Shop Item of the Week ‘Girl,Kitten’ by Jim Feeney

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!

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Open Museum project - Week 5

"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."
-Morag Macgilchrist

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Meet the Maker - Rachel Elliott

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!

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Open Museum project - Week 4

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.

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Open Museum project - Week 3

After visiting the Glasgow Museum Resource Centre and the Pollok Civic Realm, the Open Museum project is now based in the Project Ability studios for four sessions.

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! 

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Otter’ by Dearbhail McGrory

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.

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘£1.69 in Danglers’ by Cameron Morgan and Charlie Hammond

'£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.

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Open Museum project - Week 2

"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."
-Morag Macgilchrist

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Residency: Cameron Morgan and Sandi Kiehlmann

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! 

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Meet the Volunteers - Stella Phipps

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 "
-Stella Phipps

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Open Museum project - Week 1

"A group of Project Ability artists went to the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre last week to view a collection of art. The collection was donated to Glasgow Museums by Joyce Laing who was an art therapist working with in-patients with mental health issues from the 60's until the 80's.

She collected art from her own patients and others she met at hospitals. The collection is vast, diverse and impressive. We didn't get to see all of it as there is so much in the entire collection. 

After viewing it we went for a tea break and discussed what we had seen. This was when we learned more about the project we will be curating that will be displayed in a space in the Pollok Civic Realm.

We will select work from the collection and write about it. These texts will be displayed with the artworks and will be exhibited for a year. We will also be making our own artwork in response to the collection."
-Morag Macgilchrist

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Tany Raabe-Webber on her visit at Project Ability

"As you all may or may not know, back in Shrewsbury where I live, I have set up and run ArtStudio01, an artist collective. In January 2016 we had a trip to Project Ability to see an exhibition of our work in the Project Ability gallery. This has made us realise that we also have artistic ambitions, and since then our studio group had increased to 9 artists, including myself as an artist and artists’ facilitator.

Because ArtStudio01 has grown and the artists want to show their work and develop their skills and creative practices, I wanted to visit and learn about what other learning disability art studios are doing so that I can develop our studio collective into an inclusive, thriving and successful artists’ hub.

I was recently awarded an Arts Council England, Grants for The Arts Award to do a research and development project into Learning Disability Arts, studio models and artists’ practice. I’m presently touring around on a series of #StudioVisits with my Producer on this project Jennifer Gilbert and Jackie Cooley as an associate artist of ArtStudio01. Project Ability was on our list and it was great to catch up with everyone in the studio too.

We talked, and talked, and talked with Elisabeth Gibson, the Director of Project Ability, who told us loads about the organisation, who does what, what exhibitions you do, how you sell work in the shop and all about the volunteers that support you and all about the artist residencies that happen in and outside of Project Ability. Omg you guys do so much!

A big part of my project is for ArtStudio01 to run our first artist in residence at our studios in Shrewsbury. So we also came to talk to Cameron Morgan who’s going to exhibit his work with us and join us for a short 3 day residency in March next year. We are very excited about this!

I also caught up with Simon McAuley who’s doing a research into identity, labels and self-defining or not as a Disabled Artist. I could have talked and debated all afternoon on this with Simon. It’s really fascinating research and at the core of my own practice as an artist and Disabled Artist. Hope to catch-up again to see where this takes you.

It was so lovely to be back in the studio at Project Ability, and thank you all for such a warm welcome. I’ve realised that as an Associate Artist of Project Ability I’ve lost touch with what you’ve all been doing so I must visit more often to keep in touch. I shall be making an annual visit from now on. See you all next summer!"
-Tanya Raabe-Webber

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Call out for artworks: 30 x 30

Project Ability’s 2018 Annual Christmas Exhibition                                       
24 November – 22 December


Calling ALL artists!

Our annual Christmas exhibition of 2018 celebrates the artist! Our only theme this year is size: all works, whether framed or unframed, must be 30 x 30 cm. All work must hang on the wall.
We want to see your painting, drawing, print making, photography, collage and whatever other mediums represent you and your art practice.

We’re giving each artist complete freedom over subject matter, material and medium. There are no other rules to follow, just get out your ruler and measure your paper, canvas or whatever support you want to use.

This show will be uniformed in appearance by the size of each work, and apart from that it aims to celebrate the individual artist, and their individual practice.
_________________________________________________

The deadline for submitting work is 2 November. Submit your form and images by email. Artists will be notified by 5 November if their work has been selected. *Not all work submitted will be included in the exhibition*.

