"On Tuesday 15 May, we travelled back to Aberdeen for our final visit, to launch the fruits of all of our hard work over the course of the Ladysbridge Stories project. We kick started our visit with a lovely afternoon tea, during which the group reconnected and talked about their plans for the following night, when we would reveal the Ladysbridge Memory Map, designed and brought to life by all of the stories that the participants of the project so generously shared with us over the course of the project. Our launch night was set to be a celebration to top off what has been a hugely successful and wonderful project to be involved in.
On Wednesday we all attended the C-Change ‘Being Human’ conference, our partners in the Ladysbridge Stories project. Many of the delegates of the conference stayed on to share in our evening event. The night started with our key participants introducing themselves and the project, and the reveal of the Memory Map, a beautiful visual map that describes life at the hospital, from the perspective of the former patients and staff that we worked with over the course of the project. For the rest of the evening we all celebrated the group's achievements and enjoyed the talents of DJ Kit Kat Kenny, dancing the night away!
It has been a truly incredible project to have been involved in, spanning the year, starting with the launch in May 2017 when we first met some of our group and continuing with regular workshops and trips throughout the year. We really have met some incredible people, always willing to share and get involved, with all of their contributions making the final Memory Map so rich.
We would like to give a huge thank you to all of our wonderful participants, we have enjoyed your company very much and we hope we can work with you all again in the future."
-Sharon and Tracy
(Special thanks to Tracy's selfie stick!)
For our Shop Item of the Week we have these Scott Smith designed magnets of elephants and foxes. Made from laser cut plywood, they measure 8x6cm and are for sale at £5. You can find them in our online shop and our gallery shop at Trongate 103. Our shop is filled with unique artworks, all made or inspired by artworks created in our studios on the 3rd floor. Keep us in mind the next time you're looking for something different!
Our Artwork of the Week is this ceramic bust by Aspire artist Adnan Mohammed. This is one of several busts Adnan has made over the last year, which are currently on display in our Gallery II. Each one is unique and portrays a different character - sometimes a character from the tele, and other times straight from Adnan's imagination. They make a fascinating collection, and we are delighted to be showing them all together. Adnan is a very talented artist and in addition to his own practice he is currently involved in a project that sees him collborating with students from the Glasgow School of Art. We'll post more about that later! The title of this collection of cermaic works is, 'Features by Adnan', and you can see them at Trongate 103 until 26 May.
On Wednesday the 25th April the walking group met with Consuelo Servan to do a collaborative textile project at Pollok Park. Some of us met up at Project Ability to chat with Consuelo about ideas of what to make and look at examples.
We then took the bus over to Pollok and met up with some other members of the group. We took a long walk through the park, where we were photographing new growth and getting ideas for the piece. We were charged with collecting leaves and sticks or anything else we could use to print with.
The weather was very spotty switching from sunny to heavy rain quickly all afternoon, so we were able to make use of the ponchos the group has had for a while now. We walked for around an hour and a half to our destination, a old converted barn at the stables within the park. Once there, we had tea and cake and we all got to feed a rescue pony named Luna some carrots.
However by this point there was no time to make any art! So we arranged to work on the project in our studio on Friday the 27th in the morning. The whole group was not able to attend at this time but those of us who were there got to cut up some wonder screen prints of cacti and reform them into a new shape before painting with brushes and sticks.
The entire experience was filmed over both days and the film and art piece will be in a future exhibition Consuelo is having. Sadly this the last walking group we will be having at the moment, with hope to continue in the future.
Film by Tom Binns
Our current volunteers have been with us since the start of the year, and have been fantastic additions to our workshops. We would like to say a huge thank you to all of them, and are very proud to introduce them to you. This week, meet the brilliant Emma Helen Reid, who has been volunteering in our ReConnect workshops.
In 2017 I graduated from M.Litt Fine Art Practice – Sculpture at Glasgow School of Art. In my practice I explore personal, corporeal connections with technologies that are embedded in many of our lives. My work can include video, writing, technology, sound, textiles, performance.
