Today marks the start of Volunteers Week, taking place accross the UK from 1st-7th June. This is a great opportunity to celebrate all our volunteers, current and past, and to thank them all about their contribution to our organisation. Their time and effort is invaluable to a charity organisation like ours, and we hope they get as much from their experience here as we do from them.
For Volunteers Week, we asked a few of our previous volunteers where they are now and how their time with Project Ability affected their career.
"Initially I volunteered at Project Ability within the Tuesday morning Aspire classes. They are a great group and the tutors, Sandy and Meredith, were such fun to work with. It was a very relaxed atmosphere and I helped the artists with whatever they needed, from providing them with materials to helping roll out clay. I volunteered whilst in my final year at Art School studying Illustration.
After I finished both volunteering and university Tracy and Elisabeth got in touch with me and asked me to do a series of illustrations of the people and the studios of Project Ability. I obviously jumped at this and it was such an amazing experience and so nice to be asked to do so. It was such a unique opportunity to really get to know the people working within Project Ability and I felt I was able to get a really intimate snapshot of the place. At the end of the residency I had an exhibition of my work in the gallery which has just ended this May. I have loved working with Project Ability, it is such a vibrant place to work and the people who work there are so warm and welcoming."
"I began volunteering with Project Ability shortly after I graduated from Art School in 2014. As I had studied Communication Design and specialised in Illustration I had been used to fulﬁlling briefs and meeting multiple deadlines, so the prospect of being in a completely free and joyful artistic environment was really appealing to me.
I was very fortunate to have been placed with the Friday Aspire group, who immediately made me feel incredibly welcome and I formed close bonds with many of the participants. I grew so attached to them all and valued my Fridays at Project Ability so highly I ended up staying far longer than I had intended; I think I volunteered for over a year in the end! Eventually I bid a tearful farewell to the group but did some further voluntary work with various nursery groups and was later very lucky to be offered a position as a tutor for the Thursday Night Social.
Since then I have also been working regularly on the Create programme and outreach projects which has given me the conﬁdence to pursue tutoring in various contexts; I have run several different workshops in Glasgow and recently assisted in some art classes in Edinburgh. I’m currently working with Glasgow Museums Resource Centre’s Education team and am leading two classes for their Macmillan group, responding to the collection and artefacts in the stores.
Project Ability has not only been an invaluable part of my professional development but has really helped my conﬁdence and mental health, giving me endless amounts of creative inspiration and joy."
"I've been involved with Project Ability for a wee bit over a decade now. I came in to one of their film making workshops, started making some short movies, and never really stopped, going so far as to volunteer as an assistant in later workshops to help younger artists learn how to make their own films. More recently, I've been part of the Project Ability Media Unit since it began, filming, editing, and even animating projects with associated groups and artists across Scotland."
Many thanks to all our amazing volunteers from all of us at Project Ability!
'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.
After the success of last month's fundraising Quiz Night, we are launching our second fundraising event this year: Spooky Movie Night!
Join us on Thursday 27 October in your best spooky fancy dress (or not!) for the screening of cult-classic Frankenstein.
Each entry includes pizza, a drink and a free raffle ticket. We will draw the raffle on the night, and as usual you can expect some great prizes! The best fancy dress will win a prize too, so be creative!
Note: the number of places are limited, so make sure you book your ticket soon. We won't sell any tickets on the night as we need a bit of notice for the catering.
Tickets can be bought from our 3rd Floor reception or from our gallery.
Thursday 27 October, 7pm-9.30pm
3rd Floor, Trongate 103, G1 5HD
0141 552 2822
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 0141 552 2822. Thank you!
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
Cameron Morgan and Jason Pyper Davis are back in our studios for the second block of TV Classics Part 1, one of this year's Unlimited commissions. From September to December 2015, the artist and tutor researched, prepped and worked on five large paintings representing a classic TV show from five decades of television: 1930's to 1970's.
Today, they are starting work on the 1980's TV Classic: the A-Team! Working chronologically, Cameron aims to produce a new painting per decade up to the 2010's. "It's funny how it changes: the TVs used to be beautiful and original, and the shows were black and white. Now that I've started with the technicolour shows, the TVs are becoming less and less interesting. Nowadays they all look the same!"
The paintings will then be exhibited in our Project Room Gallery for Glasgow International, and will tour to Wales and England (Southbank Centre) during the year.
