Meet the Maker: Lucy Gordon

Last Friday, we launched a new series of talks, visits and workshops called Meet the Maker that Project Ability artists are invited to attend. Over the course of the next few months we are inviting artists and makers working in the city to present their work, either at Project Ability or in their own studios. We hope to introduce our artists to new works and give them an opportunity to find out more in depth about different artist’s practices. We also hope to give insight into artist’s professional practice and how they present their work in exhibitions, events and online.

For the first in this series we were delighted to be joined by Lucy Gordon. Lucy is a painter and illustrator, who lives and works in Glasgow. She graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2002 and since then has continued to develop her practice in her home studio, exhibiting regularly and presenting her work at makers markets. Within her works she uses literary references, childhood memories and everyday banality, to create fun and often surreal images of animals.

The event was really well attended by artist’s working on our Aspire and Reconnect programmes. Lucy showed some great examples of her work and talked about her experience of being an artist which sparked a lot of discussion and questions amongst the group.

The next event in this series is happening on Friday 25th August, 1-2pm, when we will be taking a trip to Fireworks Studio to meet ceramicist Garnet McCulloch.
http://www.lucygordonart.co.uk/

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First Edition opens tonight in The Art House

Last June, Cameron Morgan spent two weeks in residency at The Art House in Wakefield, where he experimented with screen-printing.

The work produced is now being exhibited in a solo show titled First Edition, at The Art House, until 31 August. Opening: Wednesday 26 July, 5pm-9pm.

If you can't make it to the exhibition, have a look at Cameron's prints in our online book. 

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Royal visit at Project Ability

On Monday 24th July, we were delighted to welcome Princess Eugenie in our studios, accompanied by Glasgow's Lord Provost Eva Bolander.

After a short meeting with our Director Elisabeth Gibson, where she learnt more about our charity and the work we do, the Princess was introduced to the Aspire, ReConnect and Create artists present on the day and spent some time in the workshops.

She took time to talk with everybody, signed our comments book and even took part in our young people's performance workshop!

"What an amazing organisation. Thank you for sharing with me and I hope to see you all soon. 
Eugenie"

For more photos of the Princess's visit, please see our Facebook Page. 

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Artist Residency / Creative Partnership opportunity

Project Ability has a new opportunity for a visual artist to develop a creative partnership with artist Cameron Morgan, FRSA

Cameron Morgan is a prominent learning disability artist.  He has received a professional development award from Creative Scotland to support his continuing artistic practice.  He is based in Glasgow and works in Project Ability’s studio in Trongate 103.

Fee: £2000
Closing date: 25th August 2017, 5pm.
Interviews: 1st September 2017, Project Ability, Trongate 103, Glasgow, G1 5HD

This is a call for an artist to open their studio to Morgan and share their practice.  It’s a “residency”, in your own studio; a day a week over 12 weeks to reflect, create, experiment, and learn while collaborating, conversing and working alongside Morgan.
What you choose to do and the approach taken will be a conversation negotiated between you, Morgan and facilitated by Project Ability.  Possible project outcomes if new work is made is a shared exhibition or artist talk.
This is the first of three opportunities that will be offered over 12 months.  Your commitment to the partnership will be approx. 12 days, 60 hours.

Morgan has exhibited widely and received public and critical accolades for his work.  He is expert in creating temporary gallery installations; large scale paintings worked directly onto the fabric of the gallery and his humorous ceramic sculptures.  He spent much of 2016, in the studio working on his Glasgow International commission TV Classics Part 1 (http://www.tvclassicspart1.co.uk): Project Ability, April 2016 and Put Your Sweet Lips Closer to the Phone: Tramway, September 2016. 

Learning disabled artists are under-represented in every area of contemporary visual arts; their work is not held in national collections and it has little exposure in public galleries.  The work is seldom researched, documented or critiqued.  There are a few notable artists who are change makers.  Through their talent and determination and the expertise of their support studios, their work is reaching audiences.  Cameron Morgan is a change maker.

The project explores the nature of artistic collaboration, knowledge and skill exchange and works towards a more equal and improved integration of inclusive arts practice. Project Ability supports artists with learning disabilities to develop their artistic practice and contribute to the contemporary visual art landscape. 

Interested? Send a covering letter describing your interest in the project, your C.V. and 6 images to director@project-ability.co.uk by Friday 25th August. 

