Call for Volunteers - Esther Ferrer performance

Project Ability is looking for amateur performers to take part in the group performance piece I’m Going To Tell You About My Life, which will premier in April 22nd in Glasgow as part of the Glasgow International festival.

The piece has been conceived by 80-year old Spanish artist Esther Ferrer and involves 10 performers who are fluent in British Sign Language and 10 verbal performers speaking in different languages.

If you are a BSL user or speak a language other than English, and you want to tell others about your life, please get in touch! No previous experience is required.


Rehearsal dates: Friday 20th April (pm) and Saturday 21st April (all day)
Performance: Sunday 22nd April, 1-3pm

The rehearsals will be led by Esther Ferrer, assisted by a BSL interpreter.
Project Ability will cover transport costs for all volunteers up to £10 per day

Please note that the performance will be:
- Filmed, and an edited version of the film will be on display at Project Ability’s Project Space for the duration of the festival.
- Professionally photographed, and the images taken may be used for press coverage, promotion of the event on the websites of the project organisers and funders, documentation and evaluation. 

By participating in the event you agree to be filmed or photographed for these purposes.


To apply for this opportunity, or find out more, please contact:

Mónica Laiseca at and
Celine Mcilmunn at

Deadline for applications: Monday 26 March. Shortlisted volunteers will be notified by email on Wed 28 March.



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Cameron Morgan and Gregor Wright - Week 4

In the four weeks since their residency started, Cameron Morgan and Gregor Wright have been experimenting with drawing on different mediums, including tea towels.

"At the moment I’m trying to encourage some abstraction and the work we’re making just now is a sort of fusion of our response to neo-expressionism, familiar pop culture icons and ideas of craft and making." said Gregor.

"The tea towels seemed like a good thing to paint on because as a surface to work on they're similar to canvas, but as an object they’re quite humble and mundane. The idea came to me after Cameron and I were looking at the plate paintings of Julian Schnabel, which Cameron liked compared to some of the darker, more abstract painted works."

We're looking forward to seeing where this collaborative partnership takes them! 

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Ladysbridge Stories - February Workshops

Collecting stories, collating conversations and rekindling old friendships

"The Ladysbridge Stories project continues to gather momentum as more ex-patients and staff come forward with memories to share and stories to tell.

We were delighted that so many familiar faces joined us once again at the C-Change offices in Aberdeen and that ex-staff members’ Alastair Minty and Jim Cook popped in to contribute to the session. The BBC also dropped by to hear what we’re up to!

Throughout the project we’ve been collecting imagery and building a picture, through writing, drawing and storytelling, which illustrates the day to day life at Ladysbridge Hospital. We’ve continued to map the site, designing a key of symbols which represent all areas of this remote hospital, from the kitchens and briquette shed to the farms and fields, the flora and fauna.

The sessions are industrious and conversation lively. Some of the stories are moving and often difficult to tell but many are also funny and heart-warming.
It’s so good to see old friendships lost with the closure of Ladysbridge hospital being rekindled through the Ladysbridge Stories project."
-Sharon Quigley, Project Ability tutor

The final Ladysbridge Stories workshop will take place on thursday 22 March in C-Change Aberdeen. 

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On the Road: Douglas Community Centre, Dundee

"Hard to believe that Project Ability artist Jonathan McKinstry and I are half way through this eight week project at the Douglas Centre, Dundee. Time seems to have hurtled by as the group has embraced each session with a real enthusiasm and produced some lively artwork.

We have continued to introduce ideas around playful mark making, like painting with edges of card instead of brushes. Jonathan had described to the group this technique he had seen in a film whereby a surface layer of paint can be scratched into to reveal a contrasting ground colour underneath – otherwise known as sgraffito !

The Dundee Artists tested these methods out using silhouetted images and a bit more drawing from observation."
-Meredith Crone, Project Ability Tutor

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Cameron Morgan and Gregor Wright start their collaborative partnership

After a very successful residency with Charlie Hammond, Cameron Morgan has started his new collaborative partnership with another Glasgow-based artist: Gregor Wright

The two artists met up twice already, familiarising themselves with each other's work and discussing how their respective practices can feed this collaboration.