 

All accepted work must be delivered to Project Ability by 13 November.  Project Ability has a commission on all sales of 40%.

If you have questions please email exhibitions@project-ability.co.uk

Up to 3 submissions per artist.

Please email your Submission Form (click to download) along with photos of the work to exhibitions@project-ability.co.uk  A pdf version is available here. The information for submitting can be downloaded here.

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Shop Item of the Week - Stained Glass Sailboat by Jan Thomson

Our Shop Item of the Week is this lovely little stained glass boat by Jan Thomson. Measuring 16x11cm, this sailboat would be a perfect gift for anyone that loves the sea. Jan Thomson has made a small selection of stained glass sailboats for our gallery shop, all in different sizes and colors. You can see a few more pictured below. If you would like to purchase the yellow and green sailboat you can find it available for £15 from our online shop and also our gallery shop at Trongate 103

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Residency: Cameron Morgan and Tracy Gorman

"I’ve know Cameron for many years, almost 18 to the day in fact, when I first started working at Project Ability. Whilst I’ve worked alongside him in many workshop situations, I’ve never had the opportunity to work directly with him to produce a body of work in partnership. To say I was delighted to have this opportunity would be an understatement.

We were allocated five intensive days in my studio in Quarriers village, where I introduced Cameron to my work space and some of the collection of objects that inspire me. I, like Cameron, am a bit of a collector of things. Most hold a feeling of nostalgia, inducing memories from my childhood. There’s a lot of chintz, china, and silverware, much of which remind me of things that could be found in my granny’s house. However, all of the objects I remember from the past, have long since been lost or given away and didn’t hold the same value as I have attached to them, to others in my family. Most of the things I have, I sourced through charity shop raids in a bid to recreate the memories of the ones that are now long gone.  Many of these objects, feature in my own paintings, along with garden birds, another fascination of mine, and in a way another fragile and fleeting object.

We started on day one, with a flying visit to my home. Most of my collection of things are on display there and Cameron seemed to have an affinity with many of them too, happily snapping them with his camera and referencing his own memories attached to them. He was particularly drawn to some photographs of my daughter taken many years ago, of her playing in the cherry blossom of a beautiful tree we had in our back garden. This became our initial starting point in a theme of work that aims to celebrate home, the living room, and the mantle-piece, with a large helping of nostalgia thrown in.

“It’s a great studio Tracy has, out in the countryside, a smashing old building! We did a joint collaboration with the cherry blossoms, I did them and the branches and leaves, Tracy did the little birdies. It was different to work on Linen, it has a different texture.  I’m very pleased with them! They work very well indeed! We worked like sausages!”
Cameron Morgan

Our time together has been a beautiful whirlwind of creativity, we hit the ground running and did not waste a single minute in the studio, or as Cameron put so well, “we worked like sausages!” Over the past 5 days, my studio has been filled with music (and singing from us both) from artists of the past, such as Dean Martin, Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash and the Corries, to name but a few. I have learned that I share far more in common with Cameron than I ever knew, that we like a lot of the same things and I have immensely enjoyed his company.

“I’ve enjoyed working with you, it’s been good fun”
Cameron Morgan

I couldn’t agree more with Cameron, we have produced more work than I could have anticipated too, with further works to be developed. Now that our 5 days are over, it kind of feels like only the beginning of something, not the end."

-Tracy Gorman

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Performance workshop: Foley Art

What do celery, a hot water bottle and a tambourine all have in common?

Last week our young Create artists were learning the art of Foley – the unique skill of sound creation for film and TV. Our project room became their recording studio for the week and an array of weird and wonderful objects became their instruments. 

Inspired by the way sound can enhance and change our perception of film they created their own short story, complete with dramatic sound effects.  Want to know more - watch this space for their finished film coming soon!

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Back in Aberdeen!

Just when we thought it was all over! We were delighted to hear recently that our Ladysbridge project has been extended to allow us to develop a publication to accompany our fantastic memory map.

Today we had the great pleasure of returning to Aberdeen, where we’ve been gathering more valuable memories and insights, into the lives of our participants both in their lives today and formerly, when they were residents in the hospital.  It never fails to impress us just how much detail people can remember from their pasts and how fascinating it is to share in their memories. 

