Artist in residence - Yeonjoo Cho

Our new residency programme started last month, with talented painter and recent graduate Yeonjoo Cho spending a month in our studios. She tells us more about her practice and her experience at Project Ability.

"I am a contemporary painter who explores gender, identity and culture through landscape paintings. I got a Master’s degree last September at the Glasgow School of Art and am currently thinking about a new art project which is more focused on the form of painting and feminist issues.

Since I have experienced being marginalised as a woman, or as an Asian or as both, I have been interested in many social issues related to equality. In addition, in Scotland, I was often considered as a stranger, struggling with communication in English and I roughly could understand and empathise with the aim of Project Ability: creating opportunities for people with disabilities through art.

Also, because most of the people I hung out with in Glasgow were people who studied art or who were in the art scene, I wanted to expose myself to a new environment which would allow me to meet people who have different backgrounds. Thus, when I read the notice of this residency programme, I thought there would be something I can share and learn from other artists at Project Ability.

And, as I expected, I met many artists who were very open minded toward a new artist who just became a member of the shared studio. Whenever they had a workshop, they stopped by my place to ask questions about my work and to share their experiences, which enabled me to blend in more easily. Since the atmosphere was very warm and everyone looked so passionate, I could be relaxed and push myself to think about my new art project. For me, it was like a perfect bridge which connects the art school or small isolated studio to the broader world. What I try to pursue through my art practice is not art for art’s sake but art which tells stories about me, other people and our society. And this one month was a nice opportunity to feel it in real life. 

As an emerging artist who just graduated from art school, it was also a nice experience to have a studio and an access to other artists’ studios and workshops. Project Ability offered me lots of professional tools and materials to focus on my practice. Therefore, in practical aspects, it also helped me a lot to continue my practice and to do more experiments.

Overall, I got positive energy and inspiration from lots of supportive artists and staff members at Project Ability. I am hoping that there was something I contributed for the other artists as well."
-Yeonjoo Cho

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