Artwork of the week - ‘Laundry Day’ by Jim Feeney

'Laundry Day' by Jim Feeney is our Artwork of the week! This painting has Feeney's signature brick reds and browns, surrounding the figure in the foreground and the laundry hanging above her. As usual with Jim Feeney's paintings, there's little guessing that Glasgow is the depicted subject, and certain visual clues help to place the scene quite awhile back in Glasgow's contemporary history. 

This is a very fine example of Jim's work, beautifully painted and nostalgic. You can see more of Jim's newest oil paintings in our Gallery II until 23 September. Titled 'squalor', this exhibition focuses on Glasgow, its people and its streets. Read more about the show here and stop in when you can. We also have Leslie Thompson's solo show in the main gallery, up until 23 September as well.

 

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Walking Group - Week 16: Glasgow School of Art

"On Wednesday 23rd August the Walking Group were invited to a tour of the Against Landscape exhibition in the Reid Gallery at the Glasgow School of Art.

We were treated to lovely weather and enjoyed a stroll though the city from Trongate 103 up to GSA, via George Square. Once there we met Caroline Grape who would show us around and talk about the pieces and artists a little. She was very nice and had a lot of information about the work and also how the gallery works.

The GSA students themselves invigilate the gallery between lectures, giving them an experience in another area of the broader field of art. We saw many works in a wide variety of mediums including video installations, photography, paintings and sculpture.

We were also shown how the exhibition had been installed via basic wooden stacking blocks made especially so they could travel and be used to display work anywhere. It was actually the final day of this particular exhibition but the gallery space was fantastic and I would recommend keeping a look out for further exhibits on there, you can check out their website at http://www.gsa.ac.uk/visit-gsa/exhibitions/"
-Morag McGilchrist

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Artwork of the week - ‘Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks’ by Leslie Thompson

'Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks' is our Artwork of the Week! This drawing was made by Leslie Thompson, who had his first Scotttish solo show open with us last Friday. The exhibition, titled 'Leslie Thompson the Superstar Artist Drawer' is packed full of exciting and fascinating works of art. Leslie Thompson is from Manchester and works with Venture Arts studios, and is a prolific artist. This exhibition shows off some of his most impressive artworks which includes drawing, textile and scultpure. 'Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks' is a fun colourful artwork that packs a punch! Below is a photograph of Leslie when he was at Project Ability last Friday for the opening of his exhibition!

The show is well worth a stop into Trongate 103. It is truly an impressive exhibition showing a variety of Thompson's exquisite work.

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Wanted for exhibition: DOLLS

Public call out to artists! Wanted for exhibition: DOLLS

Not just a child’s toy, the doll has been part of civilization since as far back as 2000 BC. The Paddle Doll, pictured above, is thought to be one of the oldest type of doll.

Every civilisation has their own evolution and history of doll making. Materials such as corn, bone, clay, cotton, wood and much more have all been used to make dolls. They’ve acted as fertility charms, company in the afterlife and as important symbols during religious ceremonies.
Project Ability is looking for artists to explore the idea of the doll for an exhibition in January 2018.

Russian Nesting dolls, (the matryoshkas) have been around since 1890 and have become much loved by all cultures. More recently, of course, are plastic and rubber dolls like the infamous Barbie and action figurines such as GI Joe and Marvel.

We are looking for artists who are already working with this idea, or artists who would like to try something new. As usual, we are hoping for extremely creative and unusual works of art. We want to celebrate the many charms and eccentricities of the doll.

Important info & dates:

Where: Project Ability, Trongate 103, Glasgow
When: 20 January – 24 February 2018

Deadlines:
Email submission only: on or before 3 November 2017
Please include: title, description of the piece, size, materials and an artist’s price. If exhibited, we will add 40% onto your artist’s price. You may choose for the work not to be for sale.

We will notify all applicants that their submission has been received.

Notification of successful artworks: by 17 November
Delivery of work: on or before 8 December (artist responsible for all carriage costs)

Other info: Artwork must be ready for display with instructions if needed
Artists can submit up to three artworks & up to three images per artwork
Please email questions & submissions to: exhibitions@project-ability.co.uk

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Artwork of the week - ‘Cleaning Up’ by Jim Feeney

Artwork of the week features a painting from one of our two exhibitions which open tomorrow. 'Cleaning Up' by Jim Feeney is painted in oil on stretched canvas. It takes us back a few decades in Glasgow's history;  evident through the dresses worn by the two young girls. Jim Feeney paints mainly Glasgow scenes, often from long ago, and usually in areas of squalor. The graffiti on the walls allows us a look into the mind of the artist and gives you an idea of the things that play on Feeney's mind.