Cameron's work is being documented by our Media Unit, and will appear on a new website dedicated to the project, which will launch in March. In the meantime, keep an eye on the website for some snippets!
Our Spooky Movie Night was a great success! Many thanks to everybody who made it and who took part in the event!
Fancy dress was optional, but people didn't disappoint: skeletons, zombie brides, Cruella, X-Men, spooky unidentified characters and even an elephant! The prize went to Harriet Campbell's incredibly spooky outfit, with the Art Matters artist taking a £20 Cass'Art voucher home.
Each table was given a pumpkin to carve, and the judges had a tough job picking the best one.
There was a really great atmosphere, and thanks to everyone's generosity, we raised a fantastic £430! On behalf of everybody at Project Ability: thank you!
After the success of last month's fundraising Quiz Night, we are launching our second fundraising event this year: a Spooky Movie Night!
Join us on Wednesday 28 October in your best spooky fancy dress (or not!) for the screening of cult-classic Carry on screaming.
Each entry includes pizza, pumpkin carving and a free raffle ticket. We will draw the raffle on the night, and as usual you can expect some great prizes! The best fancy dress and the best pumpkin will win prizes too, so be creative!
Note: the number of places are limited, so make sure you book your ticket soon. We won't sell any tickets on the night as we need a bit of notice for the catering. Tickets can be bought from our 3rd Floor reception or from our gallery.
Wednesday 28 October, 7pm-9.30pm
3rd Floor, Trongate 103, G1 5HD
0141 552 2822
The Media Unit is open for business, delivering a professional service for filming conferences and events and creating training and promotional films.
The Media Unit provides opportunities for young people with disabilities to gain work experience and paid employment in the digital media industry; creating short films and digital content for a range of multi-platform distribution.
Last week the talented duo of Max and Sam McIlmunn were on the road filming for the Shine Partnership at Stenhousemuir Cricket Club and Falkirk Football Ground.
Are you looking for a first rate media production company to film an event? Do you want new content for a website? Contact the Media Unit on email@example.com or call 0141 552 2822 for further information.
The new Project Ability Media Unit provides opportunities for young filmmakers with disabilities to learn specialist film and DVD production, I.T. and media skills, with the aim of creating a sustainable film making unit which will provide participants with work experience and paid employment, creating short films and digital content for multi-platform distribution.
Allan McKeown and Max and Sam McIlmunn were filming at Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld, and also in Kilmarnock for the Shine Partnership and their Get Onside project. The Media Unit are producing filmed content for the project evaluation and a promotional film with project highlights.
The Media Unit are now in business! If you are planning an event, workshop, or conference and want to capture it on film, make a DVD, or broadcast it digitally then call us on 0141 552 2822 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
You will recognize some familiar faces, including artist Simon McAuley and tutor Celine Mcilmunn, and see plenty of amazing work in progress.
Click here to see the show (we are on just after the 27th minute)
If you weren't able to attend our International Summit for Learning Disability Artists and their Support Studios earlier this month, you're in luck: all the talks from the 11 participating organisations and their artists are now online on our Youtube Channel. Have a browse, and listen to some very inspiring words!
Happy New Year everyone! We hope you all had a great Christmas break, and that the new year will be a good one. It will for sure be a busy one for us, with many events, workshops and exhibitions planned! And we're starting the year in style with a Disco on Friday 9th January, organised by tutor Sarah Grant and volunteer Jemima Dansey-Wright! January will also see the opening of Lea Cummings' solo exhibition on the 17th, and the return of our workshops.
The ReConnect and ReConnect 16-19 workshops will start back on Thursday 15th January, followed by the Aspire workshops on Monday 19th January. The Create Visual Arts Classes and Art Matters workshops will begin again on the Saturday 31st January, and the Introduction to Film workshops on the Wednesday 4th February.
We're looking forward to welcoming everybody back!
In October we held a week-long film workshop as part of the Friends and Family Film programme. Here is 'Ghost Orchid', produced by Thomas Dick and Cailean Stillie.
As part of our Friends and Family Fun Programme, we are offering an exciting week long opportunity for children and young people with disabilities and their families to come along and make their very own short film! Have a go at live action or animation and take home your finished film!
Date: Monday 13th - Friday 17th October
Cost: £25 per group for all five sessions
All children must be accompanied by an adult.
To book a place, please contact us on 0141 552 2822
A few months ago, we applied for a grant with the People's Postcode Trust and were one of the lucky charities to be awarded some filming equipment. As well as a HD Camera, with tripod, microphone and headphones, we received a brand new MacBook Pro!