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Shop Item of the Week - by Tommy Mason

Shop Item of the Week is this lovely drypoint print by Tommy Mason. Titled 'Hill', this piece measures 20 x 28 cm and is priced at £25. You can view it on our online shop here, or pop by the gallery to see it in person. As always, if you would like this print framed, we can assist. Just contact us at exhibitions@project-ability.co.uk or ring 0141 552 2822.

Tommy Mason has work in a show that opens this evening at the Lighthouse in Glasgow. Organised by RECOAT, 'This WIll Ruin Everything' features the work of 40 fine artists who cross over into design. We are delighted that Tommy has been invited to exhibit with RECOAT. Please follow this link for more info about his exhibition.

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Summer workshops public performance

The first of our two week-long performance workshops will be drawing to a close on Friday. The young artists involved spent the week experimenting with music, textures and movement, responding to our current exhibition Young Talent through the medium of performance art.

Led by drama artist Clare Hume and with tutor Allan McKeown, these multi-sensory workshops have been a great opportunity for our participants to explore art via a more unconventional channel.

The group will be showcasing a performance for the public on Friday 14 July, at 1.30pm in Trongate 103. Everybody welcome!

Next workshop: week starting 24th July. There are still a few places available, call us on 0141 552 2822 to book a place. 

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘Donkey’ by Ian Doak

‘Donkey’ is our shop item of the week! This simplified impression of the big eared horse is a bright and cheerful painting. Measuring 30x30cm, it is on stretched canvas and ready to hang. Simple blocks of fresh vivid colours give this painting its charm.
Ian Doak works in our Aspire programme. As he has done with this character, he often outlines his subject with a bold continuous line of colour.  Ian seems to effortlessly create a picture that leaves a lasting and memorable impression on the viewer. This little guy can be yours for just £40 pounds. Purchase ‘Donkey’ from our online shop or visit us at Trongate 103 where you’ll find it hanging in our gallery shop.

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Artwork of the week - ‘Horse’ by Kyle Morrison

Artwork of the week is this painting on paper of a ‘Horse’ by Kyle Morrison. Kyle is part of our Create programme for young artists. This painting is one of two horses he has in the Young Talent exhibition which opens in the Project Ability gallery this Saturday, July 8th, at 1pm.

This ‘Horse’ is reminiscent of historic cave paintings found in places such as the Lascaux Cave in France. The simplicity of form and colour looks as though it has been borrowed from these paintings from the Stone Ages. Kyle has done a series of these Horse paintings and each has its own subtle variations in the same way as the cave paintings do.

    

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Meet the Volunteers - Monika Grubizna

Monika Grubizna volunteered with our Aspire group from January this year until the end of the last block. It has been a pleasure having her as part of the team.

"I started volunteering with Project Ability shortly after relocating to Glasgow and found everyone very welcoming, friendly and helpful. I’ve had previous experience with running creative workshops for both children and adults, but never had a chance to work alongside artists who experienced any kind of cognitive difficulties, so the Aspire program has been a great opportunity for me to observe, learn and gain new outlook on the creative process and the therapeutic value of artistic expression.

The Aspire group is a lovely mix of sparkling personalities. Everybody has been working in a wonderfully relaxed manner, immersing themselves in the process without fear or pressure.
At first I felt a bit lost without a set “class” agenda, but soon I realised that the group has its own flow: everyone sets their separate goal and pace when making art. The laid back atmosphere and happy chatter add to the creative air.

The studio spaces and the variety of professional equipment are really impressive. We could choose almost any technique to put our ideas into life and there was a complete freedom in doing so. The tutors were always there to provide feedback and advice. Working in such a relaxed and supportive environment has been incredibly fulfilling. Thank you!"

Thank you to Monica and all our wonderful volunteers! We now look forward to meeting the next group of artists who will join us starting in August!

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Cameron Morgan - Arthouse residency Week 2

"A great second week with Cameron in The Arthouse, Wakefield!

We had 3 very successful days in the studio with the hugely talented Richard Marsden, finishing off prints and started 2 new ones.

The drawings Cameron made after our trip to The Yorkshire sculpture park was turned into a 5 colour screen print. Quite the task, but not only did Richard and Cameron manage to get the colours separated and screens made, they also managed to make many great prints from the screens. The colours chosen really worked well and popped.

Cameron now knows every stage involved in making screenprints, from simple 2 colour prints right up to a massive 5 colour print,and loved the whole process.

We also managed to have days out to The Yorkshire sculpture park, Barbara Hepworth museum and the beautiful city of York, I’m sure these will inspire many more pieces from cameron in the future. I must admit it wasn’t all so cultural as we also spent an evening watching Wonderwoman in the cinema and each morning started with a swim.