Since January I’ve been volunteering with ReConnect on Tuesdays. It is an incredibly engaging and productive studio to be in, each artist is making their own work while being supported by their tutor Celine and other staff. The artists I’ve met here are working with a wide range of processes and materials including painting, drawing, ceramics, and glass.
I am currently working with a group of ReConnect artists to make drawing, writing, collage, and photographs exploring the theme ‘studio traces’. Through the workshop we’ve been thinking about the potential significance of the incidental marks that we leave behind in the process of making work. We’ve also been talking about the wonderful and important feeling of community in this studio. We will bring the work together to make a digital publication.
I am learning lots from the experience through getting to know everyone, learning about the work they are making, and hearing about the various motivations and intentions they have. I’m grateful I have been able to return for a second block to see the different ways that works are developing. It has been a pleasure to be a volunteer with Project Ability and to find out more about this inspiring organisation.
-Emma Helen Reid
This week's Shop Item of the Week is this adorably bizarre ceramic Piglet by Cameron Morgan. This little creature is one of many ceramic farm animals Morgan has made over the past year. We have sheep, sheep dogs, pigs, piglets and highland cows! If you like this little piglet you can find it in our online shop and also our gallery shop at Trongate 103. He fits right in the palm of your hand - almost.... and for £25.00 we don't expect it to be around too long!
One month to go until PROCESSIONS!
On Sunday 10th June, women and girls from across the UK will comwe together to create a vast participatory artwork taking place for one day in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London.
Processions will be a living portrait of UK women in the 21st century, a mass participation artwork celebrating one hundred years of votes for (some) women. Project Ability will be taking part in the march, with our very own banner currently being made by a group of women artists from across our programmes.
You can register for free to attend your nearest PROCESSIONS event at processions.co.uk/register
This week we bring you an exceptional painting as our Artwork of the Week – ‘Portrait of the Artist’s Mother’ by Angela McLauchlin. Currently on show as part of the l’Art Brut en Ecosse exhibition in the Polysemie Gallery in Marseilles, this piece is a striking example of Angela’s expressive style. Angela’s figures are bold, colourful, and stylised, which results in high impact, vibrant work. We love it!
The exhibition will run until the 9th of June 2018, so - if you're lucky enough to find yourself in the south of France - why not pay a visit?
Our Shop Item of the Week is this beautifully rendered ceramic croft by David McCracken. We've had our eye on the beautiful creations David has been working on for the past few months. We now have a collection of ceramic Scottish abodes in our shop and each one describes a different type of shelter commonly found in the highlands. As this one is, they are all exquisitely crafted with a real-life weathered look about them. Measuring 21x14x9 cm this unique piece of ceramics is priced at 50 pounds. You can purchase 'croft' from our online shop or come by to have a look at the whole collection at our gallery shop at Trongate 103.
Artwork of the Week features a photograph from Esther Ferrer's performance involving citizens of Glasgow volunteering in a performance of language and story telling. The composition of the performance remains the same each time it is executed by a different group of people. Esther Ferrer was invited to Glasgow to perform this piece at the Pearce Institute in Govan for part of Glasgow International. You can read more about the piece here. If you missed the performance you can watch it on screen at our Project Space at Trongate 103, 3rd Floor. It will be available to view for the duration of the festival, alongside the exhibtion 'House Party'. Gi ends on Monday the 7th at 5pm! A massive thank you to all of the amazing performers who volunteered their time to be part of this performance!
Ladysbridge Stories is a unique social history project which has been led by a group of amazing people who have a shared experience of having been a resident in Ladysbridge Hospital.
The group have met regularly over the past 10 months and are now ready to share their stories.
Join us on Wednesday 16 May in Aberdeen to mark Learning Disability Awareness Week and to celebrate this fantastic project. All welcome.
