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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Artwork of the Week- ‘Always Here’ by Erika Juniper

 

'Always Here' by Erika Juniper is our artwork of the week. It is a four-minute video, filmed in the Tycanol Woods, while the artist was on residency. The solo material was created through a process of listening and responding to the self, the wild and the music. Project Ability is currently showing Erika's solo, along with three other artists’, until November 26. Each is accompanied by photographs and its own soundtrack, available through headphones.

Erika Juniper, along with fellow artist Andrew Kelly, both came to Glasgow to help lead workshops in our studios at Trongate 103. They, along with Arty Party's Ray Jacobs and inclusive movement practitioner Rachel Ligget, worked with Project Ability artists and dancers from Indepen-dance, to create their own personal 'solos'.

'Four Solos in the Wild' features moving imagery and photography. Additionally, there is also a slide show of images documenting the workshops that took place at Project Ability and Trongate 103, in the week before the exhibition.

Juniper's solo is a beautiful look into one person's relationship with the wild. It is a moving short film, a dance and a story. “Always Here’ can be seen until 26 November.

 

This project is supported by Arts Council England, The Basil Houghton Memorial Trust, and Telford and Wrekin Council.

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Artwork of the week- ‘Duck’ by Scott Smith

Artwork of the week features this lovely 'Duck' in duck egg blue on mottled grey/brown paper. 'Duck' is one of many beautifully drawn birds on display as part of Scott Smith's exhibition titled, 'Birds'. These pen drawings on paper are flying, swimming and waddling off to new homes at a quick pace, so if this one takes your fancy please be in touch with the gallery before it too flies the coop!
Scott Smith has been working within our Aspire studios for several years, and his work generally depicts people and animals with confident lines and a sense of the beautiful and the comical. He began drawing these birds just a few months ago and we are delighted to be showing them as a whole collection. They are all new and original works of art that have already proven to be very popular.
The drawing, sized 43 x 59 cm is priced at a very affordable £20. 'The artwork is framed for our exhibition and is available for purchase in the frame, ready to hang on any wall, for £75. Come by the gallery to check out 'Birds', in our Gallery II, until November 26.

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Artwork of the week - Elvis Presley by Patrick Butterworth

'Elvis Presley' is our artwork of the week. Painted by Patrick Butterworth, and on exhibit in our Gallery II, this painting depicts the world famous iconic singer in all his glory. 'Americana' is the name of Patrick's solo exhibition and it is up until October 29. These paintings are exquisitely crafted and carry all the life of the musicians and actors they represent. This exhibition happens to be up at the same time as Glasgow's Americana music festival, which is happening around the city for the month of October. Project Ability has two other exhibitions up along with 'Americana', all until October 29!

Patrick's work can also be found for sale in our online shop!

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Exhibition Opportunity - Superheroes

Exhibition Opportunity
Public Call Out to Artists

Project Ability is looking for ‘Superheroes’!!! Our annual Christmas exhibition of 2016 will be all about these super human characters. We are looking for artworks of all mediums to include in this show.  This is an open call exhibition and we are looking for submissions* from the public, to exhibit alongside Project Ability artists.

The exhibition runs from 1st - 23rd December.

*not all submissions will be exhibited

Timetable for submitting entries
Artists working in all media are invited to submit up to three artworks.  The closing date for submission is is Saturday 12th November. All submissions should be handed into the Project Ability Gallery on the 1st floor of Trongate 103. Please email exhibitions@project-ability.co.uk with any queries.

Important
Attached to every artwork must be an identification label with title and artist contact details and selling price of the work (if applicable).

Times for Handing in and Collecting
Selected work must be delivered to Project Ability Gallery, Trongate 103, Glasgow, G1 5HD in person by Saturday 12th November.
The artist will be notified if work is sold and unsold work must be collected from Project Ability Gallery between Tuesday 10th and Friday 13th January 2017, 10 – 5pm.

Artwork permitted
Artists are invited to submit up to 3 pieces of work. 2D and 3D work in all media is permitted, all works submitted must be unique original works.  2D work must be ready to hang.  3D work must be stable and safe to exhibit.

Sales
‘Superheroes’ is our annual fundraiser and artist’s agrees to donate to Project Ability a minimum of 40% from the sale of each item submitted.  Sales will be banked by Project Ability with the agreed percentage due to the artist to be paid as soon as possible after the exhibition.