All in all a great week! So many new skills added and inspirational artwork seen."
-Jason Davis

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Ladysbridge Stories now on social media!

'Ladysbridge Stories', our collaborative project with C-Change, is now on social media!

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to be kept updated about this captivating social history project focusing on the stories of people with learning disabilities who lived in the Ladysbridge Hospital in Aberdeenshire.

A dedicated website is currently under construction and will be launched in the coming weeks. If you have any information about the Ladysbridge Hospital or would like to share your story, please contact us on info@project-ability.co.uk or 0141 552 2822.

Project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Meet the Volunteers - Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson is one of our brilliant volunteers. She tells us more about her experience in this week's Meet the Volunteers. 

"At the start of this year, I began as a volunteer in the ‘Art Matters’ workshops on Saturdays. As a practising artist and recent graduate, I have found the workshops both inspiring and rewarding. Project Ability provides the participants with the freedom to explore a wide range of materials away from the constraints of set structures and briefs, creating a fun and liberal studio environment.

The opportunity to become involved and to engage with each participant has been informative and good fun. The other staff have been very welcoming, providing a supportive insight into the many different functions of the organisation. The workshops bring you back to the raw principle of creativity – a welcomed detox from the art world. It has been a joy to observe how each participant expresses their creativity differently and highlights the benefits of self-motivated learning/workshops.

Overall, it has been a great learning experience, the relationship between the volunteers and participants has been two ways whereby shared interests and knowledge is exchanged. I believe that Project Ability advocates the importance of creativity in our everyday society and would highly recommend the experience becoming a volunteer."

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Falkirk bus trip

Last Wednesday around twenty Project Ability artists went on a day trip to Falkirk. We were able to fit in two attractions The Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies.

We met in the Trongate 103 lobby for a 10am departure and were in Falkirk within an hour. We spent an hour at the wheel, exploring the visitor center which is well equipped with toilets, cafe and shop before having a chance to see the wheel in action.

We watched in awe as a canal barge sailed into the bottom section and was amazingly lifted to the top as the mechanism did its magic. In return another barge was brought down and its passengers able to disembark.

At this stage some of the group split up to walk along the canal bank through Falkirk to the Helix Park where the Kelpies are located. The rest of went back to the bus after taking numerous fabulous photographs.

We drove for around ten minutes to the next location and got our first glimpses of the huge metal sculptures from the bus. Once at The Helix we were able to walk down to the statues and see all around them, even getting close enough to see the inside through the gaps in the metal.

There too is a visitor center with information on the construction of the work, a gift shop, more toilets and choice of cafes to eat at. The Kelpies are depicted here as two large horses heads but mythical creatures are shape shifting and can take other forms, horses were chosen for this piece to represent the heavy horses that worked on the canals in history pulling barges.

We ate our lunch in the large, comfortable picnic area and it was then that the rain decided to prove to us it had indeed been forecast, a small shower had everyone pulling out coats, umbrellas and heading towards the visitors center for shelter. Once the rain was past and we had reunited with the walkers we returned to Glasgow and were back by mid afternoon.

For more information on these attractions please visit: https://www.scottishcanals.co.uk/falkirk-wheel/  and  http://www.thehelix.co.uk/

(Blog by Morag McGilchrist)

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Cameron Morgan - Arthouse residency Week 1

Cameron Morgan is now starting his second week in residence at the Arthouse. Technician Jim Ewen spent the first week with him, and brought back many photos and many stories. 

Tuesday 20th June: we started the day meeting Richard Marsden -the screen printer- who would be working with us exploring the process. We jumped straight in, turning Cameron’s picture of the combine harvester into a 4 colour print. This involved quite a lot of preparation of scanning editing and colour separation on the computer. Printing the images onto acetate. Coating the silkscreens, then exposing them, and finally, washing and drying the screens. Next, Cameron mixed some ink and taped up the excess areas of the screen. Now we were ready to print and 10 sheets later we were done. The first colour of the combine was done.

We stopped for lunch and in the time we had left we made some experiments using tape. Set a shape with tape on the back of the screen and then use ink to make some interesting colour prints. We learned how the ink mixes on the screen and how to mask off areas like a stencil.