Cameron showed Gregor some of his work currently in our gallery and in our shop, and they then went to Wright's studio near Trongate 103.

We are very much looking forward to seeing what they come up with in the next ten weeks!

Cameron Morgan's series of residencies is funded by Creative Scotland. Gregor Wright is represented by The Modern Institute. 

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On the Road: Douglas Community Centre, Dundee

January 2018 saw the beginning of a new project for Project Ability artist Jonathan McKinstry, myself and a group of nine service users of the Douglas Community Centre, Dundee. At the end of January we embarked on an eight week course of Visual Art Workshops.

The first two of these took the form of playing with different media and exploring possibilities. In the first week participants drew and painted with combinations of handmade and professional artist’s tools and implements. There was a bit of drawing from observation and plenty of use of the imagination.

The second week involved some more beautiful mark making, but this time in the form of monoprints.

We will continue to explore techniques over the coming weeks and as we get to know one another I suspect some folk may get hooked on certain art media and wish to delve deeper !
-Meredith Crone

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Artist in residence: Sarah Kudirka

Our newest artist in residence started last Thursday, and has already settled perfectly in the studios. Previously based in London, Sarah Kudirka has recently moved to Glasgow, and is using the residency to further her cityscape polaroid project. A great way to discover a new city! 

"I am working on a big series of paintings about walking and looking up at the sky squeezed in between tall buildings: a simple idea but a compelling project. Each image is made over a Polaroid snap I’ve taken in a city where I live, work or travel. Since starting this project in 2012 I’ve made hundreds of vivid images that have been recognised as “beautiful and accessible” and “highly innovative”.

Sarah aims to make 100 polaroid paintings of cityscapes from the city centre during her time at project Ability, as well as work on canvas. You can follow her progress on our residency instagram @PA_Research_Residency

Welcome Sarah!

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Cameron Morgan and Charlie Hammond’s residency draws to a close.

For the past few months, Cameron Morgan and Glasgow-based artist Charlie Hammond have been meeting every week for their collaborative residency. The pair got to know each other's work and to create a series of prints inspired by Charlie's matchbox collection.

"I liked working with Charlie very, very much – he has a good sense of humour, is a lot of fun, and has a really good nature. I really enjoyed myself’ said Morgan.

The residency, which ended last week, resulted in an impressive body of work.

"Working together with Cameron has been a joy", Hammond said. "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.

Cameron’s energy is infectious (though a few more tea breaks wouldn’t hurt!) and his ability to translate the essence of an object into a direct and playful drawing or ceramic allowed us to progress quickly, screen-printing layer upon layer and developing the works far beyond our initial thoughts.

Not only have we ended up with a great body of work but also a great friendship."

Cameron and Charlie's work will be on display in our gallery in a short exhibition in early April. 

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Drew Walker: Always Expect the Unexpected

"My name is Drew Walker and here is a summary of my experience in Project Ability in January 2018.

My week-long short residency at Project Ability revealed to me a place where there was great respect and a dignified approach towards people working as artists with backgrounds of mental illness, learning difficulties or physical disabilities. However, these do not hinder or impact upon the creatively enriching experience, which exists within the shared working space of Project Ability, where the immense variety of talent and creative process surrounding me was amazing to witness.

I contributed to my short residency as an artist who experiences mental illness and a PhD researcher who is looking into art-process, mental illness and recovery. So, I divided my time to do the following:
1. To observe the working processes of the artists working in the Reconnect, Aspire and Create spaces and their engagement and interactions with staff and volunteers.
2. To understand what provision and structure was deployed in the delivery of activities.
3. To bring my own art practice into the Reconnect space, using a collaborative method of creativity.

