Today a group of Glasgow School of Art students, from the Sculpture and Environmental Art department, joined us at Trongate 103 for a tour and introduction to Project Ability in preparation of an exciting new project.
Final year students from SAE have been invited to propose a project as part of their degree course work, to work with us collaboratively in our 3rd floor studios. Today we met the potential candidates for this exciting project and very much look forward to receiving the student’s proposals.
Watch this space for further developments in the new and exciting project.
The Heritage Lottery has awarded our artists a grant to research, reflect and interpret historical and contemporary art collections of work created by untrained artists, people in hospital and long stay institutions and others who have been and are, compelled to create for their own purpose.
Starting with Joyce Laing’s Art Extraordinary collection which is held by Glasgow Museums the artists will go on to access collections in public ownership to consider issues of ownership and artistic intent. At the end of the project they will share their individual responses in an exhibition of images and text.
Thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund, and well done to our artists!
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."
Our Shop Item of the Week is this playful mixed media painting of the Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art. Painted by Martin Sloss, this painting packs a punch with its colour and form. Recently on display at the Glad Cafe on the South Side, it is back at Project Ability now and available to purchase from our online shop. Measuring 50x70cm, and available for purchase for £70, this original painting would make a lovely gift for someone special who loves Glasgow and art!
Artwork of the Week is this small portrait of Nick Drake painted by Create artist Peter Christie. The minimal lines and blurred edges create a soft unfinished look to the musician and song writer. Like his real life persona, this portrait leaves a lot of mystery and subtle charm to be discovered. Nick Drake the artist was known to avoid interviews and apparently the video camera as there are nothing but still images of him from his adult life and career.
'Nick Drake' is just one of many brilliant artworks on show in our 2018 Young Talent exhibition, which represents almost all of the young artists that work at Project Ability! With one week to go, there's still time to check it out.
It's coming to that time of year again when we start thinking ahead! Our Shop Item of the Week is hot off the press... These lovely calendars showcase images from our exhibition titled 'Scotland, the land beneath our feet', and they are filled with images of Scotland! They have just arrived with us and you can find them for purchase for £10, both in our gallery shop at Trongate 103 and our online shop just here.
This week we are celebrating Artwork of the Week with this colurful sea and city scape by Andrew Crosbie titled 'Malcesine on Lake Garda'. This canvas is currently in our gallery here at Trongate 103 as part of our Young Talent 2018 exhibtion, which is running until Saturday the 13th of October. Malcesine is a small town on the eastern shore of Lake Garda in northern Italy, and has been beautifully captured in this depiction by Crosbie. We are delighted to say this painting was purchased today from the Young Talent show, congratulations to the artist! There are still several amazing artworks still available from this exhibition, and it is well worth a look. We are open late today for 1st Thursday, serving wine and soft drinks. All welcome!
Project Ability currently has a Board of 7 directors and is looking to strengthen the Board with the addition of at least 2 new directors in the following roles.
Project Ability is seeking a Vice-Chair to work alongside the Chairperson and the Board. The ideal candidate will already have extensive Board experience, ideally in an arts charity, and will be someone who is seeking an opportunity to build on this. In addition to the Board member role, the Vice-Chair would be expected to work closely with and support the Chair, deputising when required. Our intention is that the Vice-Chair will succeed the current Chairperson at the end of 2019.
Board Member Role
At Project Ability, we aim to have a spread of skills within our Board. As a Board Member you will be able to offer the organisation experience and expertise in one or more of the following areas of work:
• Visual arts practice
• Learning disability
• Mental health and wellbeing
• Education and learning
• Health and social care
• Management, strategic and business planning
• Financial management
• Fund raising
• Human Resources
Our Board meets six times a year. Board meetings are all held in the Project Ability centre at Trongate 103 and meetings start at 5.30pm. In addition, the Board has a sub-committee of Board Members for finance and fundraising. These sub-committees meet between board meetings to address specific matters identified by the Board. All Board members are encouraged to join one of the sub-committees.
In new Board Members, we are keen to find people who are willing to give the necessary time and effort, to take part in events, and who are open to excellence in learning, development and training – both for themselves and others.
Board Members’ Responsibilities
Project Ability is a Company Limited by Guarantee, and has Scottish Charity status SC005226. As a Board Member you will be a Director of the Company and a charity trustee, with a legal responsibility for overseeing its direction and policy, and for ensuring that it operates within the law and continues to fulfil its charitable purposes.
At Project Ability we make a clear distinction between “Governance” which is the overseeing responsibility of the Board, and “Management” of the organisation, which is the day to day, month by month, operational work, which is the responsibility of the staff.