Rox Hotel 17-23 Market Street, Aberdeen AB11 5PY
5.30pm: Drinks Reception
6 – 6.30pm: Welcome, Introductions, What happened?
6.30 – 9pm: Disco and Finger Buffet
RSVP Sheryl Walker at C-Change; firstname.lastname@example.org or 0141 427 2946
Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland - Workshop at Project Ability
May 17th 2018, 1.30 – 2.30 pm
Project Ability is hosting a workshop with the Heritage Lottery Fund, Scotland. We are inviting local groups to join a brief workshop on Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Funding.
HLF receives fewer funding applications from minority ethnic and cultural communities, disabled people and young people (15 – 25) and want to help more of these groups to celebrate their Heritage.
“I understand this may seem remote from your work but you don’t have to be a heritage organisation to apply to us. If your focus is community or culture, health or sport getting involved in a heritage project brings many benefits. Projects that explore cultures and memories can bring people closer together. Heritage focussed projects can include valuable training and learning. Getting out, meeting others and actively engaging with a heritage project also contributes to health and wellbeing.
HLF support all kinds of projects, as long as they make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities. Projects include capturing people’s, memories of a particular event or daily life: researching people and places or
looking after natural habitats and buildings. You may look at a story that is central to your organisation or bring people together to explore a new topic. Take a look at what we fund at hlf.org.uk to get an idea of the wide ranging projects we support.”
The workshop will last about an hour and is a chance to hear directly from the HLF staff about the HLF programmes, outcomes and process and discuss potential heritage projects.
Project Ability is currently working on a HLF Funded project in partnership with people in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire on their memories of living in Ladysbridge Hospital, Banff (an institution for people with learning disabilities) in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. www.ladysbridgestories.com
The workshop will take place in our studio in Trongate 103, Glasgow, G1 5HD
If you would like to come along please contact us on 0141 552 2822 or email@example.com
This week we bring you John Cocozza's 'Bear Cub' as our Shop Item of the Week! This one-off drypoint print can be purchased in our online shop or our gallery shop at Trongate 103. It is an adorably vicious looking cub and one of a small series of bear prints Cocozza has produced recently. You can see more of Cocozza's work here. Outside In have been featuring Cocozza's work all throug out the month of April as their 'Artist of the Month'!
On Sunday 22 April, a group of volunteer performers took part in Spanish artist Esther Ferrer's performance 'I Am Going To Tell You About My Life'. The piece showcases a group of people talking about their life in different languages and BSL. The performance was organised by Monica Laiseca at the Glasgow School of Art and by Project Ability. ReConnect artist Simon McAuley was one of the performers, here is what he said about the event.
"This was the first time I have performed as an artist and so I was a little nervous. Everyone involved was really supportive and there was a sense of being part of something important. Some of the participants were experienced performers and for others it was a first. The process was really interesting and everyone's confidence grew as we rehearsed. We could really feel the project taking shape. To learn about performance art through the piece and from Esther felt like such a privilege. I am so glad I participated and met such inspiring people. I could see why performance artists were so passionate about their medium. I am looking forward to seeing the film of the piece in Project Ability's gallery."
The video of the performance will be on display in our exhibition 'House Party' featuring works by Esther Ferrer, Louise Ahl and Fritz Welch, Jessica Higgins, Sandra Johnston and Pester & Rossi. Project Room, 3rd floor, Trongate 103, until 07 May.
Shop Item of the Week is this feldspar porcelain plate with a Scott Smith fox drawing fired onto it. We've taken a small selection of Smith's beasties and made a limited edition set of dishes. In addition to this lovely fox we have birds and elephants, with more to come. We have a small selection of these in our gallery shop so pop in for a look! We have our Glasgow International show on just now so there's lots to see. You can also purchase the plate on our online shop. They are dishwasher safe and this dish is 20cm diameter and available for purchase for just £12.
These are a limited edition so they won't be around forever!