I began my experience by observing, photographing and talking to staff, volunteers and artists. I had decided to create one of my ‘dead-wooded’ creatures, a staple symbol of my art practice and an integral part my process. The ‘dead-wooded’ stag represents my own recovery process from mental illness. As my art practice parallels and enriches my research, I wanted to share both aspects during my week. My goal was to create a portrait of Project Ability using the language of those in the Reconnect, Create and Aspire spaces.

Conversations occurred naturally whilst I was working and I decided to use some of those words and phrases, placing them on the sculpture of the stag. I wanted to reflect the artists’ thoughts as people, at the core of it all. The stag was painted white and the lettering in a variety of colours.

A few days into my residency, my dad who is my artistic collaborator and who accompanied me at Project Ability, spoke to me about the idea of accompanying the wooded stag with found material from Glasgow. Seizing upon this notion, we found two disused damaged yellow traffic cones in the nearby vicinity of the Glasgow Green. We painted them and transformed them into sculptural pieces to enhance and draw attention to the stag.

Making my art was only one part of the story during my residency, but it did provide the nexus for many insightful conversations and interactions with those who were curious about the stag. I immediately found a connection with the other artists and the staff in the space, feeling very welcome. I was greatly impressed by the sheer variety, resources and freedom found within Project Ability through the engaging activities of Aspire, Reconnect and Create. I understood that the space is a lifeline for some and a platform for every participant, by being together whilst creating art. I found the approach of valuing artists’ work, providing opportunities for exhibiting and potentially selling pieces to be crucial to the humane attitude in Project Ability. Here, the people are acknowledged as artists. They are not labels or categories of people with various diagnoses. The respect I noticed in the atmosphere showed that clearly.

I sincerely hope that in the future more places like Project Ability emerge, providing spaces for the therapeutic process of making art, whilst not being isolated or in a clinical setting. It’s a safe, friendly environment that puts the individual first. There should be a ‘Project Ability’ in every city and town. I know that had there been similar provision for me during my early stages of recovery. I would have greatly appreciated and benefited being in such a place.

Thank you to everybody in Project Ability for making my short residency so rich and inspiring. I would love to come back."

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Project Ability part of nationwide art project celebrating the centenary of the women’s vote

We are delighted to announce our support for PROCESSIONS, a mass participation artwork to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave the first British women the right to vote. 

PROCESSIONS is produced by Artichoke, the UK’s largest producer of art in the public realm, as part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary.

PROCESSIONS will invite women and girls across the UK to come together on the streets of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London on Sunday 10 June 2018 to mark this historic moment in a living, moving portrait of women in the 21st century.

Project Ability is one of 100 organisations working with women artists up and down the country in the lead-up to the event, as part of an extensive public programme of creative workshops to create 100 centenary banners which will form part of this vast artwork.

The banner-making workshops will focus on text and textiles, echoing the practices of the women’s suffrage campaign and will be spaces to consider the power of the vote today and our shared future. The banners made will represent and celebrate the diverse voices of women and girls from different backgrounds.

A group of women from our ReConnect and Aspire programmes will work with tutor Sandi Kiehlmann over the coming months. 

Helen Marriage, CEO Artichoke said:
“The 100th anniversary of the passing of legislation which made universal suffrage unstoppable is a moment both for celebration and reflection. Individuals and groups up and down the country, including XXX, will be at the heart of this UK-wide artwork. What they make and bring to their chosen procession on Sunday 10th of June will form part of a unique living portrait of women today.”

PROCESSIONS is commissioned by 14-18 NOW and produced by Artichoke. With support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

(Image taken from

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We need you!

Action Space artist Nnena Kalu will be in residence at Project Ability in April and will make a large installation in our gallery for Glasgow International.

We are looking for large quantities of the following materials:

-old VHS videos
-offcuts of carpet or fabric
-plastic wrap, bubble wrap
-coloured tape

If you have any of these lying about that you are not using, we will happily take it off your hands! Just get in touch or drop them at:
Project ability, 3rd floor, Trongate 103, Glasgow G1 5HD. 