The role of Board Members is to:
• ensure Project Ability operates within the limits of its Memorandum and Articles of Association
• ensure Project Ability functions within the legal and financial requirements of a company and charitable institution and complies with all relevant legislation or regulations
• agree the annual budget and decide on major resource issues
• approve the annual accounts
• appoint and review senior staff
• ensure that the work of the organisation is done effectively and efficiently, and that the people who do the work are properly managed and supported.
• monitor performance against agreed objectives and targets
• represent and promote Project Ability externally
These responsibilities fall collectively on all the Members of the Board. In addition to these duties, each board member should use any specific, knowledge or experience they have to help the Board reach sound decisions, plan, identify key issues and provide guidance on new initiatives.
Click here for the full recruitment advert.
Is it too early to mention Christmas yet? Because we have just received our Christmas cards from the printers, and they look fantastic! This year, you will have a choice between Ashley Campbell's 'Snowman', James Pert's print 'Hygge' and Pauline Jackson's 'Rudolph'. Each pack of 10 cards is for sale for £5
Our brand new 2019 calendar is also now available to purchase in our shop, for only £10. Featuring paintings of Scottish landmarks and landscapes from last year's Christmas show 'Scotland, The Land Beneath our Feet', it is a thing of beauty!
Pop by our gallery shop and get yours now! A great way to get something different from the high street and to support our inspiring artists!
Ladysbridge Stories is a social history project based around the former Ladysbridge Hospital in Aberdeenshire, funded by the Heritage Lottery and produced by Project Ability and C-Change Scotland.
Over the course of a year ex-residents and staff came together to reflect on the former community of Ladysbridge Hospital, through conversation, drawing, site visits and archive visits.
All the information that was gathered can be found at www.ladysbridgestories.com, while the Ladysbridge Stories book tells the history of the hospital and brings the story up to date, comparing life then and life now. The hospital closed for good in 2003.
The website and book are an important reminder that while there were good times, and people were safe and formed their own protected community, people with learning disabilities were out of sight and out of mind to most of the rest of the world.
Last week, the group working on the Art Extraordinary exhibition meet with Claire and Cheryl in what was our last visit from GMRC. We are in no means finished with the project though. We have two visits planned one to GMRC to meet again with technician John to see the core building process, and one in Pollok to meet with the Leverndale group who are working on another case in the exhibition.
As well as that we will be meeting in the coming weeks to continue and finalise the various pieces of text for the project. We will also be photographing work by the group to be displayed alongside the Art Extraordinary and working on a design for a flyer or leaflet of some type to advertise the launch, which will take place some time in November. Keep an eye out for the date when we know!
Earlier this month, London-based artist Thompson Hall visited Project Ability with his ActionSpace Artist Facilitator Lisa Brown for a three day residency in our studios. Here is what he had to say about his experience.
"I would like to thank Project Ability for inviting me to spend time in their studio for a residency. Doing a short residency was one of the things I identified as the next step after the exhibition I created with my studio colleague Ian Wornast, My Life in London, which was shown at two venues in London earlier this year.
I feel that being around the other artists that I met at Project Ability was very inspiring because it enabled me to find out about their work and at the same time learn some new skills, such as making my own canvases and producing lots of prints from the drawings I did in my sketchbook on the train.
I also found working alongside Lisa Brown, my ActionSpace Artist Facilitator, who was making some work as well, was very useful and has inspired me to make more work and given me ideas for doing more things in the future.
I felt I enjoyed the whole experience in spending time just experimenting with different materials and not being under pressure to produce work for an exhibition. I also felt more relaxed around the people I met. I wish I could have spent more time with them to talk about my work and ask them questions about their work. I’m looking forward to visiting Project Ability again at the beginning of next year, when my exhibition will be in the gallery. I hope I will get to have more time getting to know your artists a lot more.
I was very happy to be there."
Thompson Hall is at Studio Artist at Action Space, a London based arts organisation that supports artists with Learning Disabilities.
Images from My Life in London and more of Thompson’s work can been seen here.
Our Shop Item of the Week features 'Girl and Kitten' by Jim Feeney. This painting measures 50x60cm and can be purchased from our online shop for £190. 'Girl and Kitten' also includes, in addition to the girl and kitten, a large amount of graffiti on the Glasgow tenement wall. The picture initially looks like a scene from 1950's or 60's Glasgow, but upon closer inspection of the graffiti text it is evident that it is a reflection of Glasgow's past and its present. The artist often uses graffiti as subject matter to express political views with a bit of humour, cynicism and nostalgia all rolled into one powerful little painting! Feeney recently had a series of paintings purchased by the NHS for display in their Glasgow offices, and he is currrently working on a new series of nostalgic Glasgow paintings. You can see more of Feeney's work here. If you are interested in purchasing this oil painting on canvas, you can find it here online!