The grant included a full-day training session in Edinburgh, where some of our staff were shown how to use the different equipment. After a morning filled with technical information, we spent part of the afternoon in the Edinburgh Gardens, making a short film about our given subject: 'Andy Murray is coming to the Royal Botanical Gardens'. Let's just say we put all our new knowledge to good use and let our creativity flow!
Thanks a lot to the People's Potscode Trust!
Create! Art for Autism 2014 is an art competition open to all young people aged 11-25 years who are formally diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC) including Asperger's Syndrome. The competition aims to dispel the myth that people with autism cannot be creative and to show that art can significantly improve their quality of life, facilitating experiential-based learning and instilling life-long skills.
Ian Bruin and Dominic Hemphill- Whyte, who both attend Project Ability’s Create Programme, reached the final of the competition and the winners were announced on 18th July at an Awards Day in Wales. Ian Bruin’s film ‘How do you get a poor penny off the road’ received a Highly Commended Award in the Animation category – Congratulations Ian! A list of all of the winners can be found on Create Art for Autism’s website, as well as photographs of the Awards Day.
Congratulations to both Ian and Dominic !
Photos courtesy of the Bruin family.
Today was the third day of our Friends and Family Film Workshop, and the first day of filming. During the previous workshops, the group devised a scenario and worked on the props and backgrounds. Today, actors and crew started filming, and everyone was focused on what they had to do.
With a title like 'FBI Special Agent', we can expect an action packed film!
Another Friday has rolled around and, yes, it’s time for another blog- although there’s a tinge of melancholy to this one, as it’s going to be my last! Yes, my four months here at Project Ability are at an end. Although, true to form, it’s been a busy old week trying to finish everything off!
Last Friday saw the launch of Cameron’s Way: Coast to Coast, and the launch of our newly refitted shop. The evening was undoubtedly a success, and not just because there were free refreshments! To quote one attendee:
“It’s so unexpected… a really fun interpretation of Glasgow, away from the traditional… it’s incredible!”
I don’t think you can say fairer than that! There have been lots of lovely comments left in our guest book too, noting how cheerful and invigorating the mural is. It’s open until August 23rd, so come down and have a look for yourself- it’ll cheer up grey, rainy days no end.
There was no rest for the wicked after that, though: Saturday was the latest Friends and Family Fun Workshop, and the theme was distinctly floral. The group were making patches for our Flowers of the Commonwealth banner, which will be on display in Trongate 103 in September.
This project seems to have inspired some really imaginative results: I was out at one workshop about a month ago, and have had a nosey at some of the patches from our other associate schools. Every single one has been truly unique, despite all working to the same brief. I really think the finished banner is going to something quite spectacular!
The rest of the week was spent catching up with our Aspire Summer Workshops, snapping pictures and trying not to get in the way of photographers Alicia and Iain! I also had to wade through the mountains of footage and photographs I’ve taken in my time here- looking through it all has really shown me how far I’ve come in the last four months.
It doesn’t seem like that long ago I was sitting writing my ‘Meet the Intern’ blog and thinking about what was to come in the months ahead. I had no idea what I’d be in for when I applied for the job, and was slightly terrified when I got it- after blustering about my technical skills, I now actually had to prove them!
When I first applied, I was looking for a creative challenge that I hadn’t got in previous jobs. I’d been working in technical departments as a trainee, and was feeling pretty uninspired. Thankfully every single person I’ve encountered here- from artists to volunteers to my fellow colleagues- has welcomed me with open arms and encouraged everything I’ve undertaken. It was a bit daunting trying to remember faces and names, but I got there in the end!
I also wanted to work with different workshops, which I’ve certainly had a chance to do: from the bustling Aspire workshops, to the ReConnect walking group, kids’ Create Saturday workshops and the Introduction to Film classes, the variety of activity going on has truly inspired me.
In saying that, it’s not just been about making films: I’ve also got to write this weekly blog, help out at exhibitions, go on day trips and even run my own workshop. If you’d told me I’d be doing that before I started, I would’ve balked at it. Before this I’d never taught a thing in my life!
I’d better wrap things up here before I start waxing lyrical too much. All I can say is I’ve had the most humbling, inspirational and challenging four months of my life here at Project Ability. I’ve learned so much from every single person that’s walked through our doors. I can’t thank everyone enough for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this fantastic team and get as much as I possibly could out of my time here. And on that note, goodbye and happy Friday everyone!