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Meet the Volunteers: Adam Brown

The Create workshops are now over for the year, and we say goodbye to a brilliant group of volunteers, including to Adam Brown, who is our 'Meet the volunteers' this week.

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
I am an Applied Arts HND graduate from City of Glasgow College.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
I volunteered in the Create workshop on a Saturday morning.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I’ve always been really keen on doing work for charity and also working with children so this seemed like a prime opportunity to do both.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
My experience has been wonderful at Create, it definitely lived up to my expectations.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
I have learnt that it’s important to listen to each individual person and try and assist them in a way that suits them best.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
It’s difficult to choose a favourite artist from the classes because each and everyone of them have talent in their own special area. One particular artist, Dearbhail, has demonstrated extraordinary talent in drawing and painting.

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
I absolutely would recommend others to volunteer at Project Ability, the experience has been very uplifting and has consistently been an exciting part of my week for the past few months.

Any other comments?
Everybody at Project Ability has been extremely inviting and have made me feel right at home and part of the team right from week one. The young artists have been amazing to get to know and have also always been very friendly and kind to me.

Thanks Adam!

If you are interested in volunteering with us, you can send us your application until 5th January 2018. Click here for more info. 

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Artwork of the Week -  ‘The Old Man of Storr’ by Margaret Booth

Artwork of the Week time again, and this week we bring you a classic Scottish treasure – the Skye landmark ‘The Old Man of Storr’ by the talented Margaret Booth. Margaret’s work is always of an exceptional quality; being able to capture the subject with stunning detail, while incorporating her own vibrant, painterly style.  The work is currently on show as part of our exhibition ‘Scotland, The Land Beneath Our Feet’ which is available to view all the way up until the 22nd of December in our gallery.  Not to be missed!

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Meet the volunteers: Samantha Harley

This week, please meet the lovely Samantha Harley, who has been a joyful addition to our Aspire workshops!

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
Undergraduate, Painting & Printmaking, Year 2. My practice mainly involves looking at everyday objects and rendering them in fun and new exciting ways. I mainly do a lot of screen printing, drawings and paintings.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
Aspire, on a Thursday afternoon.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
My little brother has Down's Syndrome and autism, so I have always been involved with helping people with disabilities. Art therapy is something I’d be interested in doing when I have graduated.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
Yes, I’ve really enjoyed my time at Project Ability, and I hope everyone else has enjoyed having me too! It’s been great getting to know everyone and starting to understand everyone’s situation and how they work.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
I have learnt lots from volunteering here but especially about how to interact with everyone. I’ve found interesting to see all the different ways we have communicated with each other. I have also found volunteering here has influenced my own work.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
I have been working closely with one of the Aspire artists called Peter. Peter has been working with clay and creates objects he likes, such as watering cans, to even cans of soft drinks! I find this really interesting as by just looking at what the objects are and how they are created, you can get a sense of who Peter is.

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
Yes! In fact one of my friends and classmate has been asking me when my volunteering ends so she can apply!

Any other comments?
I just want to thank everyone who is involved with Project Ability, because I think it’s a great organisation and I’ve had the best time volunteering here!

Thank you Samantha! If you are interested in volunteering with Project Ability, we are currently recruiting for January-March. Click here for more information. 

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Free art workshops for young people with Down’s syndrome

The World Down Syndrome Congress is coming to Glasgow in July 2018! To mark the occasion, Project Ability is offering groups for children and young people with Down’s Syndrome the opportunity to get involved in visual art workshops leading to an exhibition in Trongate 103 in Glasgow.

Our professional art tutors will visit your group and tailor a workshop to your requirements. Whether you can accommodate 1 session or 4, talk to us and we can make it happen! Workshops can take place in our accessible studio in Trongate 103, or we can come to you.

Workshops must take place between January and May 2018. Art materials will be provided. There is no charge as the project has been generously supported by the Trefoil Foundation. Artwork will be professionally framed and exhibited in Trongate 103 and available as a digital download.