Our Artwork of the Week is this beautiful, large scale painting titled 'Cherry Blossoms'! The young artist, Anna Russell, has created this gorgeous piece in Project Ability's Saturday Create workshops. The composition and colours are sophisticated and easy on the eye. The soft brush strokes of the blossoms give a great texture to the surface of the canvas. The paint is thick and the artist has ensured every inch of the canvas has been treated with thoughtful consideration. We don't normally list sizing and prices for our Artwork of the Week, but today is an exception! Sized 100x120cm, this stretched canvas can be purchased from our 2018 Young Talent exhibition for £80. The gallery is currently full of amazing artworks made by the young artists that work here, it is a show not to be missed!
"Last week the group of artists working on the Open Museum project met with Tony again and also John, the design and technical officer. John will be constructing the core of our display, the core is the section inside a display case that the pieces hang and sit on, it compromises a back and side with shelves custom built to suit the exhibit.
We will be able to go to GMRC and visit to see our specific core being built. We continued to work on our overall theme for the exhibition and what our 150 word statement will be. We also made final choices on the pieces we are putting in, each of us choosing two.
The next step is to finalise all the writing, including a label for each individual piece. We also discussed the opportunity to display photos of our work on the side panels of the display case. We also watched a short film about Angus McPhee by Nick Higgins titled 'Hidden Gifts, the Mystery of Angus McPhee', it was fascinating."
We were lucky enough to be joined by glass artist Rachel Elliott last Friday. Rachel took part in two events: an artist’s talk and a workshop session. Rachel studied Architectural Glass at Edinburgh College of Art, graduating in 2007. Since then she has established both a studio practice and a commercial practice.
Rachel talked us through a number of her creative pieces, the thinking behind them and some of the technical processes, which included mould making, kiln forming, screen printing, core casting and stained glass. She emphasised how much of what she’d learned, she’d done through experimentation, patience and persistence, trying processes repeated times until she was happy with the results.
Following the talk Rachel led a workshop in our studios introducing participants to glass transfers or decals, and some glass painting techniques. Rachel had prepared some decals that had been made from drawings by Project Ability artists. The group learnt how to adhere these to small tumblers, as well as how to work with enamel paints to add additional detail and colour. These will now need to be fired again in our kiln and then they will be safe to use for drinking out of.
Keep an eye on our shop, you might just see some of these new designs appearing for sale in the near future!
Our Shop Item of the week is this ceramic mask made by Gary Turner. It's an original artwork recently made in our Aspire studios here at Trongate 103 in Glasgow. It is currently hanging in our gallery shop. You can also find it for purchase in our online shop here. The earthewaren clay gives the mask a weathered and worn look, adding to it's appeal. It's a gorgeous piece of ceramics and a complete one off!
Artwork of the Week features 'What Unicorn' by Ruth Price! This painting is a small canvas on a stretcher. The pink and blue colours the artist have chosen are electric! Ruth Price has painted her name as well as the title of the painting straight onto the canvas, and we just love the abstract qualities going on in the pictoral image of this painting. If you stop by Project Ability before 13th October you can check out this painting as well as all the other fantastic artworks in this year's Young Talent exhibition! In our Gallery II we also have featured a solo showcase of new work by Dominic Hemphill-Whyte. All of the artists work in our Create studios for young people.
Our Open Museum project is progressing well and in last week's session the group got to meet two persons of great interest: artist and researcher Mike Inglis and art therapist and collector Joyce Laing. Mike was there in person to chat and show the group the short film he has made of interviews with Joyce, whereas Joyce was only present on the screen. Nonetheless, the group got to meet her in digital form and listen to her talking about her collection and some of the people connected to it.
The group have started to write about the artworks they have selected to be part of the exhibition and are looking forward to the next meeting when they will get to see more artworks and continue with the discussions.
Shop Item of the Week is this cotton tote bag by Scott Smith. The Waverley ship has been hand drawn by Scott and the bag is machine washable. There is only one Waverley tote bag - so once this ship has sailed you won't find another one like it! For £15 you can purchase it from our gallery shop at Trongate 103 or our online shop!
Last week, the group spent most of the session in discussion and raised provocative questions such as “what is outsider art?”, “Should we even use the term ‘outsider art’?”, “What is art?” “How do we measure the value of art?”, “Is the term ‘outsider art’ exclusive?”