For Glasgow International 2018 Project Ability invited installation artist Nnena Kalu to work in the gallery. As Artist in Residence for the first week of the festival, visitors are invited to watch Kalu as she creates a large scale sculptural installation.
Kalu is an artist working with ActionSpace, a London based visual arts organisation that supports artists with learning disabilities. To create her installations, she binds and layers materials to create large, colourful structures that wrap themselves around the gallery, reacting to the size, shape and environment of each new setting.
In addition to Kalu's installations she also often works on large drawings in her studio at ActionSpace. Usually working on two drawings at a time, arranged in a corner, the artist works fast and steadily. Come by the Project Ability gallery at Trongate 103 to see the installation and some of the her drawings.
Artwork of the Week is this watercolour and ink painting by Rehan Yousuf. Rehan has a vibrant colour palette and fluidity of penwork. He is one of eight artists from Project Ability who have been selected to be part of the Spring of Contemporary Art at the Galerie Polysémie in Marseille. The show opens on May 9th and exhibiting together with Rehan Yousuf will also be Project Ability artsists, Angela McLauchlin, Esme McLeod, John Cocozza, Lewis Scott, Michael McMullen, Robert Reddick, Tommy Kemp, and Tommy Mason. We're very excited to be involved in this city wide exposition of fine art! If you happen to be in Marseille this May stop in for a look.
Shop Item of the Week! We've got this lovely new tea towel, hot off the press. The printed image is a line drawing by Project Ability artist Michael Earll. You can see over the outline of Scotland he's skillfully hand drawn and written the names of many of Scotland's most loved musicians and bands. Have you got a favourite Scottish band? Chances are you'll find it on this tea towel. For only £8 this is a brilliant piece of Scottish merchandise! You can find them in our gallery shop at Trongate 103 or just here on our website.
Many thanks to everyone who generously donated materials towards ActionSpace artist Nnena Kalu's large installation.
We have received some amazing fabric and wallpaper off-cuts from Timorous Beasties, tartan fabric from Gaelic Themes, plenty of vinyl off-cuts from BD Print and a big donation from Re:Craft as well. Many individuals have also donated old VHS, fabric samples, ribbons, shoe laces, wool, plastic, etc. We are still looking for some old newspapers, plastic and old card, so if you have anything, please get in touch as soon as possible: 0141 552 2822.
Thanks to BD Print, Re:Craft, Timorous Beasties, Gaelic Themes, Kirstin Leighton-Boyce & family, Suzanne Field, Mhairi and Mary-anne Macdonald, Morag McGilchrist, Margaret Booth, Vicky Dale, Julie McCabe, Tracy Gorman & family, Bevis Evans-Teush, Roheen Cairney, Claire Forsythe, Elle Elart, Alicia Maciness. Apologies if we have forgotten anyone.
Our walking group had its last outing for a while with a ramble up the High Street to visit St Mungo's Museum.
This being a very historic part of the city, there was lots to see and talk about on the way, and lots of photos to be captured.
The museum houses an eclectic mix of works, most of which have a religious connection but it seems that for some items this link is quite a tenuous one. A photograph of 'Charlie's Angels' in an exhibition about angels seemed a little bizarre but was certainly entertaining!
The next stop was St Mungo's Cathedral. Some of the group hadn't been there before but even those that had enjoyed an exploration of this magnificent building and its surroundings.
The walking group are taking a break for a while to look for more funding so will hopefully be planning some more outings soon. More photos can be found on our Facebook Page.
Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming Charlie Hammond and Cameron Morgan to the gallery to talk about the work they have in their flash exhibition Danglers of Today. This work has been developed together as part of a residency / collaborative project that took place over the last few months.
Cameron and Charlie explained some of their points of inspiration, and how they had worked to together to develop the screenprints and ceramics in the show.
The collaboration developed and was driven by ongoing conversations between the two artists. These began around three scrap books filled with old match box covers that Charlie had found in a charity shop a number of years ago. The pair worked together to transform some of the retro graphics on the match boxes into a new series of screenprints, playing with shape, colour and scale.
