Ladysbridge Stories visits Project Ability

This weekend we were delighted to have a visit from Ladysbridge Stories participant Davy Jones, who travelled from Aberdeen to share his life-stories and artwork with Project Ability's artists at Trongate 103. It was a day of enthusiastic, informal discussion and creativity, comparing life within Scotland's long-stay hospitals, between the 1970's until their closure in the early 2000's.

In the morning Davy led us through the history of Ladysbridge and his journey to a life in the community, illustrated by archival photography, whilst Cameron Morgan gave an account of his own early life in the Royal National Hospital, Larbert. Doreen Kay spent 10 years as a patient at Lennox Castle Hospital in Campsie Glen and recounted her memories of those times and in contrast John Cocozza gave an insight into life growing up at home within the community.

What shines through starkly is the similarity of experience between those growing up in institutional care, from the categorisation of patients into low, medium and high grade,
the crowded bed-to-bed dormitories, the lack of privacy and the denial of choice in where you went, what you wore or what you ate.

Since the very first Ladysbridge Stories sessions we've been repeatedly drawn back to the historic records of Ladysbridge Hospital, stored within the NHS Grampian Archive in Aberdeen. We've explored the format of the folded patients records, using this as inspiration for the folding of the Ladysbridge Memory Map. In the afternoon we revisited the wonderful marbling which lines the heavy, leather-bound patient's casebooks, to create our own marbled artworks, combining this with imagery collaged from archive photography of the hospitals grounds and austere interiors. The outcomes are stunning,  atmospheric landscapes  within which the distinctive villas and houses of Ladysbridge swirl.

What an inspiring and moving day. It was great to have Davy as our guest!

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Performance workshop: Foley Art

What do celery, a hot water bottle and a tambourine all have in common?

Last week our young Create artists were learning the art of Foley – the unique skill of sound creation for film and TV. Our project room became their recording studio for the week and an array of weird and wonderful objects became their instruments. 

Inspired by the way sound can enhance and change our perception of film they created their own short story, complete with dramatic sound effects.  Want to know more - watch this space for their finished film coming soon!

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘Fixie Bike Dish’ by Scott Smith

Our Shop Item of the Week is this platter with bicycle drawings by Scott Smith. There are three different fixie bikes on this dish, each one drawn by Aspire artist Scott Smith. One of Scott's passions, apart from making art, is helping to repair and clean bicycles. He regularly helps out as his local bicycle shop and through this he has become very familiar with all of the different types of bikes. We love a good fixie, and can't get enough of these lovely drawings. The original drawings themselves have all been purchased by Project Ability shop visitors, but the images live on!  Measuring 30 x 16 x 4cm you can find this piece in our online shop and also our gallery shop at Trongate 103 for £20. There are several styles of these porcelain dishes, all with a different arrangement of Scott Smith drawings.


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Artwork of the Week - ‘Canoeists’ by Tommy Kemp

Artwork of the Week is 'Canoeists' by Tommy Kemp. This drawing is filled with dense, heavy felt pen, covering the entire sheet of paper with dark shades of red and purple. Together they create a beautiful night-time effect, and the water and sky seem to be saturated by what one can imagine is the moonlight. This drawing is one of many brilliant artworks displayed in our current show, 'Hooked By A Duck'. This show is only up for another few days, so if you haven't seen it yet, you have until Saturday at 5pm.

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Back in Aberdeen!

Just when we thought it was all over! We were delighted to hear recently that our Ladysbridge project has been extended to allow us to develop a publication to accompany our fantastic memory map.

Today we had the great pleasure of returning to Aberdeen, where we’ve been gathering more valuable memories and insights, into the lives of our participants both in their lives today and formerly, when they were residents in the hospital.  It never fails to impress us just how much detail people can remember from their pasts and how fascinating it is to share in their memories. 

Over the course of this project we have captured these memories, visually, on film and in written form.  We have also enjoyed the fantastic support of archivist, Fiona Musk, giving us the unique opportunity to place the memories that our participants have shared, alongside the statistical records held about the hospital at various times in history. This project has allowed a more rich and well balanced history of the hospital to be recorded, including the first hand experiences of the people who lived there, some for many years of their lives.