If you are interested to take part, please get in touch with Michael Richardson: // Tel: 0141 552 2822 (Thursdays & Fridays)

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Walking group - Week 24: The Briggait

On the 29th November the walking group headed to The Briggait. Now an arts venue, the Briggait was originally built in 1873 as Glasgow's fish market. Transformed with offices around the edges, the main space in the center of the building makes an excellent area to display art installations.

We went to meet with the artist who currently has work displayed there, Fiona Macintosh. Her exhibition,‘My home is your home, mi casa es su casa’, is a series of prints that accompany an amazing biography, ‘ROSA of the Wild Grass, The Story of a Nicaraguan Family’, about Rosa and her journey of over 30 years through adversity to keep her family and community strong.

The work covers a range of emotions as each picture is from a different time in the ladie's life, some depict extremely happy times with parties and loving family moments, others are often heartbreaking and poignant like a picture of a pregnant Rosa holding a gun to protect her unborn child.

Many of us were very moved when talking with Fiona and hearing her personal experiences of being lifelong friends with Rosa and her family. The exhibition is on until the 26th of January and artists from both the walking group and the ReConnect program will be producing work to be displayed in the later half of the exhibition so expect more news on this soon.
-Morag McGilchrist

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Walking Group - Week 23: Tramway

Our walking group braved the Scottish weather last week to make a visit to Tramway in the South side of Glasgow to see a trio of exhibitions. First stop was upstairs to Narrative: The Koestler Scotland Exhibition 2017, a display of works from prisons, secure hospitals, secure children’s homes, immigration detention centres and community justice services across Scotland.

The work in the exhibition is hugely varied and thought provoking and produced a wide range of responses from the group. Author and poet Jenni Fagan curated the show and said 'I believe creative projects are hugely important to rehabilitation in ways that we are probably only just beginning to understand'.

Next stop was the huge Tramway 2 gallery to see the Amanda Ross-Ho exhibition, Untitled Period Piece. The scale of the work with gigantic trousers and pattern pieces feels like a visit to a tailor's workshop in Alice's Wonderland. It felt like the perfect location to model the new rain-capes that were bought with a Scotmid community grant and have an impromptu photo-shoot - with help from one of the exhibition invigilators!

The last exhibition of the day was Momma! Momma! by Megan Rooney, a strange and in places unnerving installation that makes you wonder 'what just happened here?'

Some of the group had a short walk in the rather wet Hidden Gardens before everyone went their separate ways.

You can find more information about these exhibitions at

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Meet the Volunteers - Laura Gaiger

Today's Meet the Volunteers focuses on the fantastic Laura Gaiger, who has been volunteering with our Art Matters workshops.

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
I studied Painting and Printmaking at Glasgow School of Art and graduated last year, 2016. Now I have a studio in the East end and I make oil paintings - most of them are semi-abstract still life and interior paintings, or paintings from film photographs and film stills. They hint at stories of domestic and family life.


In what workshop did you volunteer?
I’m volunteering with the Art Matters group at 4.30pm on Saturdays.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I volunteered with Project Ability in the past, while I was studying, and loved the experience, so I knew I’d enjoy doing it again. I have a more settled routine now I’m not a student, so I’m able to be more committed, and it’s really important to me to feel that I’m making a meaningful contribution to others. I want to help other people find as much joy, fun and fulfilment through making things as I do.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
Absolutely. Saturday afternoons at Project Ability are currently the highlight of my week! The studio is really peaceful at this time of day, and it’s a really pleasant environment to be pottering around helping the artists with materials, and having a chat about what everyone is making or has been doing that week. I enjoy being part of a really relaxed and positive community and feeling appreciated for taking part.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
I’ve gotten to know many of the artists in the Art Matters group by now, and I have a much better understanding of the various needs that the different artists have. I’ve learned how to communicate with people with different ways of communicating to myself, and not to be afraid to strike up conversations with disabled or differently abled people. I have also gained a lot of ideas and artistic inspiration from seeing everyone’s work and all the exciting things going on in the other workshops.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
I always have a great time chatting with Peter - he sings me his favourite Disney songs each week and makes me guess which films they’re from, which I’m not very good at! I love seeing Jonathan’s work develop - I’ve never met someone so focussed on what they are making, and the detail in his freehand drawings is incredible!

