Today was the opening of Aspire artist Catherine Rankine's Solo Showcase, and for the occasion, her friends from the Hayfield Day Centre came in big numbers to support her!
Visitors perused the lively, colourful artwork and congratulated the artist on her show.
Soon after, it was a large group of Aspire artists who made it to the gallery, admiring the work.
Catherine Rankine's show is on until Saturday 1st June, 5pm.
This week, let us introduce you to Katie Hawson, who has been a wonderful addition to the Create team.
"Having recently graduated from Glasgow School of Art, where in my final year, art became the most stressful element in my life, I felt I needed to be reminded that in reality art can be not only therapeutic but actually fun. Having volunteered now for a few weeks with the Saturday morning Create workshops, the children and staff at Project Ability have done just that. In the workshops there is a sense of excitement with the environment lending itself well to enriching everyone’s experience of art, encouraging equality and freedom of expression. The passion of the young people, the sheer concentration and their ability to show enthusiasm for a project over a number of weeks is quite remarkable, however the most valuable aspect of these workshops is sheer amount of fun both staff, volunteers and children have when working together.
Within my own practice I'm interested in the perception of reality and use my work to create conspicuous, esoteric images that suggest a narrative that isn't there. Working mainly within printmaking I often become heavily involved in the practical aspects of the medium as a whole. Since graduating I have been involved in a number of group shows and have recently shown my work in a small solo show at the Brunswick. Overall Project Ability has shown me how to approach my own work without giving myself any limitations. Although I'm on this blog as a volunteer for Project Ability, where in theory I should be telling you about how I've been helping others at the workshops, in reality it's those I have met at the workshops who have been helping me."
Thank you from all of us, Katie!
Catherine creates work where kitsch is a constant theme; her smiling pet portraits bring to mind the precious status of toys and animals that bring comfort. These fanciful images also include flowers, animals, girls and domestic objects with a mixture of off-beat humour and so much character; effortlessly creating more than just a static storyboard which takes her work beyond the cute. This subject matter seems inexhaustible to Catherine, it is her passion, bringing to life the strange and alluring world of inanimate objects such as ornaments, cuddly toys and notions of domestic decoration.
Wednesday 22 May, 1pm-2pm, Project Ability Gallery.
Project Ability is excited to announce that we will be screening work from our Introduction to Film Workshops 2012/13 and Arts Awards Programme at GMAC, 5th Floor, Trongate 103 Glasgow G1 5HD on Saturday 25th May at 12noon.
Additionally, Arts Award participants who’s folios were submitted for moderation and passed will receive their Bronze Level Arts Award Certificate on the day.
Places are limited, if you would like to attend this event please contact us on 0141 552 2822.
Image: still frame from Greg and the Aliens by Rory MacDonald
The last workshop of our Friends and Family Fun Weekends series took place on Saturday 18 May and was all about glass painting. And what a fun day it was: glass plates and jars turned into wonderfully colourful pieces of art!
The Friends and Family Fun Workshops have proven very successful throughout the year, and we would like to thank all the young (and not so young) artists who came along. Here are a few quotes from participants on what they thought about the workshops:
"They offer fun, knowledge and therapy and allow us, as a family with a child who needs extra support, to just 'switch off' and live in the moment, where all we have to worry about for that hour and a half is where to place the next line or wonder about what colour would look best. "
"Great for bringing our family together; no need to worry about our daughter or what she's doing"
"The opportunity to attend projects/clubs which cater specifically for kids with learning difficulties are minimal in Glasgow. This is a project which really delivers on all levels, artistic, therapeutic, teamwork and enjoyability. Thank you."
"Being creative in a relaxed environment - trying something new with the kids."
"A great way to spend some interesting time with the whole family. My 15 year old was initially reluctant but he seemed to really enjoy it and it was great building something together."
"Working together with the family, with expert tuition, there is nothing else like it in Glasgow."
Our current exhibition Solo Showcase: George Stevenson features a series of ceramic sculptures which he made in collaboration with artist, Sally Hackett; exploring abstract forms and an organic approach to artistic collaboration.
Watch here a short interview of Sally talking about their collaboration.
The theme for this year's campaign, which runs from 13-19 May 2013 is physical activity and exercise, highlighting the impact they have on mental health and wellbeing. We agree but let's hear it for visual arts activity and participation in the arts !
ReConnect is a dynamic visual arts project for people in recovery from mental ill health. Each week sixty people have access to studio space at Project Ability to make work, develop their practice and right now prepare for their forthcoming exhibition which will be on show in our gallery in August.
"We began the workshops last week by reading aloud a series of poems by Jakie Kay from her book Life Mask (a series of poems in part written in response to the casting process) and two Edwin Morgan poems which examine trace, memory and the mask- and I invited each of the artists to respond in any way that they wished to in relation to the casting process. Today Dibby, one of the participating artists re-read aloud Life Mask which I felt informed the day's casting.