Wash up time and that was our first day with Richard. We had a break and then came back for the rest of the afternoon. Cameron worked on a new drawing of an agricultural windmill or water pump as they were used, and I made some experiments with paper stencils. We decided to make Cameron’s drawing into a stencil and started cutting it up. It felt good to be thinking up ideas and just doing it. Just a few hours ago we didn’t have the confidence to do that. Now it felt natural, like we knew what we were doing. And it worked, we got a good print from the paper stencil.

Wednesday started with the aim to complete the combine harvester. Another 3 colours to print. Because the ink was water based and because of the weather, the ink dried quickly so we could over print after about 40 min. The finished edition of 10 prints were just stunning. A major achievement in so little time.

In-between the colour printing, when Richard washed the screens or prepared the next one, Cameron got on with developing the windmill print. He traced on top of the print where highlights should go and then made another paper stencil. This time with a grey ink. It was coming on really well. We removed the stencil for the final print just to see what would happen- a ghostly image of the windmill appeared. Later on Cameron would draw on top of this print to create a fantastic finished piece.

After a very busy day, it was time for dinner. We tried the Thai Street Food Wakefield and it became our favourite restaurant.

On Thursday the plan was to do another of Cameron’s drawings. This time of a tractor ploughing a field. We were going to do 3 colours in just a few hours. With screen printing there are always test prints before the good paper goes in. we had built up many such prints and they were overprinted with each new colour. The result was a stack of chaotic and beautiful prints which could easily go into the coming exhibition.

The final edition of the tractor was finished just as the photographer arrived so Richard decided to make another colour experiment print. Making a shape with tape on the screen Cameron then literally threw ink at the screen. Almost got the photographer too! He made some great prints with bright, bright colours.

Again in-between printing the tractor we worked on the windmill print. Cameron made a third stencil for which we printed in pink. He also over drew another of the ghost prints. They turned out great, and with that Thursday was done.

Friday started early. It was my last full day with Cameron. I would be going home on Saturday and Jason Davis would be coming down to take over my duties. Richard wasn’t working with us today so we had to carry on experimenting on our own. Through the week I had been making experiment prints with paper stencils and then overprinting with an exposed screen with a drawing on it. My drawings and paintings are all based on an imaginary place called Zillerholm. It allows me to mash out lots of different places and cultures in one place. The prints I made tied into this as well. I was really pleased with them but I didn’t need to do anymore of them. So today, Cameron and I worked together, using everything we had learned, to make hybrid drawings and prints.

We started with some quality paper, Fabriano Rosapina, and using watercolour, graphite and ink, made some paintings which were all about mark making and colour. Then we tore them up. We prepared the screen with a landscape format and attached strips of tape. Cameron mixed some bright colours and then we started printing. At first on fresh paper and later on the torn up paintings.

We over printed some twice, and on some prints used Cameron’s tractor plough image as well. It was a really fun day and we got what we wanted -the happy accident. It turned up everywhere. The paintings we torn up were printed really randomly, however when we fitted them back together in 2s and 3s it worked so well. They were meant to go back together. We were really pleased, the creative gods were blessing us today.

We cleaned up the studio and as I sorted out all the prints we had done over the 4 days, Cameron started over drawing 2 of the prints. He created a couple of gems. And with that we were done. A nine hour day. My legs were aching. I needed a sit down and a cold beer. I got both. It was a real pleasure working with Cameron and I really enjoyed our chats in the evenings over food and beer. I’ll miss Wakefield as well, the Arthouse staff and the sun. Time to go home.

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On the Road: Buckie and Keith

As part of our trip to the North East, Project Ability’s ‘On the Road’ artists visited Burnie Day Centre in the historic fishing town of Buckie and the Keith Community Hub, located in the centre of Keith, a country town famous for its Country show, traditional music and its important position on the ‘Scottish Malt Whisky Trail’.

Keith and Buckie, though very close in proximity, are both very different towns in look and feel; one coastal and the other rural. We received the friendliest of welcomes in both venues and were amazed at the enthusiastic and focused response, by both groups, to our sessions.

On day one we were treated to a tour of all Burnie’s marvellous, purpose-built facilities, such as its brilliant soft play room, snoezelen multi-sensory environment, activities rooms and even a trampoline room. Laid out in the shape of a horseshoe, Burnie encloses a beautiful sensory garden, which was buzzing with bees.

In Keith we were given a preview of the group's beautiful collaborative collaged wall mural which now brightens up one of their main meeting rooms and can be enjoyed by many of the groups who share facilities at the centre.