Our publication, due to be completed by the end of next month, will catalogue some of the fascinating facts that we have learned throughout this project. We very much look forward to sharing this with you soon!

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Seminar & Book Launch: Friday 03 August

As part of the Festival 2018 we have teamed up with artists working at the supported studio within St Hedwig Hospital in Berlin and will be exhibiting works by over 15 artists from Germany, with a small number of them visiting Glasgow during the Festival. We are taking this opportunity to hold a seminar on Friday 03 August which will look at the ways in which individual artists can gain confidence, skills and a sense of community through working in a supported studio.

We’ve asked artists from Berlin and Glasgow to share their thoughts about their artistic practice and the way in which a supported studio such as Project Ability and St Hedwig Hospital can help individuals with lived experience of mental ill health to achieve their artistic potential. For anyone interested in finding out about Project Ability, we will be introducing the organisation and talking a bit about all three of our studio programmes, but the focus will be on our ReConnect studios. We are delighted to be able to invite the public to this event, which is part of the official Festival 2018 programme.

In addition to promoting the exhibition of work from Berlin, which will be on show in the gallery,’ Neu Begegnung’, we will be taking the opportunity to present the release of a publication showcasing artworks and text by most of our current ReConnect artists.

Friday 03 August, Project Ability Gallery, 1st Floor, Trongate 103. Arrive at 12.30pm for tea and coffee ahead of the seminar which runs from 1-2pm. We will be offering tours of the Project Ability studios from 2-2.30pm for anyone who is interested. This will be an informal event and there will be time for questions after.

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Shop Item of the Week - Selection of 5 greeting cards!

As our Shop Item of the Week we are offering five of our newest greeting cards to be purchased as a pack for just £11. That's £1.50 less than if they were bought separately. These are a great selection with a wide variety of images and each card is made from a different Project Ability artists' work. You can find these for sale individually on our website and shop but if you'd like them all you can have them by following this link to our shop. These greeting cards are great for any occasion and a brilliant way to support Project Ability and the artists that work here! These artworks shown in these five cards are by: Doreen Kay, Edward Henry, Michael McMullen, Cameron Morgan and Angela McLauchlin.  

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Badminton Court’ by James Pert

Artwork of the Week features this pen drawing by James Pert of a badminton court. James Pert has been attending Project Ability's Aspire workshops for almost two years now, and has created some amazing work. In addition to his artistic talent, Pert is also an avid badminton player. He competes regularly and just this past February he won the LD men’s doubles Division 1 with fellow player Hunter. You can check out an article about the Scottish 4 Nations ParaBadminton Championships here! Pert has a great selection of drawings on his webpage. 'Badminton Court' is currently on show in our gallery at Trongate 103 in the exhibition curated by James Jimbo, titled 'Hooked By A Duck'. It's up until July 28th and well worth a look.


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Opportunity: Artist residencies

As one opportunity closes, another opens! This coming autumn / winter, Project Ability is delighted to be able to offer 3 opportunities to Glasgow based visual artists, interested in experiencing our unique working studio environment. Our residency programme gives opportunity to artists to develop their practice within our busy working studios, over the course of one calendar month. Your experience with us will give you the opportunity to engage with our artists, be inspired by their innovative artistic practices and give you time and space to make work. Free access to our facilities and materials is included in this residency.

Opportunities are available for the months of September, November 2018, and February 2019. Interested artists are invited to submit a short proposal of how they would use their time, along with an artist CV, and up to 5 images of recent work.

All applications and enquiries to be sent to our Volunteers Co-ordinator, Tracy Gorman at . Deadline for all applications is Friday 24th August 2018. Please also state your preferred month on application. Good Luck!

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On the Road: Kirkintilloch

Two of our tutors have been working with a group in the Barony Chambers in Kirkintilloch. They are now halfway through a block of six weekly workshops with a different activity each week.

So far they have had a go at glass painting, clay modelling and silk painting.