Over the course of this project we have captured these memories, visually, on film and in written form.  We have also enjoyed the fantastic support of archivist, Fiona Musk, giving us the unique opportunity to place the memories that our participants have shared, alongside the statistical records held about the hospital at various times in history. This project has allowed a more rich and well balanced history of the hospital to be recorded, including the first hand experiences of the people who lived there, some for many years of their lives.

Our publication, due to be completed by the end of next month, will catalogue some of the fascinating facts that we have learned throughout this project. We very much look forward to sharing this with you soon!

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Seminar & Book Launch: Friday 03 August

As part of the Festival 2018 we have teamed up with artists working at the supported studio within St Hedwig Hospital in Berlin and will be exhibiting works by over 15 artists from Germany, with a small number of them visiting Glasgow during the Festival. We are taking this opportunity to hold a seminar on Friday 03 August which will look at the ways in which individual artists can gain confidence, skills and a sense of community through working in a supported studio.

We’ve asked artists from Berlin and Glasgow to share their thoughts about their artistic practice and the way in which a supported studio such as Project Ability and St Hedwig Hospital can help individuals with lived experience of mental ill health to achieve their artistic potential. For anyone interested in finding out about Project Ability, we will be introducing the organisation and talking a bit about all three of our studio programmes, but the focus will be on our ReConnect studios. We are delighted to be able to invite the public to this event, which is part of the official Festival 2018 programme.

In addition to promoting the exhibition of work from Berlin, which will be on show in the gallery,’ Neu Begegnung’, we will be taking the opportunity to present the release of a publication showcasing artworks and text by most of our current ReConnect artists.

Friday 03 August, Project Ability Gallery, 1st Floor, Trongate 103. Arrive at 12.30pm for tea and coffee ahead of the seminar which runs from 1-2pm. We will be offering tours of the Project Ability studios from 2-2.30pm for anyone who is interested. This will be an informal event and there will be time for questions after.

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On the Road: Kirkintilloch

Two of our tutors have been working with a group in the Barony Chambers in Kirkintilloch. They are now halfway through a block of six weekly workshops with a different activity each week.

So far they have had a go at glass painting, clay modelling and silk painting.

An added extra was some fan decoration which was very welcome to help stay cool in the wonderful warm weather we've been having!

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Meet the Maker - Gregor Wright

We were joined on Friday 6th July by visual artist Gregor Wright for the latest in the Meet the Maker series, where artists and makers share insights into their creative practice with us.

Gregor studied Fine Art at Glasgow School of Art, graduating in 2001, and has been practicing as an artist in the city ever since. Gregor shared with us some insights from his recent collaboration with Cameron Morgan, resulting in the pop up exhibition, Abstract Domestic.

Gregor showed us images of works by painters George Condo and Philip Guston, and talked about what he found inspiring about them. He talked specifically about their relationship with abstract and figurative painting and their use of colour; in the case of George Condo, his kaleidoscopic range, and with Philip Guston a more controlled palette. He referred back to the conversations he and Cameron had had during their collaboration, around use of figuration and abstraction, and how this had evolved from working together.

Gregor also shared with us images from his series of Cyborg drawings that he’s been working on over the last few years. Gregor talked about how, by defining these as portraits, it gave the works specific rules and parameters connected to portraiture that he could operate in. However by the fact that these portraits are of cyborgs rather than humans, it gives him the freedom to break some of the rules, particularly in relation to use of colour and form.

Gregor also showed us the recent digital drawings he’s been working on, that were built up of many layers of different types of digital mark making and a wide palette of colours. He was captivated by the speed that he was able to create these drawings at, and how this allowed him to work through ideas that on canvas would take much longer, as he had to wait for paints to dry before applying another colour. 

It was an inspiring and thought provoking talk and gave many artists and particularly painters in the audience much to think about.
Thank you Gregor.

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Artwork of the Week - ‘The Duke’ by Cameron Morgan

'The Duke' by Cameron Morgan is our Artwork of the Week! Currently on display as part of a collection of ceramic footwear, 'The Duke' can be seen in our Gallery II. 'These Boots Were Made' is a small showcase of new ceramic works by Morgan, all inspired by classic footwear. We have a reception this evening for the event, (6-8pm), along with the opening of our flash exhibition, 'Abstract Domestic', which exhibits work made by Cameron Morgan and Gregor Wright, the culmination of a collaborative residency project between the two. 

 

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Meet the Volunteers - Bethan Turner

Bethan Turner was one of our brilliant volunteers earlier this year. Here she tells us what she gained from her experience.