 

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

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Artwork of the week - ‘Elaine’ by Lewis Scott

This week we bring you 'Elaine' by Lewis Scott as our Artwork of the week. This drawing is oil pastel on paper and sized at 60 x 83 cm. It is one of five portraits Lewis has made in the past year with us. Lewis works in our Aspire workshops and has been an artist at Project Ability for several years. His mark making is bold and strong, and his colours are rich and dense. 'Elaine' wears a black vest and bright pink t-shirt. The style is decisive and not at all precious. You can see the strength and energy that has gone into every colour and form, with no time wasted to clean up smudges and finger prints. To see the four other portraits by Lewis Scott please visit his webpage

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Artwork of the week - Cookie Monster by Aiden Kelly

'Cookie Monster' is the star of our Artwork of the week post! Made in our Create studios by Aiden Kelly, it sits proudly in our current exhibition Young Talent 2016. Complete with a plate of glittered cookies, he has his arms open wide in anticipation of his favourite meal of the day. Aiden created this sculpture from cardboard, paint and glitter over several weeks in our Saturday Create programme for young artists.

'Cookie Monster' is only on exhibition until tomorrow at 5pm, when our Young Talent exhibition closes for another year. The young artists who work at Project Ability are making amazing works of art all year long in our Trongate 103 studios, and August/September is the time when they get to choose their favourite masterpiece to go on display in the gallery. It is always a fun, creative and exciting show. This piece is just one of the brilliant artworks that make up this year's show. If you haven't seen it yet there is still time! 

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Artwork of the week- ‘Ringtone 1960’ by Cameron Morgan

 

This week we bring you 'Ringtone 1960' by Cameron Morgan as our artwork of the week. We are celebrating the start of the Unlimited Festival at the Tramway, which features Morgan's new show, 'Put your sweet lips closer to the phone'. There are four types of phones on display in Tramway 5, each from a different decade. In addition to Cameron's phones,  the exhibition also showcases work by Koji Nishioka, Makoto Okawa and Yasuyuki Ueno.

'Ringtone 1960' is an editioned slip-cast ceramic piece, as are the other three types of phones Cameron exhibits as part of the Unlimited Festival at the Tramway. The Festival has a full brochure of performances and exhibitions to check out from now until September 25.  Unlimited at the Tramway offers Glasgow an international programme of performance, visual art, discussions and more celebrating extraordinary work by disabled artists - we are delighted Cameron has this opportunity to showcase this new body of work amongst such talented artists and performers.

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Artwork of the week - ‘Glitter’ by Judith Abubakar

This week we bring you this mixed media canvas by Project Ability artist Judith Abubakar as our Artwork of the Week. Judith very often uses glitter and tissue paper to create her artworks. They are bright, colourful and full of energy. Working with these materials on a stretched canvas gives the finished piece a mix of both two and three dimensions. The bright pink back ground is applied first and given time to dry. Then the colours and composition of the glitter and tissue paper are carefully considered to make the work as brilliant and bold as possible. 'Glitter' is part of our Young Talent 2016 exhibition, on display in our gallery until Saturday the 24th of September. 

Each year our annual Young Talent exhibition showcases and celebrates the artwork created by children and young people from Project Ability’s Create Programme, now in its 16th year. Our Create programme engages with children and young people with disabilities in a wide range of creative activities including visual arts, film and new media. For more information about this exhibition follow this link.

Judith's piece is a small but mighty work of art. With its colour, contrast and sparkling glitter, it joyfully shares Judith's talent and creativity. 

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Artwork of the week- BB-8 by Alistair Downie

Artwork of the week is this ceramic sculpture of the droid BB-8 from the latest Star Wars film- The Force Awakens. The sculpture is about as cute as the real thing, and very skillfully made by Alistair Downie. Alistair is part of our Create programme for young artists. Our annual Young Talent exhibition will feature this work, along with about 40 other artists' works from our Create programme. Opening this Saturday at 2pm, we welcome all of our young artists, along with their friends and family- and the general public- to join us in celebrating the amazing Young Talent of 2016 at Project Ability!