After a week off last week, I feel as though I’ve never been away! I mean that in the best possible way, of course- as usual there’s been so much activity going on here at Project Ability that I’ve shaken off holiday mode and got right back into work again.
The biggest change I saw upon my return was Cameron Morgan’s epic Cameron’s Way: Coast to Coast mural. The finishing touches were added this morning, just in time for the grand unveiling tonight. The grand unveiling will be in our gallery from 6-8pm, and will be launching as part of the GENERATION Festival. The festival is celebrating 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland, and Cameron’s bold, patriotic mural definitely represents the theme!
The weirdest thing is looking at photo graphs from week one of Cameron’s open studio. As this is my second last week- I KNOW, RIGHT?- I’ve been trying to organise the multitude of photos and videos I’ve taken over the last four months. I found some of the first couple of days of the studio, when Cameron was just working on the outline, and it looks so… bare. Now that the room is filled with such wonderful colours and shapes, it just feels like they’ve always been there.
I’m glad the walls will be lovely and colourful to see me through my last week here- that’s going to be weird enough as it is. I always find it takes a good couple of months to get settled in any job, which doesn’t really help matters when you’re only in one for four! However I’ve been made to feel part of the team from the moment I started here.
Everyone’s been so welcoming and I’ve loved meeting everyone, seeing all of the work produced, getting to be a part of some pretty important exhibitions and remembering what it is I liked about film making again. I’m feeling quite cheery today, but I don’t know how different it’ll be this time next week!
On a less melancholy note, the studio is busy again AND we have visitors! The Aspire summer workshops are back for another two-week block, and their work so far has taken on a distinctly Scottish theme! From pipers to Highland cows it seems like there’s a healthy dose of patriotism everywhere.
We’ve also had a couple of visitors, and fellow snappers no less! Photographer Alicia Bruce and her assistant Ian have set up a studio in our ReSearch room, taking photos of all of the Aspire artists posing with their works! Everyone seems to have loved it so far- they certainly all seem to be naturals in front of the camera.
I’m looking forward to seeing the finished pieces, and it’s also good to have someone else with a camera there- sometimes I feel like I’m getting in the way but if there are two of us then I can only share the blame!
After finally finishing my short film about our Flowers of the Commonwealth project- which should hopefully be online soon- I’m looking forward to another Friends and Family Fun Workshop. This one will involve creating a flower patch to be sewn into our Flowers of the Commonwealth banner.
The banner will be unveiled in September, when it’ll be hung in the foyer of Trongate 103- if the results of the recent schools’ workshops are anything to go by, it’s going to be amazing! If you’d like to submit a patch, or know someone who would, you’ve got until August 4th- all of the information and application forms can be found on our website!
Well, that’s about all I’ve got time for this week- it’s all hands on deck in preparation for the launch of Cameron’s Way. Hopefully there’ll be a good crowd for the unveiling, but don’t worry if you can’t make it- it’ll be open right up until August 23rd. Happy weekend!
As well as being an accomplished visual artist and musician, Lea Cummings is also a filmmaker. His debut feature film 'Night of the Bloody Antler', in partnership with Sarah Glass, will premiere at the Art School on Saturday 28 June, 6pm-8pm.
"TWO STRANGERS. SEVEN DAYS. NINETY SIX MILES. ONE SADISTIC MANIAC. WHO WILL SURVIVE?"
If you are a fan of horror movies, you know where to go! The event will also feature the Glasgow premiere of Sockzilla! an award winning short film from the makers of Zombie Asockalypse.
The Art School
20 Scott Street, Glasgow, United Kingdom
£4 entrance fee.
Another scorching end to what’s been a hit and miss week, weather wise… not too shabby! Thankfully the weather held out for the Friends and Family Fun workshop on Saturday, as this time we were outside!
This month's medium was sand art. I instantly thought of being a kid, and being given those kits where you'd pour colourful sand into a bottle. Usually a gift from relatives who didn't know what to get me, but knew that I was into arts and crafts! Thankfully as it was such a glorious day, there was a slight change to the proceedings. The sand art would be more along the lines of tribal paintings and markings, and in order to do so we'd be outside in the elements!
The group made its way to Glasgow Green, armed with neon and glitter coloured sand and a host of spices too. They had lots of ideas to choose from, including Aboriginal, Celtic and Native American art, as well as some sealife motifs.