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
Graduate artist from Newcastle University, I currently work in the medium of printing, specifically screen print in collaboration with another artist exploring the medium through experiments with shape and colour. I also work with installation and sculpture.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
Saturday mornings in the ‘Create’ class.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I am a practising artist and a support worker for young adults with learning disabilities. It became apparent through my role how important community projects and activities are for the people I support for both daily stimulation and becoming more involved in the Glasgow community. I want to support and help projects such as Project Ability in any way I can because they are so important to the community. I also wanted to expand my knowledge on art techniques and different ways of working with art with people with limited abilities to use in my role as a support worker and for classes I run independently. I also wanted to gain more experience with working with children as I hope one day to go into teaching. I wanted to be part of such an amazing project and meet new people and artists.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
In every way and actually exceeded them.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
I have learnt some amazing techniques to help people with limited abilities create really interesting artworks. It also gave me the confidence to assist other people with the creation of their art and I now run my own small art class for adults with learning disabilities for an organisation called Share Scotland.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
Gabriel and Guy constantly creating unique and interesting work, the freedom in which the art is produced really shows through the works.

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
Absolutely

Any other comments?
Project Ability is an amazing project that is in no way tokenistic and provides every individual with the access to amazing arts resources in an excellent, creative environment. I am inspired by the outlook of the studios and the freedom each person has in the creation of their art works. I have never come across anything quite like it and I think it is a vital and important part of Glasgow’s creative scene and Glasgow’s community as a whole.

Thank you Bethan! If you would like to volunteer with Project Ability, we are currently accepting applications (deadline 13 July) - please click here for more info.

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Meet the Volunteers - Angeli Bhose

Ever thought about volunteering with Project Ability? We are currently looking for new volunteers (more info here). And what best than to hear directly from our previous volunteers what they gained from their experience? Here is the amazing Angeli Bhose, telling us about her time in our Aspire studios.

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 my undergraduate degree in Fine Art two years ago. I studied at the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford, and moved to Glasgow soon after graduating.  Currently, I make drawings, performances, texts and ceramics, and I like to work in collaboration with others. 

In what workshop did you volunteer?
I volunteered in the Monday afternoon Aspire workshop, which was a great way to brighten up drizzly winter Mondays!  There were around 8 artists in the group, which meant that I was able to chat to everyone each week, and had the chance to see their works developing. Some artists had an established practice, which they chipped away at each week, whilst others used a diverse range of mediums and styles, trying something new each week. It was great to be in conversation with the artists about the new things they wanted to try, and how we were going to make them happen.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
Having moved to Glasgow fairly recently, I applied to volunteer hoping I would get the chance to engage with more people and get more involved in the arts community. Project Ability seemed like a hub of creative energy!

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
I had heard that Project ability was a great place to volunteer, so my expectations were high, but the experience has certainly lived up to it. Even though I wasn’t there for long, I felt like a valued member of the community.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
I have learned when it’s helpful to suggest a new technique or medium to expand from the works an artist is doing, and when it’s best support the artist to develop their artwork exactly as they would like to!

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
I would definitely recommend volunteering with Project Ability as a way to meet new people, and spend time in a joyful creative environment.

Any other comments?
Thanks for a great opportunity!

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Project Ability at Art Car Boot

We are delighted to announce that we will be at Art Car Boot in SWG3 this weekend (07-08 July), with a selection of prints, drawings & canvases for sale.

Come see us and get yourself a unique piece of art from one of our amazing artists!

ART CAR BOOT part of the HYPERMARKET series at SWG3. Featuring limited editions, prints, artist books and unique works (drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography) by 100 contemporary artists including: Beagles and Ramsay, Claire Barclay, Christine Borland, Rachel Duckhouse, Helen de Main, David Eustace, Michael Fullerton, Alistair Gow, Ilana Halperin, Mads Holm, Jim Lambie, Tessa Lynch, France-Lise McGurn, Toby Paterson, Ciara Phillips, Baldvin Ringsted, Kate V Robertson, Bronwen Sleigh, Abigail Simmonds, Ross Sinclair, Gregor Wright + many more.

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A great end to a great project

For the past eight weeks, a group of students from Glasgow School of Art has been meeting with a group of Project Ability artists, spending a day per week in the studios together, conversing and making. This pilot project has now come to an end, and the students & Project Ability artists met today for a feedback session and to see their work exhibited in our Project Space.