We’d travelled north to Elgin on Sunday with a car stuffed full of clay, plaster, drawing inks and an array of objects to inspire participants, such as ceramic skulls, Indian block prints and plastic toys. For both workshops we devised sessions which could offer our participants a series of tactile and multi-sensory activities, resulting in beautiful pressed clay plaster reliefs. These reliefs explore a number of processes rolled into one to ensure that everyone can connect and engage on many levels. The sessions involved lots of rolling, pressing, printing, pealing, measuring, mixing and tapping.
-Sharon Quigley, On the Road tutor

Burnie Day Centre,
28 Highfield Road
Buckie
Moray

Keith Community Hub
26 Mid Street
Keith
Banffshire
AB55 5AH

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Meet the Volunteers - Anna Reid

In today's 'Meet the Volunteers', we introduce you to the brilliant Anna Reid, who has been volunteering with our Create programme.

"Project ability reminded me that art, particularly as a form of play, is unbelievably important when it comes to learning and confidence. I started volunteering with the Create programme after graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, where my practice focused primarily on social engagement with young people.

After graduating I knew that I wanted to continue being creative whilst working with the community, and when I heard about Project Ability, and the programmes they ran, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. It certainly was. I found I learnt as much from the young people I worked with as (I hope) they did from me. As I got to know the artists and work alongside them, the experience became more and more rewarding. The Create programme meant young people could express their spontaneous ideas using anything from clay, to photography, to drawing and even printmaking. The facilities and space are fantastic, and the staff are extremely supportive in helping you navigate the studio and finding materials. I loved visiting the Project Ability galleries, which provided me with endless inspiration and appreciation for the artists working at Project Ability.

I would highly recommend the experience to anyone who wants to work alongside inspiring artists and needs a reminder as to why art is so beneficial for the community."

Thanks Anna! If you would like to volunteer with Project Ability, download an application form and apply by Monday 26th June. 

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Cameron Morgan - Arthouse residency

Cameron Morgan started his two-week residency in the Arthouse, Wakefield, on Saturday 17th June. Project Ability' technician Jim Ewen is with him for the first week; here he tells us what the two of them did during the first couple of days. 

"Seventeenth of June 2017, we arrived at the Arthouse Wakefield with real excitement and the beginnings of a Florida tan. We thought summer was over already. Two weeks in May is the same for everyone right? No, we’ve traveled 230 miles to a different climate and we’re amazed and scunnered at the same time. Cameron Morgan has been awarded a 2 week printmaking residency here in Wakefield and I’m his buddy, driver, assistant, fellow artist? It doesn’t matter, I’m the technician for Project Ability which means I do anything and everything and that’s why it’s a great job. This is going to be fun.

The Arthouse is a young, handsome, brick building. It comprises of a new build, born in 2009 and a refurb of a Victorian listed library. 50 studio artists work here now and two more live in the fantastically accessible flat which even has a socket by the bed for your essential pillow vibrator. A great deal of money has been spent here, the facilities are fantastic, the light floods in everywhere and just as a bonus the roof doesn’t leak. Odd for an artist studio.

The printmaking studio is kitted out with an auto-etching press, a laser-cutter, iMacs and silkscreens galore. It’s almost the Arthouse’s greatest asset but that has to be reserved for the workers here. The staff made us feel so welcome and Ian the cleaner made us laugh at 8am. Surrounded by bars, restaurants, the train station and The Royal Theatre, the Arthouse couldn’t get any more central. It seems the cultural quarter is important to this cathedral town. The Hepworth Wakefield is 15min walk from here. The Sculpture Park is the same by car and, oh boy do the people love that place! Heavin wi folk!

I visited Yorkshire Sculpture Park about 15 years ago when two friends married on the grounds. It was beautiful, but now, when Cameron and I visited it, it’s evolved and attracted the biggest names in international sculpture. There are new galleries, cafes, and installations all over the place (as well as plenty of sheep). People love it. The art, picnics under a tree, the walking. But the art - there is just so much of it now! It’s the first time I’ve seen work by Ai WeiWei. Twelve Bronze zodiac heads. Like totems to worship, and worship people do. I watched. Arms raised in adulation, a photo taken from every angle, data sacrificed. And then as Cameron did, the people bow and grovel in search of the best low angle shot. I don’t mind the selfies and wanting to record everything but I was wondering if this kind of human behavior was what Ai WeiWei intended all along? As Cameron fluttered around the zodiac heads, I stood back and watched the pilgrims.