An added extra was some fan decoration which was very welcome to help stay cool in the wonderful warm weather we've been having!

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Meet the Maker - Gregor Wright

We were joined on Friday 6th July by visual artist Gregor Wright for the latest in the Meet the Maker series, where artists and makers share insights into their creative practice with us.

Gregor studied Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 2001, and has been practicing as an artist in the city ever since. Gregor shared with us some insights from his recent collaboration with Cameron Morgan, resulting in the pop up exhibition, Abstract Domestic.

Gregor showed us images of works by painters George Condo and Philip Guston, and talked about what he found inspiring about them. He talked specifically about their relationship with abstract and figurative painting and their use of colour; in the case of George Condo, his kaleidoscopic range, and with Philip Guston a more controlled palette. He referred back to the conversations he and Cameron had had during their collaboration, around use of figuration and abstraction, and how this had evolved from working together.

Gregor also shared with us images from his series of Cyborg drawings that he’s been working on over the last few years. Gregor talked about how, by defining these as portraits, it gave the works specific rules and parameters connected to portraiture that he could operate in. However by the fact that these portraits are of cyborgs rather than humans, it gives him the freedom to break some of the rules, particularly in relation to use of colour and form.

Gregor also showed us the recent digital drawings he’s been working on, that were built up of many layers of different types of digital mark making and a wide palette of colours. He was captivated by the speed that he was able to create these drawings at, and how this allowed him to work through ideas that on canvas would take much longer, as he had to wait for paints to dry before applying another colour. 

It was an inspiring and thought provoking talk and gave many artists and particularly painters in the audience much to think about.
Thank you Gregor.

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘Linda and Harry’ by Tommy Mason

We'd like to take this opportunity as Shop Item of the Week time to introduce 'Linda and Harry'. Made from spoon and paintbrush, Linda and Harry have been created and designed by Aspire artist Tommy Mason. They can be hung together or separatley, but they are best suited together! You can see them on display in our gallery shop and also our online shop. They each measure approximately 32 x 15cm and are being sold as a pair for £30. There's only one Linda and one Harry!

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Tam o’ Shanter’ by Steven Reilly

Artwork of the Week is this night time landscape portrait of 'Tam o' Shanter' on his horse. Made up and made famous by Robert Burns, Tam o' Shanter is depicted here by Project Ability artist Steven Reilly. This drawing is on display in the exhibtion, Hooked By A Duck which opens this evening from 6 - 8pm. Hooked By A Duck is a group exhibition of 27 Project Ability artists.The work has all been chosen by Glasgow artist James Jimbo. You can read more about it here.

Come by this evening, or anytime before the 29th of July, to see 'Tam o' Shanter' and many other fantastic paintings and drawings.

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘There’s no place like home’ greeting card

Our Shop Item of the Week features a rather well known and fabulous set of slippers! It is a greeting card made from a photograph of Cameron Morgan's ceramic ruby slippers, taken straight out of the 'Wizard of Oz'. This gorgeous pair make a fun and glamourous greeting card, for just about any special occassion. At £2.50 each this greeting card measures 21x15cm and is a perfect way to let someone know you're thinking about them. 'There's no place like home' greeting card can be purchased from our gallery shop at Trongate 103 and online just here! The ceramic slippers are actually on display in our Gallery II space, on the 1st floor at Trongate 103. Come by for a look!

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Artwork of the Week - ‘The Duke’ by Cameron Morgan

'The Duke' by Cameron Morgan is our Artwork of the Week! Currently on display as part of a collection of ceramic footwear, 'The Duke' can be seen in our Gallery II. 'These Boots Were Made' is a small showcase of new ceramic works by Morgan, all inspired by classic footwear. We have a reception this evening for the event, (6-8pm), along with the opening of our flash exhibition, 'Abstract Domestic', which exhibits work made by Cameron Morgan and Gregor Wright, the culmination of a collaborative residency project between the two. 


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Meet the Volunteers - Bethan Turner

Bethan Turner was one of our brilliant volunteers earlier this year. Here she tells us what she gained from her experience.