They got stuck in right away, decorating the ground with lots of big, bold, colourful designs. The weather was perfect and we even had members of the public having a go. I tried making a hopscotch pattern, but by this point there wasn’t much sand left- resulting in the smallest squares ever. Not much of a challenge then, but a pretty fun way to spend a sunny Saturday morning!
I was off with a summer cold this week, and missed an opportunity to help out on another Flowers of the Commonwealth schools workshop. I was really disappointed, as the last one had been such a lovely experience. However, I would’ve felt worse passing my cold onto a class of primary school kids- especially since the weather’s turned out so lovely. Weighing out the negatives and all that! I suppose it'll just mean that the grand unveiling of our banner will be an even bigger surprise.
I resolved to throw myself back into work to make up for it. This week was the last in the current block of Aspire and ReConnect workshops, as well as the opening of Cameron Morgan’s Coast to Coast Open Studio project. Luckily for me, this meant I had my work cut out.
The workshops have been buzzing with energy as artists in both workshops finished off their works. A lot of the works produced in this block have been on quite a big scale, or involved beautiful, intricate detailing, and it's been a real privilege seeing them all come together. Moreover, I've loved hearing the stories behind each piece. Whether it's working to a brief or replicating a photo, there's a unique reason for every piece of work produced and it's been great to see them all coming to life. It’ll be a much quieter workshop in the next few weeks!
After several weeks, our Cloud exhibition drew to a close on 24th May. The gallery was closed, which was a really weird experience- I’m not used to it being so quiet! The space is currently being transformed thanks to Aspire artist Cameron Morgan. He’s painting a mural around the walls of the gallery, as part of the GENERATION Festival, and I’ve been trying to capture images and footage of the work since its inception.
Cameron works at quite a fast pace and almost all of the wall space has some kind of location sketched on it. I can’t wait to see how it’s going to look once he starts painting! The mural will encompass aspects of the Scottish landscape, which is no small task. I’ll try and capture as much as I can through videos and photography, but I imagine it’ll be enough of a job trying to keep up!
The exhibition is also an open studio, meaning that it’s open to members of the public to drop in. This unique experience means that you’ll get to witness the mural unfolding as its being painted. It’ll be running until the end of June, so get in while you can!
The bank holiday weekend may have been a bit of a washout, but I suppose we can at least be grateful for the small things. Friday’s fire at the Glasgow School of Art was devastating, but the damage was thankfully limited by our Fire and Rescue Service. Times like this might be horrific for all involved, but it’s also when Glasgow is at its best: banding together to help others in times of crisis.
It’s so easy to take buildings like the Mac, and its contents, for granted. I didn’t go to the Art School but walked past it almost every day. It was just part of the city. It’s important to take care of the things we’re given to look after, and prolong our heritage as long as we can. That’s why I was excited for this week’s Walking Group trip: the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, away way out in furthest Nitshill.
It’s such an innocuous looking building that it’s hard to imagine the treasure trove inside. From far off, it looks like any other warehouse. Shamefully, I had never even heard of it until I heard we were going! The Glasgow museums’ collection, despite being pretty vast, can only house 2% of all items at any one time- the rest is kept here. We only had an hour or so for our tour, but I could’ve spent days in this place. We only got to see a fragment of the collections, and I’ll definitely be making a return visit.
The group has been really good to get to know both the participants and my own city. I’d no idea that something like the GMRC even existed! Likewise, the Saturday workshops have been a lot of fun, especially the Friends and Family Fun Workshops. I’m still proud of my tie dye bag from last month’s event! I’m looking forward to this week’s workshop which will involve sand art. I haven’t used it since I was wee so it’s pretty exciting!
This week, I also went out and visited Buchanan High School, one of the schools participating in our Flowers of the Commonwealth banner project. All of the schools involved will donate a collection of handmade patches, depicting different flowers from countries in the Commonwealth.
I made my way to Coatbridge, camera in hand, unsure of what to expect. I was arriving after lunch and thought maybe there wouldn’t be much for me to get. As it turns out I had no need to worry- the kids were still working away and were more than happy to chat to me about their patches and the ideas behind them.
I was blown away by not just the quantity but the quality of work they’d produced. There were no two patches alike, and it struck me how a class working from the same brief can have such different responses. Their skills with a sewing machine were also seriously impressive!