After the long hot walk past the boat house with no water, past the lake with too much, we took a rest at James Turrell’s Deer Shelter Skyspace. I’ve always wanted to see this master’s work and it didn’t disappoint. Stepping through the door into the underground space immediately removes you from brea-ing sheep, crowds of people and constant heat. A space of contemplation and coolness where the focus is the square hole in the high ceiling. Bright cerulean blue square as perfect as a new watercolour pan, wetted for the first time with so much promise. The square sky doesn’t change today but I can still watch it forever. This is my idol, pure colour.

Tony Cragg’s retrospective was simply stunning. Beautiful complex forms, with the maker in me trying to unlock their secrets of construction. The simple framed drawings which accompanied the sculptures were enlightening. Even the most complex of structures begin with a drawing. Drawing always comes first, and it’s what we’re doing today. In the Arthouse printmaking studio Cameron sits drawing his idea of a combine harvester. It will be one of many that will be produced today in preparation for tomorrow. For tomorrow we meet another of the locals –the screen printer- who will guide us through the cultural quarter and help us on the way to express the love of the combine through paper and ink.

And if it doesn’t cool down soon I’ll be dreaming of Turrell’s Skyspace, praying to the zodiac, and making plans for a pilgrimage to our temperate rainforest we call home all the while I’m topping up my Floridian tan."

Keep an eye on the website for Jim's second blog next week!

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Cameron Morgan shortlisted for Dentons Art Prize

We are delighted to announce that Cameron Morgan has been shortlisted for the Dentons Art Prize. Dentons is collaborating with curator Niamh White and artist Tim A Shaw to host a biannual £5,000 prize for the most exciting emerging contemporary artists working today.

The Dentons Art Prize is awarded by an independent jury of top art world professionals. Past panels have included high profile artists Richard Wentworth, Mark Titchner, Susan Hiller and Michael Landy, gallerists Neil Wenman, Simon Lee, Hannah Barry and Maureen Paley, collector and philanthropist Valeria Napoleone and curators Ziba Ardalan and Ellen Greig.
Each artist exhibits a selection of artwork at Dentons One Fleet Place meeting rooms and receives 5 hours of pro bono legal advice. Previous winners of the Dentons Art Prize include Paresha Amin (S/S17), Alexandra Lethbridge (A/W16) and Aimee Parrott (S/S16).

In conjunction with this award, Dentons also celebrates one artist with the “Staff Prize”. This will be awarded to the most popular artist as voted by Dentons’ London employees.

Congratulations to Cameron and all the other shortlisted artists! 

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Meet the Volunteers - Katarzyna Konarska

"With an education in the Fine Arts and Design Academy in Poland and an interest in art therapy, I was very excited to be given the opportunity to become a volunteer with Project Ability. In 2016 I supported a gentleman at Aspire class and was very happy to see how much he enjoyed it. I am thoroughly enjoying my time at Project Ability where all the staff and fellow volunteers are very knowledgeable, have a great sense of care and it’s a pleasure to be a part of the team.

With Aspire, I am helping artists with drawing, painting, ceramics and other types of artistic media they choose to express themselves with. I’m witnessing  how they create wonderful works of art. I‘m really glad I’m working with such inspiring and creative artists who are in kind teaching me how to balance being encouraging, instructive or when to step back and let their creativity flow. It has inspired me to go back to my art as well.

I would highly recommend any artist to volunteer at Project Ability. It is a wonderful opportunity to work with friendly, helpful and like-minded people within excellent facilities. But the best of all of course,  is the chance to work with a group of great artists.
Thank you and all the best."

Thank you Katarzyna!

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Cameron Morgan at the ArtHouse

Cameron Morgan will be in residence at the ArtHouse in Wakefield, from the 17th June to the 1st July.

He will be working in the print studio with local print maker Richard Marsden for three days each week. The outcome of the residency will be exhibited in the ArtHouse from the 26th July for one month with the possibility to then travel to other locations.

We are very much looking forward to seeing what he will create in the studio!

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New artist in residence opportunities

Project Ability is delighted to be able to offer two opportunities to Glasgow based visual artists, interested in making and experiencing our unique working environment. 

Our residency programme gives opportunity to artists to develop their practice, within our busy working studios. Your experience with us will give you the chance to engage with our artists, be influenced by their practices and give you time and a space to create with us.

We have two opportunities available, one for the calendar month of August and one for the month of September.  All interested artists are invited to submit an artist cv along with a short proposal of how they could use their time with us to our Volunteers Co-ordinator, Tracy Gorman at volunteers@Project-ability.co.uk.  Any enquiries regarding these opportunities should also be directed to Tracy.