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Artwork of the Week by Sam Perks

This abstract painting on paper is our chosen Artwork of the Week. As yet untitled, this is one of a selection of paintings that will be exhibited for the first time in our Gallery II later this month. Sam Perks works in our Create groups for young artists, and he has a very well developed and distinct painting style. Though his colour palette changes, the movement and brush strokes of his compositions can be recognised in each of Sam's paintings. Using bold brushwork and lots of dripping paint, these abstract paintings have an expressionistic feel to them.

Perks’ use and variation of colours are strong and confident, he has a talent for choosing a sophisticated colour scheme and making the most out of the complimentary and contrasting hues and shades. Sam often uses masking tape along the edge to create a clean white border around the image.  This further adds to the power and clarity of the expressive brushstrokes. Keep an eye on our exhibitions page for Sam Perk's first solo show in our Gallery II, opening on 16 August!

 

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Artwork of the week by Martin Sloss

Artwork of the week is 'untitled cottage' by Martin Sloss. Martin works at Project Ability as part of our Aspire programme, and currently has an exhibition here with fellow Aspire artist Ralph Douglas.  'Untitled cottage' is a beautiful painting that perfectly captures the feel of a country cottage; complete with fields, trees, rock paths and fences. The neutral tones of the colour palette, along with the different shades of purples and greens give this work a warm fresh feeling. The unusual layout and composition brings an abstract feel to the landscape, and allows the eye time and freedom to wander around the canvas, navigating and recognising all of Martin's subtle artistic gestures.


'Untitled cottage' is on exhibition as part of our current show at Project Ability, 'Ralph Douglas and Martin Sloss'. It is a gorgeous exhibition and well worth a visit if you enjoy painting. Martin has a unique approach to painting; he has had the opportunity to nurture his skill and talent at Project Ability, and we are very pleased he continues to share his creativity with us in the studios. This painting is for sale in our gallery and online as are most of the paintings in this exhibition. At £75.00 it would make a lovely addition to any home or office. You can see this painting in our gallery until July 9.

 

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Artwork of the week by Robert McCamley

Artwork of the week celebrates one of our much loved artists who passed away at the end of 2015. Robert McCamley was a charismatic character in the Project Ability studios as well as a very talented and inspiring artist. He worked with us for many years, and made many friends here. Today we held a reception, buffet style, in honour of Robert the artist and friend. 'The sun, the moon and the stars' is up in our Gallery II until July 9. This piece, of the leaning tower of Pisa, is a large drawing on paper, and a striking example of Robert's artistic talent.

Thank you to everyone who came along to the reception today, it was a beautiful way to remember Robert and his love of art. Project Ability would especially like to thank his family for their support and enthusiasm in the run up to the exhibition. He was clearly a man with much love and kindness in his life and we hope the exhibition reflects this.

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Artwork of the week - by Paul Dowden

 

Artwork of the week features this painting on panel by Paul Dowden, currently on exhibition as part of 'The Rainbow Collection', in our Gallery II. This painting is a beautiful example of Paul's work, showing many of the techniques he uses. Scratching, sanding, masking and polishing are just some of these processes. Finished with a supremely high polish-  this particular painting is reminiscent of 1950's design. The shade of red adds to this effect and the mark making appears to pay homage to Kandinsky and possibly Miro in a subtle way. It is a gorgeous painting and can be viewed as part of this exhibition until this Saturday.

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Artwork of the Week by James Smith

James Smith's exhibition 'Steampunk Chassis' is currently on display in our gallery until the 18th of June, and we have chosen a work from this as our Artwork of the Week.  James works in a variety of mediums, always creating eye catching pieces.  In his current exhibition, James has created a number of highly imaginative model tanks, using the popular Steampunk aesthetic.  These machines, taken from a creative re-imagination of history, are expertly crafted; each model has its own character and its own intricacies, leading to a very engaging body of work indeed.

Come along to see the work in person in our gallery, which is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am until 5pm. 

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Artwork of the Week by Paul Dowden

This week we bring you this beautiful abstract piece by Paul Dowden as our Artwork of the Week.  Paul creates his pieces using various techniques and a plethora of materials, all coming together through time and patience to produce such stunning results.  The techniques Dowden has perfected come from years of painting practice and experimentation with materials; colours and organic forms play off each other in an infinite number of arrangements, each producing these stunning examples of tone, technique and arrangement.