Two of the artists made face moulds today which so far is proving to be quite an intense process both physically and personally. One participating artist said that he imagined what it was like to be buried and there is something about the process of casting the face and going under, and committing to a process and trusting another to cast, which is immediate and vulnerable, especially in a group context when there is a lot going on.
Each artist has been engaging in their own process of inquiry and making moulds from the body alongside moulds from objects. Formally the workshops are an opportunity for learning a new skill (we are making moulds from silicone, alginate and plaster) and we will be trying out casts in a variety of materials and from ceramic slip(porcelain and earthenware), wax, pigmented plaster, latex, gelatin and chocolate. Later on in the workshops I will be encouraging the artists to experiment through the production of multiples, pigmentation or painting the casts alongside working into the casts/masks surface or manipulating the casts into finished sculptural works."
-Aelfred de Sigley
On 8th May Veronica, Morag and Celine from ReConnect boarded a train to Carlisle to attend a seminar the following day on ‘Exploring How Participatory Arts Can Improve Wellbeing’ in Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery.
The seminar gave some insight into the workings of other arts projects and delegates were given the opportunity to attend sessions exploring various approaches to delivering music and visual arts workshops.
'We all agreed it was an interesting visit and particularly enjoyed the exhibitions in the venue. There was an exhibition of work from 'Outside In' where some of the artists were present to discuss their artwork and there was also an excellent exhibition of British collage.' said Celine.
The day passed very quickly and on returning to Glasgow all three said they would like to go back to Carlisle, and particularly Tullie House, for further exploration!'
Yesterday, we opened George Stevenson's show as part of our solo showcase season presenting a series of ceramic sculptures, made in collaboration with artist Sally Hackett.
This short film gets up close with the objects and reveals George's first glimpse of the work on show in the gallery.
The exhibition continues until Saturday 18 May, open Tuesday-Saturday 10-5pm - another short showcase not to be missed!
Our second Solo Showcase is a series of ceramic sculptures made by George Stevenson in collaboration with artist Sally Hackett.
“The first clay shape George made was a small pinch pot. He began forming the hollow shape. When it was finished I handed him another piece of clay which he proceeded to drop slap bang in the middle of his first creation with great satisfaction. This became the central, joyful feature of his work. Simply making shapes, and putting one on top of another, whether it was a conventional placing or not.”
Join us tomorrow (Wednesday 08 May) for the preview of the exhibition and some refreshments.
1pm-2pm, Project Ability Gallery, Trongate 103.
This week we have had various new additions to our shop here at Project Ability. Above is just one sample of some brilliant new watercolour and ink drawings by Cameron Morgan.
We also have a few more of Ruth Mutch's wonderful hand-stitched felt dolls. Each doll is a unique design and they are for sale at a bargain £20.00, and are only available in our shop.
Artist Susan Christie has added to our stock of small drawings with these quirky little pieces, which can also be given as gift cards.
Our shop is open for business Tuesday to Saturday from 10am till 5pm and is right next to our gallery where we are currently showing a solo exhibition by Luigi Bertonesi.
This Artwork of the Week features a commissioned painting for the Golden Jubilee National Hospital by Cameron Morgan. Cameron’s work spawned from a visit to the hospital where he sketched and photographed his surroundings and, inspired by the drama of the operating theatre, he created this surgical procedure in paint.
Cameron’s imaginative skills drive the construction of his paintings where he illustrates how to apply paint, draw a figure and depict a movement with a devoted absorption and curiosity.
Filmed over two days in April 2013 at Project Ability's studio in Glasgow, this study of artist Simon McAuley portrays his artistic process, and demonstrates the work developing over this period of time.
Filming and music by Max McIlmunn.
For our second last Friends and Family Fun Weekend, young artists let their imagination run wild and created beautiful, vibrant mosaics!
It was a lot of fun to add shells, broken ceramics, buttons, feathers and even plastic figurines to the compositions, and turning them into fantastic artworks.
The final Friends and Family Fun Weekend will take place on Saturday 18th May and will be glass-painting. More photos can be viewed on our Facebook Page.
To mark the first exhibition in our Solo Showcase season, we bring you this colourful drawing by Luigi Bertonesi as the Artwork of the Week!
Luigi has been attending Project Ability’s studio for over ten years, the exhibition presents drawings that he made in the workshop alongside a selection made at home of his own accord.
Luigi’s work is currently on show in Project Ability Gallery until 4 May – don’t miss the chance to see this remarkable collection of visionary images of autobiographical content, mastered into hundreds of hand-coloured, panoramic drawings of spanning Africa, South America, Holland and Gibraltar.