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
Yes, definitely - anyone who enjoys being part of a sociable community of artists and wants to give back to the artistic community of Glasgow! It’s great fun.

Any other comments?
Thank you so much for involving me at Project Ability - I hope I’ll be able to stay involved for a long time.

Thank you so much Laura!

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Beautiful mural in Arden by Daniel Donnelly

ReConnect artist Daniel Donnelly has been working on a beautiful mural in the hallway of a residential home in Arden.

The artist, who was commissionned by the Richmond Fellowship, envisioned scenes of nature with flowers, wells and fountains. He consulted with the residents too, adding some of their suggestions to the mural.

Once the design was final, Donnelly started making a grid in pencil and drew the scene on the wall. He then painted the outlines in red acrylic and blocked in the other colours.

The mural is still a work in progress, as Daniel is working on his own and can only go once a week, but we'll make sure to post a photo of the finished work!

You can see some of Daniel's work on his Outside In profile. He also had a solo exhibition in our Gallery II this year: Gravitational Geometry; The Method of Movement and Attraction.

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Project Ability Fundraising Survey

Like many charities, Project Ability faces funding challenges and we must find more ways of generating income to allow us to continue to deliver our vital work.

With many not-for-profit organisations fighting for the attention of the general public, we understand that it is important to be focused, imaginative and offer something that is genuinely going to engage and benefit our audience.  That’s why we need your opinion on what we should do next. 

It will only take a couple of minutes to answer the four questions here but it will make a huge difference to us if you do it as it will help us to plan effectively for the future.  If you provide your contact details, we would like to offer you 10% discount next time you visit our shop in the Gallery or online.

Thank you!

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Meet the Volunteers: Karina Baillie

This week, let us introduce you to the brilliant Karina Baillie, who has been a great addition to our Create team. 

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
I am a graduate of Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art. My practice encompasses many different mediums, from video installation to sculpture, drawing and painting. Recently I have been working in the community, focussing on facilitating different groups such as a mural project in the East End with adults with mental health issues.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
I volunteer at the Create Workshop ages 8-12 on a Saturday morning.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I’ve admired many of Project Ability’s artists and frequently visit their gallery space, and have always known Project Ability to be a brilliant resource in the community. I had recently finished a Counselling course and wanted to spend more time working with young artists, because I knew it would be a great learning opportunity and a privilege to become part of the Project Ability team.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
The experience of volunteering at the Create workshop has far exceeded my expectations. Interacting with the young artists is an energetic and fruitful role, I have learned so much from the tutors knowledge and found every class to be invigorating and rewarding.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
The young artists are all uniquely talented individuals with brilliant ideas and different styles of working. It’s a lot of fun being in the workshop facilitating their various projects, from making clay sculptures to print making. I’ve learned loads of new techniques and the young artists have opened my mind to exciting creative processes which have influenced my own artistic practice.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
I find the work of two of our young artists Guy and Gabriel incredibly inspiring, they both have their own brilliant flair for colour and their use of this in our recent classes have produced beautiful Perspex panels that look like stain glass windows.

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
There is a real sense of community in the workshop that is unique to Project Ability. It’s a supportive environment which is full of fun and energy, I would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering becoming part of the Project Ability team.

Thanks a lot Karina! 

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Meet the Volunteers: Mij Rothera

For today's Meet the Volunteers, we focus on the amazing Mij Rothera, who has been volunteering with our aspire team.