Feeney has a selection of new paintings on display in our Gallery II from tomorrow. Titled 'squalor', this selection of work is a very fine example of Feeney's skills in painting with oil. He has a distinct and easily recognisable style, often using rich blues and reds which stand out against the grays and rust colours so familiar to anyone who's lived in or around Glasgow's tenements.

You can read about this exhibition here, and everyone is welcome along to see the show, tomorrow for the preview from 1 -3pm, or anytime after that until 23 September. At the same time we are also showing a large selection of work by Venture Arts, Manchester based artist Leslie Thompson.

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Artwork of the Week - ‘The Three Stooges’ by Cameron Morgan

'The Three Stooges' by Cameron Morgan is our artwork of the week! This screen print takes inspiration from a recent trip to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Bretton. 'The Three Stooges' comes from the 80 strong assembly of identical two-metre-tall graphite figures titled, 'Black and Blue: The Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness' by British-Trinidadian artist, Zak Ove. Cameron Morgan visited the scultpure park during a two week residency at The Art House in Wakefield where he was working with printmaker Richard Marsden. 'The Three Stooges' is part of an exhibition of prints and mixed media pieces that will preview tonight at The Art House. You can read more about this exhibition, titled 'First Edition' here. We've also made an online book featuring images of all of the work in the exhibition. These prints are all small editions of ten and they are for sale. Please contact the gallery if you are interested, exhibitions@project-ability.co.uk or 0141 552 2822. 

If you are a visual artist and would be interested in sharing your skills with Cameron, please follow this link to read about an opportunity to do just that.

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First Edition opens tonight in The Art House

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

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

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

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Royal visit at Project Ability

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

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

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

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

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

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Artist Residency / Creative Partnership opportunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Shop Item of the Week - by Tommy Mason

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

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

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Summer workshops public performance

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

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

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

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

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Artwork of the week - ‘Horse’ by Kyle Morrison

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

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

    

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Cameron Morgan - Arthouse residency Week 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cameron Morgan shortlisted for Dentons Art Prize

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

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

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

Congratulations to Cameron and all the other shortlisted artists! 

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Project Ability artists visit NHS offices in Glasgow

The NHS recently bought a selection of paintings from Project Ability artists, which are now adorning the walls of their Glasgow and Edinburgh offices.

Yesterday, the artists were invited to visit the NHS offices in Cadogan Street to see their work in situ. The paintings looked amazing on the offices' coloured walls, and the artists were delighted to see their artworks on display. They happily posed in front of their paintings, and answered questions from the staff.

Everybody then enjoyed some refreshments and canapes afterwards.

Heather Lander, Project Ability's Exhibitions Coordinator said: "It was really great to have the opportunity for the artists to see their work in situ within the NHS offices. The reception the staff from the NHS put on for us was brilliant and very generous. The paintings look fantastic! Thanks to everyone who made it possible."

Artists: Fiona Thornton, Obi Oguguo, Martin Sloss, Jim Feeny, Craig Murray, Cameron Morgan, Jonathan McKinstry, Ronnie McCulloch.

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Cameron Morgan at the ArtHouse

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

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

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

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Jaguar’ by Ronald McCulloch

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

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Tuesday Morning’ by Lucy Payne

This week’s Artwork of the Week is Tuesday Morning by Lucy Payne. This beautiful drawing is part of a new collection of studio portraits by Lucy Payne currently on display in Drawing People Drawing in Project Ability’s gallery.

In Tuesday Morning, Lucy has captured the very essence of Project Ability’s studio; the vibrancy of the workshop and of the artists who bring it to life on a daily basis. We can almost hear the chatter and the sound of pencils moving whilst the Tuesday morning Aspire group get to work.

A recent graduate from the Glasgow School of Art, Lucy previously volunteered with Project Ability’s Aspire programme and so has spent a great deal of time getting to know both the studios and the artists. What results in Drawing People Drawing is a very colourful, intimate and absorbing look at the way Project Ability’s studios and artists work. 