The deadline for all application is Monday 26th June. Good luck

(image: Florence Dwyer, ReSearch residency 2016)

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New volunteering opportunities starting August 2017

As our spring workshops draw to a close, Project Ability is gearing up for our autumn 2017 programme due to start later this August. We are looking for a wide range of visual artists, who are interested in experiencing our creative programme of workshops. Our studios offer a vibrant and colourful working environment for our artists, tutors and volunteers alike. Volunteering with Project Ability will challenge you, no matter what stage you are at in your career.  It can open up your practice and introduce you to new ways of making art, we hope you will be energised and inspired by your experience with us.  Please look at the ‘Meet the Volunteer’ feature on our website, to be inspired by the past and varied experiences of our previous volunteers. 

We are welcoming applications from both graduate and undergraduate artists, with experience in ceramics or printmaking and across the visual arts, to support our ‘Aspire’ participants in the making of their artwork.  Our Aspire programme is for adults with learning disabilities. Volunteers should be able to commit to at least 2 hours a week, each week, for 8 weeks.  Workshops take place from 10am – 12noon and 1pm– 3pm, Monday to Thursday and 10 – 3pm on Friday.

We also have an opportunity to volunteer with our ‘Sunday Social’ group, an afternoon workshop giving opportunity for adults, from across our programmes, to socialise and make art.

In addition we would also like to recruit artists for our ‘Create’ Saturday workshop programme.  With opportunities from 10 am to 12:30pm to volunteer with our youngest artists aged 5 – 12 years and from 1pm to 4pm to support young people aged 12 - 21 years.  We also have further opportunities to volunteer with Art Matters; a designated studio time for young adults 21 – 28 years, from 4pm – 6pm.   Successful applicants should, as much as possible, be able to commit to 8 sessions, with further opportunity to extend their experience, possible.  

Finally, we have further opportunity to volunteer within our ReConnect programme, which supports artists with lived experience of mental ill health.  ReConnect supports artists to develop their individual art practices in a supported studio environment.  We would like to recruit visual artists who enjoy engaging with others and talking about art, who would like to support and contribute to our open studio. Opportunities are available on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings from 10am – 1pm.

If you have any questions about any of our opportunities, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Tracy Gorman, our Volunteers Co-ordinator at volunteers@project-ability.co.uk

Download the application form and send it back to Tracy at the email address above by Monday 26th June.  Good Luck.

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Jaguar’ by Ronald McCulloch

This week it's Aspire artist Ronald McCulloch's 'Jaguar' as our Artwork of the Week.  Ronald has been attending the classes for a number of years, and his distinctive style always brings a smile.  Ronald's work will be on exhibition in the Glad Cafe from the 2nd of June, so be sure to pop down and have a look!

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Meet the Volunteers - Seamus Killick

For our first Meet The Volunteers feature this year, we are delighted to introduce you to the amazing Seamus Killick, who has been a brilliant addition to our Create team.

"Pretty much as soon as I walked into the ginormous studios at Project Ability, I felt at home. Amazing equipment, great light and most importantly all these fascinating works of art casually lying about the place. Spongebob and George Michael and bizarre swirling landscapes - all adding this ambience that made me excited to work alongside some very talented visionaries!

It's been too much fun hanging out with these kids and seeing their ideas come to life. It kind of reminds me why I got so into this art stuff back in school - it's a chance to share your private world with others. To become an explorer not only in your own imagination but to pick other peoples brains too. The to-and-fro of idle chit chat is wonderful brain food for me, especially the frankness of children which can be hilarious.

I like getting involved with an individual's idea and seeing how I can best help out with it depending on that person. Sometimes it might just be chatting about it or observing it and sometimes I might have to get stuck in with the clay. I like that at the beginning I felt like a kind of 'volunteer' person but then throughout the process I felt so relaxed that I just felt like another member of the class, with running jokes and nicknames and bouncing ideas of each other. Because I'm there for pretty much the same reason as they are. We all had many over lapping influences like Disney, Pokemon and Star Wars.

It's not been without its challenges! Creating stuff can be a frustrating thing when it doesn't go the way you intended it and sometimes we might just not feel like it. Just got to roll with the punches! I like embracing mistakes and I want to convince kids that accidents can be the best things in the making process.

Project Ability - its been fab. I leave with a head full of ideas and some fond memories of these wee guys!"