Luigi Bertonesi is the first in three consecutive weeklong solo showcases presenting the diverse artistic practices of the artists from our Aspire programme.
This week, let us introduce you to another fantastic volunteer: Theresa Malaney, who has been a great addition to the Aspire team.
"I am delighted to have the opportunity to volunteer with Project Ability. My role is as a Printmaker, encouraging, enabling and facilitating the artists taking part in Aspire groups on Mondays.The work I see being done in these groups, the enthusiasm, passion and energy of both participants and tutors confirms my beliefs about the importance of understanding and acknowledging that the practice of each Artist is equally valid. Visual Art is a means of communication, self expression, interpretation of ourselves, our environment, emotions, beliefs.
Within Project Ability, Artists with mental health, learning disabilities and sometimes physical disabilities can utilise the space, time and resources to create their own Art Practice, and I see people being empowered by being able to make aesthetic choices, and moreover, the work created being valued for what it is- a true and significant Art Practice.
In my own practice, I am interested in exploring the relationship between the conscious and the unconscious, within self, and in relation to other. I mainly work within the media of Fine Art Printmaking, and try to experiment, expand and develop my skills within these media.
My work with the Artists taking part in Project Ability has reminded me that play is an essential part of the creative process, and also that within a limited time frame, much can be achieved."
In 2012, the Golden Jubilee National Hospital commissioned Project Ability to create artwork to mark the 10th anniversary of the hospital as an NHS centre of excellence. On Friday 19th April 2013, artists Cameron Morgan, John Cocozza, John McNaught, Steven Reilly and Robert McCamley attended the hospital for the unveiling of the work.
To start the project off, the artists visited the hospital to sketch and took photographs. Back in the studio they developed their ideas; working on large canvases they selected a variety of subject matter. Cameron was inspired by the drama of the operating theatre; illustrating both cardiology and orthopaedics. Robert chose the iconic Titan crane which is visible from the hospital and very familiar to Robert who was born and brought up in Clydebank. John Cocozza, John McNaught and Steven explored the hospital architecture, Steven employing vibrant colour to eye-catching effect while the Johns focused on the buildings’ geometry.
The six paintings in the collection are on show in the hospital conservatory before they are moved to their final locations within the hospital.
The artists relished the challenge of working to a brief and are extremely proud to have their work in such a prominent public collection.
This week, we are very pleased to bring you a painting by Aspire artist George McLeod. Sequences of yellow, white, blue & green lines hover above a flaming red background like sparks; this painting has depth and a colossal build-up of colour and is full of emotional matter. We are excited that George, among a group of Aspire artists, will be presenting a huge installation of paintings at Platform, The Bridge in August to September 2013.
'On Tuesday 16th April a group of 19 ReConnect artists left a wet and stormy Glasgow for a coach-trip to Culzean Castle in Ayrshire. On approaching the castle the clouds parted and the sun came out and stayed out for the rest of the day so the group were able to make the most of the various activities that were on offer.
Everyone started with a tour of the main castle. Unfortunately photography is not permitted inside the main building but we can report that there are many fascinating things to see and helpful and knowledgeable staff throughout to answer questions and provide historical information. One of the things that our group discovered is the fact that there is a little Lego person hidden in each room. This is to keep visiting children amused whilst their adults enjoy the finer points of the architecture and furnishings but it certainly gave most of our group a great deal of fun as well!
After the tour inside some of the group went for a walk in the gardens and others for a wander on the beach or a look in the bookshop. Sadly the day passed all to quickly and it was time to get back on the coach and make the return journey to the city. There was lots of talk on the way back about other interesting places we could visit on future trips.'
- Celine McIlmunn
After producing two books ('Say What You Mean' and 'It Might Look Simple to You'), this year's calendar, and showing her work in several exhibitions (including You, me and ASD currently on show in Trongate 103), the very talented Ruth Mutch has started a new artistic endeavour: these beautifully crafted dolls.
It's as if Aspen and other characters in her illustrations came to life! The felt dolls are now on sale in our shop in Trongate 103, for only £20. You can also order your own customized doll, like the Loki doll below, for £35.
If you are not yet familiar with Ruth's illustrations, just have a look at her blog: http://www.penguinparade.co.uk/
Only two days until the launch of the Lennox Castle Stories website!
Join us on Wednesday 17 April, 2pm-4pm, for an afternoon of conversation, hear how the project developed, what we learnt, and the participants’ stories.
The project has garnered a lot of interest over the last 12 months, with great attendance to our events and several articles in the press (including today's Daily Record!). Come see the results of the year-long project, and hear the former residents' stories in their own words.
We have come to identify Duncan as being a skilled landscape painter but he also creates very distinct portraits like this series of Roger Moore and Others, portraying Roger Moore as his James Bond character and other actors who have starred in the series.