Drawing People Drawing continues until 27 May and is accompanied by a new publication which features Lucy Payne’s illustrations alongside text from several of Project Ability’s artists. The publication was developed through a series of workshops with Joanna Peace and Anthony Autumn, and is available to buy in our gallery shop.

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Walking Group - Week 8: Radical Craft

West Kilbride is Scotland’s first accredited craft town and The Barony Centre is the jewel in its crown.

The current exhibition, ‘Radical Craft’, was co-curated by Laura Hamilton, one of Project Ability’s board members, so the walking group took a trip by train to have a look.

You will see in the photographs that it is a wonderful and varied show with a fascinating range of materials and methods used in the making of the images and objects.

The group spent a long time looking at the exhibition with some guidance and information from Laura before cups of tea and a walk through the village.

There were several artist studios and shops along the way, most of which were unfortunately closed for the day, but a basket-making workshop was open and the group popped in there to have a look around and make a purchase.

This wonderful exhibition runs until 11th June so there is still some time to visit. You can find more information at http://www.crafttownscotland.org/forthcoming-exhibitions-2017/

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Cameron Morgan FRSA awarded Creative Scotland Open Project Fund

Creative Scotland awarded over £1.2million through the Open Project Fund in March 2017 to 55 recipients, including individual artists, musicians, dancers, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries. We are delighted to announce that our very own Cameron Morgan FRSA is one of the recipients!

The funding will enable Cameron Morgan to spend 12 months in Project Ability’s inclusive studio to reflect on his past body of work and research new creative practices. The project will include a residency at the Art House in Wakefield and the commissioning of three artists to invite him into their studios, where he will work alongside them to learn new skills and to further extend his creative practice.

The Art House is currently seeking a skilled printmaker to work with Cameron during his residency (more info here).

Congratulations to all the award recipients!

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Tommy Mason exhibition closing event

Join us on Friday 28th April, 12-1pm for the closing event of Tommy Mason's exhibition in the Trongate 103 foyer. Everybody welcome!

Aspire artist Tommy Mason's unique large scale paintings have taken over the Trongate 103 foyer as a celebration to World Autism Day, and will remain there until the 29th. 

Tommy has been working with Project Ability for over 25 years, and the studio would not be the same without him. He helps to make Project Ability a creative and positive environment, and we are always happy to have the opportunity to share his art with the public. Tommy Mason’s style is one of a kind. Once you have seen his work you will forever recognise A Tommy Mason.

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We are looking for a Freelance Arts Administrator

Project Ability is looking for a Freelance Arts Administrator to manage an outstanding programme of visual art activities and exhibition for children and young people with disabilities. The programme takes place in Project Ability’s studio in Trongate 103 in the centre of Glasgow and various off-site locations.

This is a freelance contract to cover a period of maternity leave. The fee is £7,200, 80 days over a period of 12 months.

Send completed application and your C.V to the Operations Manager at operations@project-ability.co.uk or Project Ability, Trongate 103, Glasgow, G1 5HD
Closing date: 15th May.  Interviews 23rd May.

Key duties and responsibility

  • To work closely with the Artistic Director, staff team and artist tutors to plan and deliver a programme of workshops, exhibitions and events to support children and young people with disabilities to engage with contemporary visual art.
  • To sustain existing and develop new partnerships with other key agencies – schools, community organisations and special interest groups to develop, coordinate and deliver an ambitious and high quality visual arts workshop and learning programme.
  • To work with young people with disabilities to develop a programme of activities which support their creative learning and ambition.
  • To supervise art tutors responsible for project delivery.
  • To liaise with key stakeholders and funders.
  • To effectively evaluate the programme against planned outcomes and to produce written reports as required.

Experience, knowledge and understanding

  • Excellent track record of arts project administration.
  • Ability to demonstrate a minimum of three years relevant work experience.
  • Educated to degree or higher qualification in an arts related subject.
  • Understanding the needs of children and young people.
  • Understanding the special conditions required to give children and young people with additional support needs inclusive access to visual art.
  • Experience of project monitoring and evaluation.
  • Experience of report writing.

Person specification

  • Well organised with the ability to plan and deliver activities on time and within budget.
  • Confident and articulate.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a small team.

Documents to download

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Glasgow Open House 2017

After last year's successful collaboration, Glasgow Open House asked our Friday Aspire group to design once again the flags marking the venues taking part in this year's festival. 