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
I graduated from Glasgow School of Art more than 20 years ago (gulp), with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Photography. Nowadays I twiddle about with inks and brushes on paper in my spare time. I work with Enable and also occasionally as an Artist Practitioner at The Prince & Princess Of Wales Hospice.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
Wednesday Aspire Workshops.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I’ve been coming here for 2 years every Tuesday, supporting a young man to attend his art group. I love the atmosphere – it’s so positive and also informal. It’s great to see how focussed everybody is on their work. I have many years’ experience of working on arts projects for various marginalised groups (specifically with Artlink Central in Stirling), and wanted to play a small part in the wonderful creativity of Project-Ability.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
Definitely. It’s such a friendly environment. People are really well supported by the excellent Art Tutors to make, or continue working on, whatever piece they feel like that day. The large, bright space is really conducive to making art and there are loads of different art materials.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
The opportunity for creativity is vitally important – for everyone. Project-Ability plays a huge part in the lives of many people. It’s also important to not always have a set end-date for a project – people here can continue on their work for however long they feel. The experience has helped to make me create more art, too. Also, I’ve met a whole new bunch of talented people.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
I really like Andrew Boyle’s images. He works steadily and carefully on his detailed and very beautiful drawings and paintings. A stand-out artwork from the last year is Tommy Mason’s large painting of George Michael.  I loved the exhibition by Leslie Thomson too.Actually I’m inspired every time I walk into the studio.

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
Yes. It’s a wonderful way to get to know some very interesting, creative people, and to play a part in what I would say is a vital space and service for so many.

Any other comments?
Project-Ability offers a peaceful and positive space where all people need to focus on is their creativity. That’s priceless.

Thanks, Mij!

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Walking Group - Week 22: The Lighthouse Poster Exhibition

"On Wednesday the 8th November, the Walking Group went to The Lighthouse to visit an exhibition of posters and have the chance to make our own.

The International Poster Exhibition is part of Graphic Design Festive Scotland and showcases 140 posters and sets of posters, including the top three winners. Festival founders Warriors Studio, Jamie McIntyre former art director of It's Nice That, Jaemin Lee director of South Korean studio Fnt and last years winner Koos Breen recent graduate of Royal Academy of the Arts, the Hauge, made up this years judging panel.

The competition received 6095 entries from 81 countries and we were told about how hard not only the judging process was but to chose only 140 to exhibit. The posters were diverse, from moving images you would see on a bus stop to South Korean dream like glittery comics, to adverts for events and political pieces.

It was impossible to choose a favorite, fortunately we didn't have to. After looking around we got to take part in a poster making workshop each choosing a message we wanted to convey to the world.

The posters were simple, we all got one blank sheet of paper and a selection of letters to cut out and glue, the task of making them interesting and meaningful feel to each of us. I really enjoyed working on my poster and enjoyed seeing the different styles of work and how different countries view poster making."
-Morag McGilchrist

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Artist talk by James Jimbo

Last Thursday, former artist in residence James Jimbo came back to Project Ability to showcase the work he produced during his residency. Artists from Aspire and ReConnect came to engage with James and his work, and it was very interesting to see what inspired him during his time with us. The work was very well received and artists enjoyed the skills and playfulness in each drawing and painting.

‘Brilliant work – great colours’
-Edward Henry, Aspire

‘I liked the Elvis one and George Michael, I painted George Michael too, mine was much more colourful'
-Tommy Mason, Aspire

‘Refreshing to see work that’s been created a framework of joyfulness and freedom’
-Richie Davis, ReConnect

‘I really loved the use of line and for me being here in my first week of my residency, it couldn’t have come at a better time to see James work, someone so confident in their own practice – very inspiring’
-Emma Aitken, current artist in residence

Thank you, James Jimbo!

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Project Ability pop-up shops coming soon!

Save the date! We will be hosting a series of pop-up shop in the gallery in the run up to Christmas! 

Looking for something original, inspiring and that can't be found in the high street shops? This is your chance, our pop up shops will be packed with original gift ideas, cushions, cards, ceramics, artworks, mobiles, wooden objects, and plenty more! 

Saturday 25 November, 2nd & 9th December, 10am - 5pm in our gallery in Trongate 103.

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Project Ability artists at Manchester Buy Art Fair 2017!