Thank you Seamus!

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Project Ability at The Alliance Conference

Back in February, a few Project Ability artists were invited to The Gathering in Glasgow's SECC: Cameron Morgan, John Cocozza and Steven Reilly were on hand to draw conference goers' portraits in watercolour and oil pastels. The stall attracted a lot of people and the artists delivered many unique and colourful portraits.

We are now delighted to announce that we will once again be drawing portraits, this time at the Alliance conference in Glasgow's Radisson Blu hotel. Now is your chance to get your very own Cameron Morgan or John Cocozza artwork!

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LDAW17 - Judith Abubakar

Our last feature for Learning Disability Awareness Week 2017 is about a delightful young artist who has been coming to our Create classes for years: the fantastic Judith Abubakar. Text by tutor Celine Mcilmunn.

"Judith is a joy to work with. She arrives in the studio full of energy and enthusiasm and is always keen to try new things. Her sense of humour and infectious laughter often has us tutors in stitches and her tales of what she’s been up to socially makes us feel like we lead very dull lives indeed!

Judith loves to use bright colours in her art making and her choice of subject matter is wide and varied. She especially enjoys working with textiles and making objects that have a practical use as well as being interesting and beautiful to look at.

Judith leads a busy life and along with enjoying her workshops at Project Ability she also takes part in a drama group and sings in a choir so she is always busy being creative in one way or another."
-Celine Mcilmunn

Top image: portrait by Alicia Bruce.

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LDAW17 - Steven Reilly

Day 5 of Learning Disability Awareness Week 2017, time to learn more about the amazing Steven Reilly via Aspire tutor Sharon Quigley.

"I’ve worked alongside Steven Reilly now for almost 20 years and I never cease to be blown away by his generosity of spirit and enthusiasm for sharing his art and ideas with his fellow artists and the public.

Project Ability provides a unique, exciting and dynamic studio environment for the artists who participate and create on a daily basis and Steven’s attitude towards making art embodies that experience. His work is colourful and bold and suffused with playfulness and fun, which he transmits to everyone he comes into contact with. He is the life and soul of the workshop!

His subjects are wide ranging and can reference anything from transport, history, film and TV; from Wonder Woman to Robert Burns, as well as mythical, extinct and rare creature’s, such as King Kong, the sabre toothed tiger and the giant squid.

Always open to exploring new materials, processes and mediums, Steven is constantly and fearlessly challenging himself to take on projects that he can really get his teeth sunk into. He can easily turn his hand to ceramics, animation, silk painting, printmaking and painting and will regularly arrive at the beginning of each block announcing “Let’s really push the boat out this time dear!”
-Sharon Quigley

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Artwork of the Week -  Ceramic head by Adnan Mohammed

This week we bring you one of Adnan Mohammed's superb ceramic heads as our Artwork of the Week.  Adi's ceramic work is tremendous, and this piece exemplifies the sense of fun and the love of colour Adi brings to his art. 

See a recent, in-depth, feature about the artist here.

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LDAW17 - Jacqui Smyth

Today's Learning Disability Awareness Week featured artist is quite the woman! The amazing Jacqui Smyth, by Aspire tutor Alison Mitchell.

"Jacqui Smyth has been working recently on a series of drawings inspired by the music, sleeve art and photographs of some of her favourite musicians.

Working mostly to quite a small scale, her drawings relate the vitality, abandon and glamour of her chosen subjects. She's a big music fan and loves to pinpoint a particular time and place where she remembers listening to any given piece of music.

As a dj on Sunny Govan radio her tagline is 'Glasgow's answer to Edith Bowman'.

She has been a regular artist in our Aspire group for the last year and has made consistently beautiful and vivid work exploring print, silk drawing and paint alongside masses of gorgeous drawings on paper and card."
-Alison Mitchell

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Linn Park workshops - Week 2

After the fun of our paper making workshops two weeks ago, pupils visiting Linn Park Adventure Playground were able to explore more of the area's rich heritage by looking at hand dying techniques. 

They were inspired to create these beautiful, colourful bags after learning about the dye works and bleach fields that sprung up around the White Cart River in the 18th and 19th century. Pupils explored different techniques for transferring dyes and inks to fabrics – including marbling with shaving foam!

Workshops will be ongoing until August 2017, keep an eye on our website for announcements about our summer heritage programme for children and young people at Linn Park Adventure Playground.

These workshops are made possible thanks to generous support from Heritage Lottery and the money raised by National Lottery players.

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