Glasgow Open House Arts is a small, not-for-profit group which celebrates Glasgow’s vibrant, insightful and industrious culture. They do this by inviting its residents to present art, music, and performance in their homes.

"This year, we’re working with two fantastic organisations based in Glasgow: The Coach House Trust and Project Ability. We will be creating joyful, colourful and characterful “way-finders”, which will be used during the festival weekend to mark the venues which house an exhibition or event. We had a wonderful time working with the Aspire Group artists. They have produced fantastic pieces which we can't wait to exhibit alongside the work in our programmed exhibitions."

The festival opens on the 28th April and runs until the 1st May.

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The Ladysbridge Hospital Project wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

Project Ability and C-Change have received £40,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, Ladysbridge Hospital Project, in Aberdeen and Glasgow. Led by a project team managed by Project Ability and C-Change, the project focuses on the heritage of people with learning disabilities living in Aberdeenshire and nationally.

The project will enable people with learning disabilities who had lived at Ladysbridge Hospital in Banff, research the history of the hospital and the social history of people with learning disabilities and changing social conditions. Working with professional artists and supported by social care staff, the NHS Grampian Archivist and leading learning disability advocacy services, people with learning disabilities will share their stories in words and pictures to build a unique archive.

Ladysbridge Hospital was opened in 1865 and closed in 2003 and as many ex-patients had connections to the local area they remain to this day in and around Aberdeen having for the most part moved into their own accommodation. These people are now in their fifties, sixties and older and they want their stories to be documented and shared with their community. The project launch is on Tuesday 16th May, at Aberdeen Arts Centre and Theatre and is taking place to mark Learning Disability Week 2017. It is an opportunity to reflect on how the lives of people with learning disabilities in Scotland changed and how we can learn lessons from the past.

Commenting on the award, Elisabeth Gibson, Executive Director, Project Ability said: “We are delighted to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The story of how people with learning disabilities were treated in the not too distant past is a timely reminder of how much society has changed and how people with learning disabilities contribute to our communities.”
Sheryl Walker, PR & Projects Development Manager, C-Change said “We are thrilled that the Heritage Lottery has provided the opportunity for C-Change and Project Ability to collaborate on a 2nd social history project. Ladysbridge Hospital is key part of Aberdeenshire's history and this project will help to raise awareness of how learning disability perception and policy has evolved over the years. It will be a privilege working with some of the ex-residents of Ladysbridge to share their personal memories of their experience of life in the hospital.”

Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, HLF is able to help communities learn about and take pride in their local heritage as well as training in new skills. Learning about history can be rewarding, fascinating and fun, and the story of Ladysbridge Hospital, Banff is no exception.”

(Images from the Lennox Castle Project)

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Artwork of the week - ‘Lots of Cats’ by Ross Agnew

This week’s Artwork of the Week is Lots of Cats by Ross Agnew. Lots of Cats is currently on display in Project Ability’s main gallery as part of our current exhibition, CATS… the 2nd instalment. This beautifully vibrant and playful piece combines paint and coloured pen on canvas to portray a cheerful group of feline friends playing amongst the flowers. Ross Agnew is a young artist who participates in Project Ability’s Create programme, and developed this piece over a period of several weeks. Often drawn to animals as a subject, Ross has made several fantastic cat themed pieces recently, and in fact one of these, Two Cats is also included in CATS… the 2nd instalment.

You can see Ross’s work in CATS… the 2nd instalment until 13 April. With over 40 artists on show, and over sixty artworks, this show is a must-see, particularly if you are a cat lover. Running alongside CATS, in Gallery II, we are showcasing new work by Ruth Mutch in Penguins on Screen, a unique exhibition of penguins in disguise as actors from our favourite television programs. Another show definitely not to be missed!

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Found Impressions

Found Impressions is a new film from Project Ability! The film was recently shown as part of Found Impressions..., an exhibition of work created by children and young people with profound and multiple disabilities, delivered by Project Ability in partnership with Glasgow Print Studio, PAMIS, The DASH Club and The Anchor Centre.

The film captures the making process and and offers an opportunity to hear parents, tutors and staff speak about their experiences.

Click here to see photos from Found Impressions..., the exhibition, and look out for a forthcoming publication, coming very soon!