All of the kids, and their teachers, were really lovely and accommodating. I just wish I’d had the chance to be there for the whole day! If that’s just one example of what a school can produce, I can’t wait to see the finished product. The whole banner sewn together is going to be pretty special, and a really creative way to celebrate the Commonwealth.
Our current block of Aspire classes ends next week, and won’t start again ‘til after I’m all finished up at Project Ability. Thankfully I’ve got piles of footage to get through, and as a Friday treat I’ve uploaded a couple of videos! You can watch them on our Youtube channel right here.
I’d better wrap things up there: there’s been so much going on this week, I didn’t quite realise how long I’d went on for. I’m aware of the relatively short time I have left, so I’m just trying to pack as much in as I can. For now though, I’m off to try and catch some of that elusive sunshine. Happy Friday!
This week has yet again flown by, although I’m glad it’s ended on a lovely, sunny note- especially with the long weekend ahead! Once again it’s been a busy one here at Project Ability, both in the workshops and beyond.
The Aspire workshops finish on 6th June, and won’t resume again until after I’ve left! As you can imagine, this means trying to get as much done as possible. I’ve found these workshops to be really fascinating and inspiring. Every single artist who comes in has a unique way of working in a whole host of different media, and they all have such diverse stories to tell as well.
I’ll really miss the workshops when they’re over, especially as it’ll be so quiet without them! I’ve been trying to shoot as much as I can of the workshops in full swing, and I’ll hopefully be posting more over the course of the next few weeks.
On Wednesday, a group of eight staff and tutors also underwent first aid training. I’ve worked in hospitality and film and TV in the past, so it’s pretty shocking that I’ve never done it before! I always thought if a situation occurred then I’d know how to handle it: after all, what could be so hard about first aid? Surely it was just common sense!
Turns out, the answer is yes and no. Yes, a lot of knowing what to do is common sense, but it’s another thing to know the correct procedures! I would’ve had no idea how to put someone in the proper recovery position- I would’ve been more likely to just flop them on their side and hope for the best. Likewise, I knew that compressions and CPR were vital for resuscitation, but didn’t know how to actually perform it.
Our trainer, Janet, was really informative and covered a really broad range of potential incidents, and more importantly how to deal with them. I actually felt a bit ashamed at how little I knew of the correct procedures! We covered everything from the Heimlich manoeuvre (or ‘abdominal thrusts’ as they’re now known) to stopping a bleeding. It was explained by talks, videos and practice, which helped it all to stick. Hopefully it’s something I’ll never have to put into practise, but at least I’ll know what to do if it does.
The Flowers of the Commonwealth schools banner project kicked off this week, and it seems to be a success so far! I’ll be getting involved next week as I’m off to the glamorous climes of Coatbridge to film a workshop and see the banner being made, first hand. It’s going to be a really big project, as it involves schools from across the country. I hope if I can even capture some small part of it, people can see the work that’s gone into it as well as the end result.
I hope everyone has a great long weekend, and all of us at Project Ability are sending our thoughts to everyone affected by the fire at the Glasgow School of Art. The building is an iconic and beautiful Glasgow landmark, and it's such a shame that so much work may be lost. Let's hope there isn't too much damage left to do.
It feels like there’s hardly been a full week all month, what with all of the bank holidays. While the long weekends have been nice, it feels like my time here is going so much faster! As such, I’ve been trying to fit in as much as I can, while I can.
I’ve been going about with my trusty camera trying to document as much as I can of our workshops. I’ve also finally got round to wading through the piles of footage I’ve shot so far. I was slightly worried that I hadn’t been doing enough, but a quick trawl through the archive and hard drive soon put these fears to rest. My aim in the time I’m here is to put together snapshots of the activities and workshops that go on here.
There’s only so much you can write about the energy and buzz of a workshop group, but it’s so much better to show it. Sometimes I’m even lucky enough to have artists willing to talk about their work: after all, who knows it better? I prefer the natural environment of the workshop, rather than trying to stage situations and conversations. It never feels as natural as simply going around with a camera, talking to artists while they work and filming what's going on as it happens.
I think it’s the best way of showing off just how much creative talent we have coming through our doors, and will hopefully let potential artists see what we have to offer. Having also shot an artist’s talk, I think it’s also a great way of allowing people to get involved in our activities even if they couldn’t be there.