Now recognised as one of the UK’s leading festivals of visual arts, Buy Art Fair 2017, featuring The Manchester Contemporary, will bring galleries and artists to Manchester from across the UK. Over 3,000 original artworks will be for sale and we are delighted to announce that three Project Ability artists will see their work exhibited during the fair.

Grace McArthur and Tommy Kemp are two of the very talented artists that will show some work with Heart and Sold, a pioneering arts initiative that promotes and supports artists with Down Syndrome and provides a platform from which to sell their work. More info here.

We are also very excited to announce that Cameron Morgan has been selected to exhibit work at the Manchester Contemporary this year with Venture Arts! Venture Arts are partnering with Castlefield Gallery for the event from 27 – 29 October. He will be showing some of his ringtone ceramics and 'The Three Stooges', a print made during his residency in Wakefield. More info here

Manchester Buy Art Fair 2017
27-29 October 2017.

Image: 'One Direction' by Grace McArthur

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Cameron Morgan & Charlie Hammond residency

Charlie Hammond and Cameron Morgan have started their creative partnership a few weeks ago, and they are already experimenting with ideas and producing some work.

Hammond has a scrapbook showcasing the top of match books, each with its own design and imagery. The artists went on to make a stencil inspired by the match books, which will then be used to produce a print next week. 

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Get your Superheroes calendar now!

Pow! The 2018 calendars are just back from the printers, and this year's theme is: Superheroes! 

With drawings and paintings from last year's 'Superheroes' exhibition, this calendar is bright, fun and full of powerful characters: Superman, Elastigirl, the Human Torch, Wonder Woman and many more!

Only £10, on sale in our gallery shop and online

Artworks by Jack Woodall, Michael McMullen, Edward Henry, Gerard Gallagher, John McCormack, Jonathan McKinstry, Lea Cummings, Lesley Nimmo, Obi Oguguo, Pauline Jackson, Peter Johnston, Ronnie McCulloch and Ruth Mutch.

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Artist in residence: James Jimbo

James Jimbo was our first artist in residence this year, when he spent the month of September in our studios, interacting with our artists and finding inspiration in their work. Here is what he had to say about his time at Project Ability:

"I've developed new ways of drawing for my armoury, directly based on diving into the blue boxes of Project Ability artists’ reference materials in the Aspire workshop.  A series of works in pen on paper resulted from this, which were developed further into expanding the ways in which I draw by drawing with paint, combining images and using my own source material.

Looking at the artists in the studios and the way they draw got me trying to be (even) freer with my approach. Not worry that something is exact, not necessarily worry about what it is about but accept (and hope) that the works construe an idea, an element, or a something else that can be identified.  It will take many moons to digest my experience of being in the Project Ability studios, seeing the work here, and the way my work has developed.

I have observed and admired the many varied ways the artists approach their work. The Aspire artist who painted the two tigers. Andrew Boyle, who painted the Train over the Glenfinnan viaduct, Doreen Kay and her yacht and castle Landscape. John Cocozza and his Bruce Forsyth paintings have been great to look at. So much so that I had to have a go at drawing ol' Brucie myself.

I've also seen works by artists I already admire, like Scott Smith, Terry Kerr, Michael McMullen and Cameron Morgan, the latter whom I have had the pleasure to chat to about his work on a couple of occasions.
I also had some brief but frank conversations with Paul and Alan which will stick in my memory. Alan's procrastination helped allay my fear of procrastination and Paul's enthusiasm for working is infectious!

All the tutors have been great too, and I have enjoyed my conversations with them."

It was a pleasure to have James work in our studios for a month. He will be back for a talk about his work in the coming months.

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Christmas cards for sale!

It's October, and that can only mean one thing: the new Christmas cards have arrived from the printers! 

This year, we have three beautiful designs, 'Reindeers' by Edward Henry, 'Penguins in a row' by Ruth Mutch and 'Christmas Tree' by Andy Adams.

Get yours now, only £5 for a pack of ten, and help support our amazing artists!

Cards are available in our gallery shop and soon to be online. 

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