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Artwork of the week - ‘Mobile’ by Cameron Morgan

We're celebrating the closing of two exhibitions this week with another brilliant slip-cast telephone made by Project Ability's Cameron Morgan. This candy coloured phone is the last in a series of slip-cast telephones which looks back at the evolution of this marvelous invention! 'Put your sweet lips closer to the phone' has been on show in our Gallery II for the past month, and tomorrow is the final day. Each of the phones on display is an edition of five, and each one is priced at £180. Read more about Cameron on his webpage, or check out the brand new TV Classics website to see what Cameron has been up to over the past year.

Tomorrow sees the final day of this exhibition as well as The Artists of the West Midlands: A New World; a beautiful exhibition of paintings and drawings made by six very talented artists from the West Midlands who have been involved in a mentoring programme with acclaimed portrait artist Tanya Raabe-Webber

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Tanya Raabe-Webber on co-curating ‘The Artists of the West Midlands: A New World’

"I was very excited when Project Ability asked me to co-curate this exhibition with them.

The Artists of the West Midlands: A New World is an exhibition of the work of five learning disabled, and one non-disabled, artists who I have been mentoring and supporting back home in Shropshire and Birmingham.

The artists all have their own unique style of working and the themes are all very different too. There are landscapes, mood landscapes, trains, motorways, Japanese gardens, portraits, and abstract forms. Curating this exhibition meant that I had to really look hard to seek out the connections and relationships that were present in the works so that each artists work complimented the others.

I worked very closely with Heather, Project Ability's Exhibitions Coordinator on this. We unwrapped and laid the artwork around the gallery, stood back, looked, moved the work around into different positions and talked about the artists’ work and creative processes. This gave us a kind of story to tell; the artists’ journey in their creative professional development as they made their work over the last 12 months, as part of their mentoring and for this exhibition.

This is the first time that the artists have exhibited outside of the West Midlands in a professional gallery. It was important that the exhibition shows a strong cultural identity as well as showcasing the artists’ creative and artistic development through the mentoring.

The artists themselves will be visiting their exhibition 22-25 February through an Arts Council England and Lottery funded cultural exchange trip #Take6. I can't wait to see their reactions when they see their exhibition."

The Artists of the West Midlands: A New World continues until Saturday 25 February, open Tues - Sat 10am - 5pm.

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Artwork of the week -  #21 by Ross Prince

Ross Prince works in oil pastels on paper and canvas, creating 'mood landscapes' of various colours and compositions. #21 is an abstract drawing that has the look and feel of a painting. Using oil pastels in a creative and painterly way, Prince beautifully captures light and movement. Although he hasn't used any brushes, one can almost see the brush strokes that have made this artwork. The challenge of using this pallette should not be underestimated; we don't often see a painting with greens and oranges together in a harmonious way like this.

This is one of several 'mood scapes' by Ross in our current exhibition, 'The Artists of the West Midlands: A New World', which features six young artists from the West Midlands. This exhibition has been orchestrated by acclaimed artist Tanya Raabe-Webber, who also curated the exhibtion with Project Ability. Tanya also acted as mentor to these artists and has helped them to develop their artistic talent.

We are delighted that Tanya has secured funding to allow the artists to come to Project Ability for a two day Cultural Exchange, titled ‘Take 6’, which will include workshops at Project Ability and gallery visits around Glasgow. This has been funded by a ‘Grants For The Arts, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

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Artwork of the week - ‘Brick 1980’ by Cameron Morgan

 

Artwork of the week features this slip-cast ceramic  'Brick' mobile phone made by Cameron Morgan. Part of our current Gallery II exhibition, 'Put your sweet lips closer to the phone', this 1980's style cell phone is an edition of six, and sized a bit larger than the real thing. There are four different types of phones in this show, each one an iconic piece of history and design.

In 1876, 29-year-old Scottish born Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for his revolutionary new invention–the telephone. This marked the beginning of an evolution of wired and wireless communication that has proven to be one of civilisation's greatest and most important achievements. 'Put your sweet lips closer to the phone' highlights this evolution through Morgan's usual vibrant and bold style. Priced at £180 each phone is a limited and signed edition of either six or seven. 

The exhibition is up until February 21st, along with 'The Artists of the West Midlands: A New World', at our first floor gallery at Trongate 103. Stop by for a look at the exhibitions and a browse of our gallery shop, which features a wide variety of hand made crafts and fine art - all made by our artists in our third floor studios!

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