This led to conversations about Joyce Laing’s collecting and how she viewed ‘outsider art’ and importantly – why she called her collection “Art Extraordinary”. These questions will be explored further and will inform how the group wish to interpret the collection for display. During the session, scrapbooking was introduced as a way of both documenting and exploring objects for display.
In the next session, Edinburgh College of Art Lecturer Mike Inglis will visit the group and show his film and research about Joyce Laing, followed by more discussion with the group. This project is really starting to gather momentum, thanks to the commitment of every one involved!
Save the date! Our annual Quiz Night is back this month, on Thursday 27 September, 7pm-9pm.
The very popular event will once more test your general and pop culture knowledge in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Come as a team or join one on the night, only £5 per entry, including a free drink and a raffle ticket.
Tickets are available from our 3rd floor reception.
We're kicking off our 2018 Young Talent show by featuring this lovely little creature as our Artwork of the Week! 'Otter' by Dearbhail McGrory is a small painting on canvas, and it does a fantastic job at portraying the otter scurrying along through his day. Dearbhail is one of 57 youg artists that make up this year's Young Talent exhibition. The show opens this evening (Thursday the 5th September) at 6pm, all welcome! In addition to the Young Talent exhibition, we are happy to announce Dominic Hemphill-Whyte as our Gallery II featured artist during Young Talent. You can read more about Dominic and his work here.
'£1.69 in Danglers' is our Shop Item of the Week! This limited edition print was created by Cameron Morgan and Charlie Hammond during their residency collaboration this past year. Signed by both artists, and measuring 84 x 59cm, this print can be purchased from our online shop for £185.00. There is a green version as well, as pictured below...
You can read more about Morgan and Hammond's project, and the exhibition their exhibition, 'Dangler's of Today', here.
Our Artwork of the Week takes one last opportunity to celebrate 'Neu Begegnung', our current exhibition which closes this Saturday. '@net' is a mixed media artwork by Berlin based artist Maika Leffers. Leffers was one of four artists who was able to come visit Glasgow and Project Ability during the Festival 2018. We wanted to take this chance to thank the Festival 2018 one last time for supporting this project and allowing us to make connections with the artists working in Berlin's Alexanier St Hedwig Krakenhaus. And a huge thank you to all the artists who have taken part in the show!
"Last week our group visited Pollok Civic Realm in order to see the space where the exhibition we are curating is situated. The centre itself is a vast building containing a full leisure centre, health centre, library and nursery amongst other things.
We had a long visit in the dedicated museum space, getting a look at what was on display now and a good feel for the area. The case we will be working on also has side panels that we can fill with printed banners that we may use for some of our own work.
We then toured the facilities with a special objective: to observe just who was visiting the building, as they would be our audience. It seems that almost everyone from the surrounding area is a potential visitor, the cafe attracted high school students on their lunch break, adding a new demographic I certainly hadn't expected.
We then enjoyed sandwiches and cake, with a cup of tea before getting into another long discussion about our plans. We discussed our plan for the theme of the case and how we would advertise the new exhibition. We also touched on issues such as some items being light sensitive and not being able to be in the case for the whole year. A solution was to potentially change an item during the exhibit.
The next few weeks will be spent in the studio here at Project Ability meeting with other people from Glasgow Museums and choosing pieces. We will also begin to start writing both the overall blurb for the exhibit and the individual pieces blurb. It is an exciting project and a privilege to work on."
Cameron Morgan has now completed his fifth residency in one year, thanks to funding from Creative Scotland. This time, he went to Dunoon to spend four days with artist (and Project Ability tutor) Sandi Kiehlmann.
"Cameron and I began our collaboration by exploring the small seaside Victorian town of Dunoon on the west coast of Scotland where I live and have my studio. Cameron used his camera and we both used my iPad to take photos, in particular the Victorian Pier and Castle House Museum.
The museum visit was great to get a sense of the history of the town, and we both enthusiastically took photos of the displays, from children’s toys to a collection of hand made steamships and sail making tools. Frequently we were drawn to the same subject matter and excitedly discussed these beautiful historical objects and artefacts.
At the Dunoon Burgh Hall, I was exhibiting work as part of the Covepark Residency exhibition. Cameron liked the printed melamine plates pieces I was exhibiting and expressed an interest in exploring the souvenir plate theme. I liked the idea of creating collaborative work that could be reproduced in limited editions.
The following day we worked in the studio. Cameron made some drawings and paintings of the chickens in the garden, then spent the remainder of the day working on a large watercolour painting in the studio. I continued to experiment digitally with our work from the previous day, exploring ideas for digital print products such as plates, coasters, chopping board and fabrics.