Paul’s work will be shown in our Gallery 2 space during his solo exhibition ‘The Rainbow Collection’ which opens next Thursday, the 2nd of June.  Come along and see Paul’s excellent work, and while here, pop in to our main gallery space to have a look at fellow ReConnect artist James Smith’s exhibition ‘Steampunk Chassis’. James’ exhibition features a collection of Steampunk inspired models which he has skillfully and delicately created.  Both exhibitions run from the 2nd until the 18th of June and are well worth a visit.

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Artwork of the week - ‘The Tardis’ by John Cocozza

Artwork of the week this week could only have ever been The Tardis by John Cocozza. This sculpture has been hand crafted with the utmost patience and care taken by the artist, and can be seen on exhibition at KEY in Glasgow. It is one of the highlights of the exhibition, titled 'Flying Through Time', which features both Cocozza's work and some select pieces by artist Kevin Cantwell

John's work often centres around his love of science fiction, and The Tardis is one of his most beloved flying machines. This piece is strong and sturdy, measuring about 80 cm high, and the attention to detail means the artist has included everything right down to a miniature poster printed out just as it is on the real Tardis. Inside the light at the top of the piece the artist has inserted an LED flashlight so once the light gets dim the Tardis glows.

Using recycled bottles, cardboard and other various arts and craft materials, this sculpture truly is a magnificent example of upcycled sculpture and an incredible accomplishment for the artist. John worked with Kevin Cantwell as part of our  Research Rooms exhibition, during which time he was mentored by Kevin in the art of this type of sculpture. The Tardis is the first piece he has designed and created solely on his own, in the Aspire studios here at Project Ability. Visit Cocozza's artist page to see more of his work, and check out the exhibtion page to read more about his current show,  'Flying Through Time'.

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Artist Talk - Cameron Morgan

With close to 1200 visitors and some amazing feedback, we can safely say that the Glasgow leg of TV Classics Part 1 was a great success!

On Saturday 16 April 2016, Cameron Morgan was in the our Project Space to answer people's questions about his exhibition. Our Media Unit was there to document the event.

Read some of the brilliant feedback left by visitors during GI 2016 here.

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CATS - a series of workshops with Joanna Peace and Luke Shaw

Join Joanna Peace and Luke Shaw for creative writing, image-making, and publication-creating workshops. Those who don’t like cats are just as welcome as cat lovers!

CATS’ will be launched alongside the exhibition of the same name in the Project Ability gallery in July 2016. Just turn up to one of the following workshops if you'd like to take part in the making of the publication:

Sat 14th May CREATE  1pm – 4pm
Tue 17 May RECONNECT 1pm – 3pm
Thu 26 May RECONNECT 10am – 12pm
Wed 1st June ASPIRE  1pm – 3pm
Fri 3rd June RECONNECT  1pm – 3pm

For more information, please contact joanna.peace@gmail.com

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Project Ability Super 8 Campaign

During the months of July and August, some Project Ability artists will be experimenting with Super 8 filmmaking with artist and curator Alexander Storey Gordon. This work will result in an exhibition during October as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.

Do you have any Super 8 film equipment we can use? We are looking for cameras and projectors, and would need them as soon as possible in order to get the project started.

If you think you can help, please get in touch at info@project-ability.co.uk or 0141 552 2822. Thank you!

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Artwork of the week - ‘Untitled quark flavour 10.3’ by Simon McAuley

 

'Untitled quark flavour 10.3' is our chosen art work of the week.  This is a small oil painting on paper by Simon McAuley. Currently on exhibition in our Gallery 2, this painting is one of a series of small square paintings on paper whose subjects seem concerned with an ambiguous shape made of one continual stroke of the paint brush. These paintings are some of Simon's newest, and show a slightly different side of research to his practice. To read more about Simon and his work have a look at Strange quarks, on exhibition until the 21st of May here at Project Ability, located within Trongate 103.

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Artwork of the week- Untitled, (Friendly Wave) by Lesley Nimmo

 

Artwork of the week is this painting on paper by Lesley Nimmo. Lesley is part of our Aspire programme, and this painting shows her unique bold style. Large blocks of colours applied with a large brush is Lesley's signature, and she paints a variely of subjects including people, landscapes, animals and everday objects. This blue subject is looking almost like a welcome sign, or a sign of a happy farewell. Her work is always bold, colourful and direct. She is a prolific painter and whenever she is in the Project Ability studio you will find her with brush in hand! Many more of her paintings can be found on her artists' page.