Following match boxes, the conversation led onto what else you might find in your pocket, which in turn led to the development of the series of prints of loose change, or “danglers” as Cameron refers to them.
These two artists, very comfortable in each other’s company, have developed a mutual way of working together, each inspired by the other’s working practice. Cameron, who is a very prolific artist, spoke of how he had tried to teach Charlie to work more quickly, seizing an idea and running with it. Whereas Charlie had attempted to teach Cameron to procrastinate. Whilst we can only speculate on which artist was successful in these aims, what is for sure, is that Charlie and Cameron found a common and fruitful group upon which to make a dynamic body of work.
Artwork of the Week is this three part print by Cameron Morgan and Charlie Hammond. You can find this print hanging in the gallery until April 7th. The exhibition, 'Danglers of Today' is the culmination of a twelve week residency collaboration between the two artists. Not Everything Matches is just one of several prints inspired by an old collection of match boxes. It's a flash exhibtion so it won't be around for long! You can read more about the exhibition below or visit the exhibition webpage:
This exhibition is a result of a collaboration between Charlie Hammond and Cameron Morgan. It takes inspiration from a collection of match boxes.
“Like many good collaborations we started with no clear direction but found our way through action, the work itself the result of these ongoing and very natural conversations.” – Charlie Hammond
Whilst working in Charlie’s studio, Cameron came across three books Charlie had previously found in a second hand shop. The books contain a vast collection of old cardboard match boxes. Many of the limited edition prints are inspired by these match box cases and much of the scaled-up imagery is borrowed from their retro designs and colour palettes. Further works in the exhibition have evolved as the artists began to think about what other items are found in one’s pockets. Loose change, also known as ‘danglers’ are portrayed in the same oversized manner.
In addition to the prints made by Cameron and Charlie, Cameron has made a small series of over-sized ceramic match sticks to accompany the prints.Our Gallery II showcases a selection of Cameron’s slip-cast ceramic telephones, originally made for exhibition at the Tramway in 2016, via an Unlimited commission.
Artist talk: Friday 06 April, 12pm-1pm. All welcome.
This project is supported by a development grant Cameron received from Creative Scotland.
Taken from our three women show ‘Kay, Sharif, Smyth’, Amna Sharif’s untitled print is our Artwork of the Week. Amna’s prints are full of colour, energy, and intricate details, all of which combine to make her work so appealing.
The exhibition - featuring many stunning works from all three artists - will finish this evening (March 29th) at 5pm, so if you wish to catch it you’d better be quick!
There are 21 bridges in Glasgow that cross the River Clyde and last week our walking group had a walk that took them across 5 of them.
The first of these was the South Portland Street Suspension Bridge which took the group from north to south. One of the group had vivid memories from childhood of regularly crossing this bridge with her father on the way to nursery more than half a century previously.
A walk along the South Clydeside to the Tradeston Footbridge was next where the group crossed back to the north of the river and followed the path along to the Clyde Arch, fondly known locally as the Squinty Bridge. This bridge took the group back to the south and then along to the Bells Bridge where they crossed again and then along to the nearby Millennium Bridge which was the final bridge of the day!
This is where the walk ended for some of the group who went their separate ways but after a refreshing cuppa in the BBC cafe the rest decided to make the return trip on foot via a slightly shortened route with fewer bridges.
Despite the chilly and drizzly weather it was a fine day out.
Without a team of huskies and a sleigh at our disposal PA Artist Jonathan McKinstry and I had to forgo our Dundee visit at the beginning of March. As soon as the snow had cleared though, we were back up visiting our friends at the Douglas Centre, Dundee.
A few of the artists there have now started to delve into three dimensional work. There are some interesting hand built clay vessels and vases on the go now.
One member of the group is working on a piece of wooden furniture as a memento to a recently deceased relative.
Others have continued to develop themes from the first five weeks of the project like drawing, painting and working with silhouettes and stencils.