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
Graduate artist from Newcastle University, I currently work in the medium of printing, specifically screen print in collaboration with another artist exploring the medium through experiments with shape and colour. I also work with installation and sculpture.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
Saturday mornings in the ‘Create’ class.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I am a practising artist and a support worker for young adults with learning disabilities. It became apparent through my role how important community projects and activities are for the people I support for both daily stimulation and becoming more involved in the Glasgow community. I want to support and help projects such as Project Ability in any way I can because they are so important to the community. I also wanted to expand my knowledge on art techniques and different ways of working with art with people with limited abilities to use in my role as a support worker and for classes I run independently. I also wanted to gain more experience with working with children as I hope one day to go into teaching. I wanted to be part of such an amazing project and meet new people and artists.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
In every way and actually exceeded them.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
I have learnt some amazing techniques to help people with limited abilities create really interesting artworks. It also gave me the confidence to assist other people with the creation of their art and I now run my own small art class for adults with learning disabilities for an organisation called Share Scotland.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
Gabriel and Guy constantly creating unique and interesting work, the freedom in which the art is produced really shows through the works.

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?

Any other comments?
Project Ability is an amazing project that is in no way tokenistic and provides every individual with the access to amazing arts resources in an excellent, creative environment. I am inspired by the outlook of the studios and the freedom each person has in the creation of their art works. I have never come across anything quite like it and I think it is a vital and important part of Glasgow’s creative scene and Glasgow’s community as a whole.

Thank you Bethan! If you would like to volunteer with Project Ability, we are currently accepting applications (deadline 13 July) - please click here for more info.

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Meet the Volunteers - Angeli Bhose

Ever thought about volunteering with Project Ability? We are currently looking for new volunteers (more info here). And what best than to hear directly from our previous volunteers what they gained from their experience? Here is the amazing Angeli Bhose, telling us about her time in our Aspire studios.

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 my undergraduate degree in Fine Art two years ago. I studied at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford, and moved to Glasgow soon after graduating.  Currently, I make drawings, performances, texts and ceramics, and I like to work in collaboration with others. 

In what workshop did you volunteer?
I volunteered in the Monday afternoon Aspire workshop, which was a great way to brighten up drizzly winter Mondays!  There were around 8 artists in the group, which meant that I was able to chat to everyone each week, and had the chance to see their works developing. Some artists had an established practice, which they chipped away at each week, whilst others used a diverse range of mediums and styles, trying something new each week. It was great to be in conversation with the artists about the new things they wanted to try, and how we were going to make them happen.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
Having moved to Glasgow fairly recently, I applied to volunteer hoping I would get the chance to engage with more people and get more involved in the arts community. Project Ability seemed like a hub of creative energy!

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
I had heard that Project ability was a great place to volunteer, so my expectations were high, but the experience has certainly lived up to it. Even though I wasn’t there for long, I felt like a valued member of the community.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
I have learned when it’s helpful to suggest a new technique or medium to expand from the works an artist is doing, and when it’s best support the artist to develop their artwork exactly as they would like to!

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
I would definitely recommend volunteering with Project Ability as a way to meet new people, and spend time in a joyful creative environment.

Any other comments?
Thanks for a great opportunity!

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Project Ability at Art Car Boot

We are delighted to announce that we will be at Art Car Boot in SWG3 this weekend (07-08 July), with a selection of prints, drawings & canvases for sale.

Come see us and get yourself a unique piece of art from one of our amazing artists!

ART CAR BOOT part of the HYPERMARKET series at SWG3. Featuring limited editions, prints, artist books and unique works (drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography) by 100 contemporary artists including: Beagles and Ramsay, Claire Barclay, Christine Borland, Rachel Duckhouse, Helen de Main, David Eustace, Michael Fullerton, Alistair Gow, Ilana Halperin, Mads Holm, Jim Lambie, Tessa Lynch, France-Lise McGurn, Toby Paterson, Ciara Phillips, Baldvin Ringsted, Kate V Robertson, Bronwen Sleigh, Abigail Simmonds, Ross Sinclair, Gregor Wright + many more.

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