The next day was the Cowal Gathering, an annual local Highland Games. Thuy, our wonderful volunteer from Budapest joined us for the festivities on a beautiful sunny day. We all enjoyed sitting in the field watching the hammer throwing and caber tossing, and wandering about the tents and attractions, people watching and taking photographs to the sound of pipe bands.Our last day was spent in the studio making artwork based on our photos from the Games. Cameron made his Highland Games paintings and I developed product ideas with them.
Cameron made a range of paintings including the above large watercolour painting of a detail of the Burgh Hall stairwell, it has amazing observational detail, perspective and patterning. The plan is to make a batik based on this painting. Cameron also made drawings and paintings of the chickens and goldfish before beginning on the Highland Games series of paintings.
I am keen to continue to develop print design ideas based on the artwork begun during the residency. The repeat prints of Cameron’s paintings reminded me of Nigerian wax print fabrics in their boldness of imagery and colour (pictured above)."
We all look forward to seeing the finished products!
Our new volunteers have just started in the workshops, getting to know the artists and the equipment. We hope they get as much from their experience as Stella Phibbs, who volunteered with us for a year and a half between 2016 and 2018. Here is what she wrote about her experience:
"It’s been an amazing experience volunteering at Project Ability with both adults and children, on the Aspire and Create programmes. (September 2016 – March 2018).
I am a visual artist and facilitator. As soon as I heard about Project Ability I was so keen to get involved! Thank you for this opportunity. It’s been so inspiring and uplifting to me.
On the Aspire programme, I was warmly welcomed by a lovely group of adult artists, tutors and other volunteers. What struck me was the community spirit, freedom to create art in any medium, incredible studio space and friendly, supportive atmosphere.
I gained so much inspiration from these artists and their spontaneous, playful approach. Also, their attention to detail and pride in their artwork was great to see. The group dynamic was very supportive, with adults of all ages creating art together in their own unique style. I love this sense of joy that art brings people, helping build self-confidence and connections with others.
Working with children on the Saturday Create programme has been fantastic too. These were generally much faster paced sessions, and I love how prolific the kids were, fully immersing themselves in the process of art-making, from sculpture, to intricate drawings, print-making, collage… It’s been lovely getting to know this group too, and seeing strong friendships grow.
Project Ability has reaffirmed my belief that art is a powerful tool, to heal, empower and transform peoples’ lives. Having facilitated arts workshops for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups of people for several years, I am determined to continue my journey and broaden my experience in this field.
This September I will begin an MA in Art Therapy at the University of Hertfordshire.
Thank you everyone "
Our Shop Item of the Week is this sweet 'Robin' perched on a tree branch - an original watercolour and ink by Robert Reddick. Measuring 21x30cm this is a beautiful rendition of the little red breasted bird, nestled in amongst the trees and foliage. Have a look in our online shop where you will find this little beauty available to buy for £15. You can also find it in our gallery shop at Trongate 103!
'fur Henry' by Nina Witzel is our chosen Artwork of the Week. This beautiful double portrait is filled with rich colour and a textured composition of pattern and design. With guitar in hand, and music sheet laid out in front of them, it is clear there is music being created by these two women. This drawing is on display as part of our current exhibition, 'Neu Begegnung'. You can see this drawing, along with work by 31 other Berlin artists, until 1 September. It is a diverse exhibition of new work made by artists working at St Hedwig Krakenhaus in Berlin.
- Exciting new project with GSA
- Heritage Lottery Fund awards a research grant to a group of Project Ability artists
- Artist in residence - Yeonjoo Cho
- Shop Item of the Week - GOMA by Martin Sloss
- Artwork of the Week - ‘Nick Drake’ by Peter Christie
- Film & Animation
- Recruitment & Volunteering
- Trongate 103
- Walking group
- October, 2018
- September, 2018
- August, 2018
- July, 2018
- June, 2018
- May, 2018
- April, 2018
- March, 2018
- February, 2018
- January, 2018
- December, 2017
- November, 2017
- October, 2017
- September, 2017
- August, 2017
- July, 2017
- June, 2017
- May, 2017
- April, 2017
- March, 2017
- February, 2017
- January, 2017
- December, 2016
- November, 2016
- October, 2016
- September, 2016
- August, 2016
- July, 2016
- June, 2016
- May, 2016
- April, 2016
- March, 2016
- February, 2016
- January, 2016
- December, 2015
- November, 2015
- October, 2015
- September, 2015
- August, 2015
- July, 2015
- June, 2015
- May, 2015
- April, 2015
- March, 2015
- February, 2015
- January, 2015
- December, 2014
- November, 2014
- October, 2014
- September, 2014