-Meredith Crone, tutor
Last week our last Ladysbridge Stories workshops took place in what was a very sunny Aberdeen. We were delighted to see so many familiar faces, a few that we hadn’t seen in a while, not to mention a few new ones, as we welcomed Sam to the group with her beautiful and very well behaved guide dog Rihanna.
We very much enjoyed catching up with everyone! We had a very busy day in the workshop, collating and sorting through all of the beautiful images drawn by everyone over the course of all of our workshops.
Our task for the day was to complete as many new drawings as we could to represent all of the aspects of life at Ladysbridge Hospital, from the working life of patients at the hospital to the social and special events and day to day routines.
The artwork produced will be used to illustrate the fantastic stories that everyone has been so generous to share with us over the course of this project. We had a very productive day with everyone rising to this challenge.
The session ended in a very positive light, with everyone excited by the work produced and looking forward to the final launch of the project in May 2018.
-Tracy Gorman, Ladysbridge Stories tutor
Last Thursday Kirsten and Ruth Mutch gave a fascinating talk as part of our Meet the Maker series, talking about Ruth's artwork and Penguin Parade, the business they have created to promote and sell her work.
The Meet the Maker series has been designed so that artists working at Project Ability can find out more in depth about other artists and makers' practice and also get an insight into how creative practice can be promoted and thought about as a business.
Kirsten and Ruth took us through the milestones in their creative journey, starting in 2010 when Ruth joined Project Ability. Ruth developed her distinctive style of working early on and has used this to create successful products, as well as in some instances capturing part of her own personal story, as a working artist with autism.
Kirsten talked us through the practicalities of setting up a website, handling production and promotions, working with stockists and even illustrating a children’s book. They shared some great insights and helpful tips that they had found out along the way.
Ruth gave a heartfelt thank you to Project Ability at the close of the talk: “Of course none of this would have happened if I hadn’t started coming to Project Ability and received the fantastic support and encouragement I get here. They gave me hope and purpose during a very difficult time of my life and have increased my self-esteem and confidence. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have Project Ability to come to. I am really grateful for all the opportunities they gave me to exhibit and sell my work, with the highlight being my solo exhibition last year.”
Thanks so much to Kirsten and Ruth for coming to share their inspirations and experiences with us!
This week we have Jacqui Smyth’s excellent representation of Britney Spears as our Artwork of the Week. Jacqui enjoys drawing and painting her favourite artists and bands, and she is always able to capture them with a great verve and individual style.
This is part of our three women show currently in our gallery ‘Kay, Sharif, Smyth’ which will be on show until the 29th of this month. Do come down and have a look, and enjoy all the excellent work!
Shop Item of the Week is this greeting card made from the gorgeous painting by Doreen Kay titled 'Sunbathing in Largs' We loved this painting so much we wanted to share it with as many people as possible. What better way than to make it into a card for any occassion. You can find this card in our gallery shop at Trongate 103 and our online shop for sale for £2.50. They are a limited edition print run so don't wait until summer to get yours!
Doreen Kay is one of the three woman artists in our current show, Kay, Sharif, Smyth. Come by and check it out!
Artwork of the Week is this beautifully painted picture on canvas of the Duke of Wellington. Situated outside the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow's city centre, this statue is fairly well known by everyone living in the city as the statue with the cone on its head. Often a student prank, it is rare to see the statue without a traffic cone on its head! The angle Stewart has painted the picture from gives a brilliant view of the building across the street, and all of the reflections in the mirrored windows have been recreated beautifully. It is a stunning painting which has been admired by staff and artists alike here at Project Ability.
- Ladysbridge Stories celebrations
- Shop Item of the Week - Animal Magnets by Scott Smith
- Artwork of the Week by Adnan Mohammed
- Walking Growth Research with Consuelo Servan
- Meet the Volunteers - Emma Helen Reid
- Film & Animation
- Recruitment & Volunteering
- Trongate 103
- Walking group
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