2015, and has recently completed her Master’s Degree in Community Learning and Development.


‘After a 2 Year break from the studio, including a year being based in a library. I could not be more excited to be back in Project Ability with a chance to concentrate on my own practice!  Already everyone has been so welcoming and inspiring – I can’t wait to see what comes out of the month ahead!’

We are all very excited to see what you do with your time with us too, Emma!

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Walking Group - Lambhill Stables

Lambhill Stables is a community development organisation located next to the Forth and Clyde Canal to the North of the city. The stables complex was originally built around 1811 for the horses that pulled the barges along the canal and there are many references to it's history around the gardens and inside the buildings themselves.

 

Our group arrived at the stables after a short bus journey from the city centre and were greeted by a friendly swan, some sunshine and a rainbow! Rather than go into the Stables straight away and inspired by the sunshine, the group had a walk along the canal pathway and stopped at several viewpoints along the way. There are several entrances to Possil Marsh from the pathway and one of these was taken for a short while but the ground underfoot was quite flooded in places so it was decided to return to the canal pathway and head back to the Stables.

The Stables has been beautifully renovated and put to good use as a community hub with many varied activities for locals. On this day, being a Wednesday, there was a community group lunch in the cafe so it was quite busy but there was still plenty of room for our group to sit down for a drink and a snack. The group also had a walk around the gardens where there was work going on to create a sensory garden.

This is a lovely area for a walk with good level pathways along the canal and very easily accessed from the city by public transport.

There is lots of information about Lambhill Stables, both current and historic, on their website: http://www.lambhillstables.org

 

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