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Artwork of the Week - ‘2000 - Peppa Pig’ by Cameron Morgan

This week's Artwork of the Week is Cameron Morgan's '2000 - Peppa Pig'. This piece is taken from his new exhibition, TV Classics Part 1, which is now on show in our new Project Space as part of the Glasgow International festival. Cameron's work always excites, and this particular piece is certainly gaining a few fans! This canvas represents Cameron's memories of the 2000s, and if you want to see the other eras depicted in the exhibition, then head up to the 3rd floor of Trongate 103 to experience the full show. The show will run until the 25th of April, and in the meantime please visit http://www.tvclassicspart1.co.uk/ where you can learn all about how Cameron creates his work. 

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‘Why Cameron Morgan Loves Classic TV’ - interview on DAO

Cameron Morgan is currently exhibiting a series of paintings representing his favourite TV shows of the last nine decades in 'TV Classics Part 1', an Unlimited funded project that is part of the Glasgow International Festival 2016.

Journalist Paul F. Cockburn interviewed the artist for Disability Arts Online about his love of TV classics and his project.

"Morgan’s love of classic TV programmes and classic television sets, are obvious in the series of nine paintings now exhibited under the title TV Classics Part 1. Each painting combines an image from an iconic TV show or film representing a particular decade – from the 1930s to the 2010s – along with a representative TV set of the period. So how did Morgan select the subjects for each painting and decade?"

“I was just interested in coming up with a good image; with the likes of The Voice, you think of the chairs and the microphone. With The A-Team, it’s Mr T, a nice strong image for each decade.”

Read more on the Disability Arts Online website.

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Artwork of the week- ‘untitled, 2016’ by Simon McAuley

Artwork of the week features a new painting by Simon McAuley, 'untitled, 2016'. This painting is one of several we will be exhibiting from April 9 to Aprill 21st, in our Gallery 2. The exhibition, titled Strange quarks, is a solo showcase of Simon's most recent explorations in painting. 

"My painting practice absorbs some ideas from my photographic work. The two media differ and are often squashed together. I think that photography is better compared to literature, (in the broadest sense) than to painting. I like this idea as it leaves painting lacking with an insubstantial material leftover. For me this reduces paint and finds itself within my practice as something to elaborate into a basic form. Often via something random or unplanned."

Strange quarks previews on the 8th of April from 5 - 7pm. All welcome.

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TV Classics posters in every Glasgow Subway station!

Cameron Morgan‘s TV Classics Part 1 posters are now in every Glasgow Subway station for the next three weeks! The artist took a trip to St Enoch and Buchanan Street stations this morning and proudly posed with his image of Dr Who.

if you come across one of the posters, send us a pic and you might win a selection of nine postcards representing Cameron Morgan’s nine TV Classics paintings. Just use #tvclassicsposter on Twitter, Instagram of Facebook.

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Multi–sensory, drama and storytelling workshops for people with learning disabilities

TV Classics Part 1 is an exhibition by artist Cameron Morgan. It is a celebration of the culture and history of television throughout the decades. Each painting marks an era, a style and a classic television programme. 

Tina Vision (aka drama artist Clare Hume) invites you to join her in her living room, in front of the television.  She's made a pot of tea and buttered toast, during the commercial break, and is looking for a chat on the sofa.

Prepare for a multi-sensory, TV Classics, trip down memory lane. Slippers are optional.

Where: Project Ability, Trongate 103, Glasgow, G1 5HD
When: Tuesday 12th, Wednesday 13th, Thursday 14th April and Tuesday 19th, Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21th April.
Time: 10 – 11.30am

Workshops are free of charge and suitable for people with learning disabilities, communication and sensory impairment.

Group bookings are welcome, just pick one of the dates and contact us on 0141 552 2822 or info@project-ability.co.uk

There is a maximum of 8 people per workshop including support staff.

 

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Launch of TV Classics Part 1 website

We are delighted to announce the launch of Cameron Morgan's very own TV Classics Part 1 website!

Designed by Cole Ad, and inspired by Morgan's colourful imagery, the website provides information on the artist, news, interviews, as well as behind the scene action and work in progress videos. 

The work, commissioned by Unlimited, will premiere on Friday 8th April for the Glasgow International festival, and will then travel to Wales and London. All the information you need is on tvclassicspart1.co.uk, have a browse!

Supported by Unlimited; celebrating the work of disabled artists

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