"It is refreshing to have this available to us, where there's no inhibition, a freedom for the sake of making."

"When you are put in the right place with good people, good things happen."

"I am far more confident about 4th year."

"It brought back the innocence of art."

 

"The project has completely exceeded our expectations, the blend of our participants with a selected group of students from GSA, could not have come together more beautifully.  Today we celebrated the work made, the friendships forged and talked about the importance of having opportunities such as this one.  The process was simple, we brought together artists and gave them space to work, to communicate and collaborate and they all did just that."
Tracy Gorman - Tutor

Many thanks to Lesley Black at GSA, Tracy Gorman and all the students and artists involved: James Pert, Adnan Mohammed, Judith Abubakar, Peter Johnston, Susan Breckenridge, Jennifer Cuthill, Naoko Kizaki, Kate Lingard, Ash Morgan, Holly Smith.

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Outreach workshops in Gartnavel Hospital

A group of patients from the Henderson Ward in Gartnavel Hospital has been participating in a series of workshops with tutor Meredith Crone.

"In mid-April the Project Ability Art Group on Henderson Ward were invited to participate in a Human Geography Research Project. We were asked to explore the patient’s experience of using spaces in a Psychiatric Hospital.

We engaged with this theme for one session only. Patients were presented with photos of different areas of the hospital and asked what kind of feelings or memories these places evoked.

Some of these photos were selected then collaged and made into photo montages with the addition of text, drawing and painting.

When I returned to Henderson ward in June we picked up on the idea of contours and repeated rhythms to emphasise form. This led to some really interesting mark making with ink and dip pens."

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PROCESSIONS

We were honoured to be part of PROCESSIONS, a public artwork taking place in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and London and celebrating 100 years of women getting the right to vote. A group of women from our different programmes made a beautiful banner with tutor Sandi Kiehlmann, and some of them carried it in the streets of the Scottish capital on Sunday 10th June. One of these artists, Morag Macgilchrist, tells us more about her experience.

"I attended the PROCESSIONS march on Sunday 10th June with other members of Project Ability. I had been a part of the group who had made the banner and wanted to see it carried though Edinburgh. When we arrived at the starting point at The Meadows, the park was already full of groups, mostly of women and girls and banners, lots of banners. These were not just the words on a pillowcase you see at concerts or protests, these were hand-crafted, stitched and took hours to make. Some were huge, even bigger than our large one. Others were smaller but no less well crafted. Many children carried their own handmade works, drawings on canvas and small flags were popular.

We were asked to form queues behind a series of large flags, each with a colour, purple, green and white, the suffragette colours, in order to receive a scarf to wear. We went to one of the purple queues. Our queue ended up being last to leave, making us at the end, which also meant they were giving away all the leftover scarves and many people were able to get two or three colours. Some people braided three together which looked great. I had purple and white.

Eventually we were on our way following the procession through the old town past the National Museum and over the bridge onto Princes Street before crossing back over and down Royal Mile. We then walked past the Scottish Parliament building and into Hollyrood park where there was a piper and a samba band. The weather was wonderful all day, dry and warm but not too hot. I wasn't carrying our large banner but the two ladies who were said that a few gusts of wind catching it at times were the only difficulty they had and that heat and weight were not an issue. I did wear one of our two smaller banners that hung from my neck, along with my scarfs giving me a full colour pallet. It was a great day and an honour to be involved in marking this historic even with something that in turn may be remembered historically itself."
-Morag Macgilchrist

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Volunteering opportunities

Last week we celebrated Volunteers’ Week and this week we are delighted to advertise new opportunities within our volunteering programme. 

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, introducing you to new ways of making art and give you a unique opportunity to meet all of our artists. For more insight into former volunteer’s experiences, please look at our ‘Meet the Volunteer’ feature on our website. 

We are welcoming applications to support our autumn programme and are looking for visual artists at any stage of their career or training. We would also especially like to invite artists with a knowledge of ceramics or print-making, to apply 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.

In addition we would also like to recruit artists for our ‘Create’ Saturday young people’s 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  Saturday 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.

All of our volunteering roles are subject to an application and selection process. CVs alone will not be considered. Please follow the link to our application form and submit your application to our volunteer co-ordinator, Tracy Gorman at volunteers@project-ability.co.uk. The deadline for all applications is Friday 13th July 2018. Applications received after this date cannot be considered. If you have any questions about any of the opportunities please contact Tracy and in the meantime, good luck!