Made on coloured paper, the drawings are built up with simple block lines of ink depicting cartoonish figures caught in quasi-narrative situations; poised, shouting or contemplative.
Duncan has also added discernible details; one appears to be wearing a decorative collar, showing the artists ability to give representational form and character to his drawings.
Ruth Ansell has been volunteering with us on Saturday afternoons, working with our participants in our Create programme. Her contribution to the group has been invaluable, working one to one with many of our children during the course of our last 8 week block of workshops. Her input has been very much appreciated by both the children and the Saturday staff alike.
Ruth joins us with many skills: a BA(hons) in Textile Design from the Glasgow School of Art and a MA in Design Practice and Management from Glasgow Caledonian University.
She said this of her volunteering experience at Project Ability:
"Every Saturday for the past eight weeks I have walked into the Project Ability Studios to assist with the children’s class ‘Create’. Regardless of how wearisome the week has been I have been catapulted into a world of creativity. Through assisting the many experienced art tutors the project has to offer, I have subconsciously been shown the importance of the creative process, developing both confidence and wellbeing within the individual. It has been a truly inspirational experience to observe the children create their individual works. One that I believe may have broken down some of the obstacles I have faced within my own creative work.”
Over the last twelve months a remarkable group of people have come together to make art, learn new skills, tell their stories, rekindle friendships, remember and immortalise in words and images the story of Lennox Castle Hospital.
The stories span many years. Some people went to the “castle” in the 1950’s and 60’s leaving when it finally closed in 2002. The individual stories have been captured on paper, in words, in print and on film and now this important contemporary collection of memories can be found on www.lennoxcastlestories.co.uk
Join us for an afternoon of conversation, hear how the project developed and what we learnt and the participants’ stories.
17th April, 2 – 4pm at Project Ability, Trongate 103, Glasgow G1 5HD
Two exhibitions (in Perth and Glasgow) and an online gallery will showcase work of people who find it difficult to access the art world, whether due to disability, health, social circumstance or art process.
The deadline to submit work online is 30th May 2013. If you need assistance, we can help you set up your online gallery and submit your artwork for selection for Outside In: Scotland: we can help you photograph and upload your artworks and help you write your artist statement.
To submit for possible exhibition in Perth or Glasgow, you need to:
- Have at least 5 pieces of artwork
- Choose which 2 pieces you wish to upload onto the website
- Provide titles for your pieces and measurements in cm
- Start to work on your artist statement
For further details contact:
t: 0141 552 2822
Perth Museum & Art Gallery
t: 01738 477679
For more information and to submit work online: http://www.outsidein.org.uk
Image: Jacqueline Jones, Birds on Walk
The opening event of You, Me and ASD made the 6 o'clock news on STV, with a short segment featuring two of the artists present and Project Ability's very own Celine McIlmunn!
For the second Open Gallery workshops of the year, artist Clare Hume created a multi-sensory workshop centred around our current exhibition Big Skies, an artistic exploration and celebration of Nordic skies and weather.
The group followed a trail of spotty umbrellas around Trongate 103 and settled in the Project Ability Gallery, where Clare started her story-telling.
Out of Clare’s treasure trunk came colourful fabrics, sand-filled bottles recreating the sound of the rain, a felt hat echoing the colours of some of the artwork, and even some fake snow!
The next Open Gallery workshops will take place on the 25, 26 and 29th of April and will be in response to the Glasgow Print Studios exhibition Tableau Vivant by Callum Mackenzie.
We love it when a plan comes together!
Today, the 2nd April 2013 is World Autism Awareness Day and we took the opportunity to open our exhibition You, me and ASD. For the last six months Project Ability and the Autism Resource Centre have worked together to deliver visual art classes for people aged 14 plus with a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder. Some people were experienced artists with a developed arts practice, for others it was a new experience. Everyone showed commitment and enthusiasm and some people have discovered a new interest which they are keen to continue.
58 artworks are displayed in the foyer at Trongate 103 created by 41 artists, many of whom turned up, bringing family and friends, for today's opening. Dr Christopher Mason the vice-chair of the National Autistic Society opened the exhibition, and representatives from Lipsync Scotland -who had delivered a programme of creative writing- brought specially commissioned poetry postcards while two of the writers read short stories.
The opening was a fantastic celebration of creativity, talent, humour and imagination.
- A visit from the Hayfield Day Centre and Aspire
- Meet the Volunteers: Katie Hawson
- Opening of Catherine Rankine’s Solo Showcase
- Screening of Project Ability films at GMAC on Saturday 25th May
- Open Gallery - George Stevenson Solo Showcase
- Film & Animation
- Recruitment & Volunteering
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