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:
-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:


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