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Meet the Volunteers - Alison Brown

This week is #VolunteersWeek, and we want to take this opportunity to thank all our incredible volunteers, past and present. 'Meet the Volunteers' gives you a glimpse into our volunteering programme and into what spending a few hours a week in our studios brings to our volunteer's practice. Alison Brown is one of our current ReConnect volunteers, and she answers our question in today's feature.

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 quite a while ago – but in the meantime had worked in radio and television, and had a family. For years I knew that I really wanted to get back to art and design, but struggled to get started again. When I finally left broadcasting, I experimented with image sequences and surface pattern in drawings, prints and collages. Also I like to draw people as often as I can - I’m fascinated by faces and spend a lot of time in cafes scribbling unsuspecting coffee drinkers.
                                                                              
In what workshop did you volunteer?
The ReConnect Workshop on Friday morning.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?

I had admired work done by Project Ability artists for years, and always thought it would be great to get involved. Beyond wanting to do something positive for other artists, I was also keen to learn about working with people in this kind of setting. I wanted to build a knowledge of how to encourage and support people to explore their artistic potential, alongside the fact that I really like working with people - I find the process of meeting and making connections with individuals really fascinating.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
I really has! And surpassed them. I look forward to each session, to find out how things are going with everyone in the studio. The Friday artists have been a real joy to work with. Everyone is so dedicated to their work, creative and fascinating to talk to. There’s an incredible range of work being created, and I’m so impressed by the way in which people are keen to push forward and gain new skills and insights.

What I didn’t anticipate was the level of interest and support I would get back from everyone, which has been very inspiring. To be honest, I was a little nervous at first, but everyone in the studio was so welcoming that I soon felt like part of the family. It’s been years since I’ve spent time in a shared creative space and find it very motivating. I’ve been inspired to try things that I’ve seen in studio, and also try long-neglected mediums that I thought I was no good with. Being at Project Ability has reminded me too that it’s good to experiment and ‘play’ with my work, and be confident in what I am creating.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
It’s been great to work with adult artists, as previously many of the workshops I had run or assisted with previously were for children. Beforehand I thought that this would add extra layers of complexity to the experience; that people would be looking for more detail and specific help or guidance. What I found is that it’s not as straightforward as that - the support I offer actually really depends on the person I’m speaking to and what’s happening with them that day. My contribution could be as simple as giving a bit of encouragement and finding materials, or something more demanding. I’ve discovered that it helps to keep an open mind and be flexible.

I’ve learned a lot about focus. The ability to use work as a focus beyond everything else that’s going on in life can be central to an artist’s practice, and I’ve begun to discover how to use focus, and sometimes the skill of re-focussing, as a way of getting around blockages or bad days.

I’m fascinated by the way that the work opens up lines of communication between individuals, and gives a central point of contact. In my non-voluntary working life, I’ve always had to do the talking…and be the person who is persuading and generally making things happen. At Project Ability, I’ve been working on being calmer, letting people come to their own conclusions in their time. I’ve been working on listening rather than filling the space with my thoughts or ideas… I’m finding out how to step back and allow things to happen.

And finally, persistence is a great thing! There’s nearly always a little more paint you can ease from a tube…

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
It’s really difficult to pick out one person to be honest, I really like so many of the people I’ve met and the pieces they’ve produced….I couldn’t just pick out one…

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
Definitely…in fact I already have.

Any other comments?
Thank you for such a fantastic experience. I have gained so much, I just hope I’ve made a useful contribution in return. I’m not usually lost for words, but I’ve found it really difficult to put into words what this experience has meant to me.  Thank you to all in the Friday ReConnect studio and Celine.

Thank you Alison!

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Artwork of the Week - Untitled by Dominique Liccia

Artwork of the Week this week is Dominique Liccia’s untitled pen and ink piece.  This work, which is part of ‘Polysémie Collection - Les Amis de Marseille’ - an exhibition soon to be on display in our gallery - is really something! The modest use of pen and ink to create such intricate art is truly captivating, and you can really sense the hours of work on the page to make these otherworldly machines and figures. 

The exhibition includes numerous, excellent works, and runs from the 2nd of June until the 30th of June, with an evening event taking place on the 7th form 6-8pm. Exhibiting artists include: David Abisror, Philippe Azema, Davide Cicolani, Davood Koochaki, Dominique Liccia, Izabella Ortiz, Evelyne Postic, and Maurizio Zappon. One not to be missed!

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