I also managed to get out and about this Wednesday and join the Walking Group on their trip to the Glasgow Sculpture Studios. After last week's walk around Pollok Park was rained off, I was happy to see the sunshine holding out for us- even if we were mostly indoors! We were given a tour around the studios, which are based in former whisky distillery turned creative arts hub, The Whisky Bond.
The group were shown around the bigger woodwork shops, before going upstairs to see the ceramics and plaster rooms. The tour was ended by a visit around their current exhibition, Blocked Arch, Deferred Ceremony, Dawn Chorus: Tra-diddle da. Like a fly in slow suspense, by Canadian artist Gareth Moore. The project centred around the regeneration of the area and the found objects retrieved from the nearby canal. The area is currently being redeveloped as a creative quarter, and it was interesting to see how old, discarded objects had been similarly reinvigorated by their inclusion in the show. Even the walls of the gallery were a part of it: they had been decorated using pet food, which had been ground into a paste and mixed with paint.
The nice weather had held up and we ended the day with a walk along the canal- not bad for a Wednesday afternoon's work! It's not an area of town that I ever have much reason to be in, so it was an ideal opportunity to rediscover it. I've enjoyed going to places like this with the group: working full time means I don't get much spare time to go and discover new places. It's also been a good way of seeing exhibitions that I might not have otherwise! Hopefully now that sunnier weather is making an appearance, the group will find even more new places to explore.
I've also been using the nice weather to do some exploring of my own. It's been so miserable for so long that I hadn't been taking advantage of working so close to a park like Glasgow Green. Since Project Ability is situated on the bustling main road of Trongate, it's easy to forget that it's nearby. However, sometimes there's nothing better than taking a lunchtime stroll and rediscovering the plentiful green spaces that give Glasgow its name. After all, I need to escape from the editing room at some point!
I don’t know if it’s because of the recent bank holidays but the last few weeks have been flying by. When I first started here at Project Ability, I was only contracted until the beginning of June- meaning that at this point, I’d only have three weeks left! I’m now here until July and even at that, all I can think is how much more work there is to be done.
Either way, I’m still more than halfway through my time here and I feel like I’m only just starting to get a handle on the place now. There’s been so many people to meet and events and workshops to attend, it feels like I’ve been here for ages and no time at all. There are a lot of exciting projects coming up over summer time, including an Open Studio with Cameron Morgan.
There's also our upcoming schools project, Flowers of the Commonwealth, which encompasses schools across the country- I'm guessing there'll be shortage of diversity there! I’m definitely going to have my work cut out with all this going on! My plan is pretty much the same as it’s always been: just keep filming. There’s a fine line between getting lots of footage and being an annoyance though- I don’t want to feel like I’m getting in anyone’s way.
It’s been busy in the workshops too, and I’ve been getting back into the swing of filming again. Thankfully our Aspire artists are always very willing to speak to me about their works! It’s been great to see how much they’ve accomplished since the start of the block. A lot of their works are on quite a large scale and really colourful and intricate. Watching them progress has been really inspirational and I’m looking forward to seeing them all finished.
I’ve been trying to build up a library of videos and pictures so that when I’m done, I’ll have lots to show for my time. Now that I’m past the halfway mark, it’s full steam ahead: I don’t want to get to the end of my internship and feel like I’ve got nothing to show for it!
I’ve also been finishing off the edit for my video interview with David Bradley for Outside In. This was possibly one of the most difficult things to cut, technically and story-wise. It’s hard to know what to cut when someone is speaking about their personal experiences, and it’s also a challenge to keep it interesting and engaging when all you have is one camera pointing in someone’s face!
Most of my experience has been working in drama, and interview-wise I’ve worked mostly on three camera set ups. These are easy enough to cut between, but when it’s just me and one camera it can get tricky. Thankfully I feel as though my editing skills have improved in my time here, so any mistakes or shoogly camera work can be easily fixed. I’d hope by now there’s less shoogly camera work than at the start of my internship anyway!
Don't forget (as if you could!), our JustTextGiving appeal is still underway! In celebration of our 30th Birthday this year, we're trying to raise £10,000. It'll allow us to continue facilitating artists and run even more innovative workshops, events and opportunities. You can donate by texting ANNI30 £5 to 70070. You can also donate via our JustGiving page, www.justgiving.com/projectabilityltd. Every donation counts- we're also open to new fundraising ideas so please do get in touch!
I ended last week with a Saturday morning shift, taking pictures and videos of the Friends and Family Tie Dye workshop. At first I wasn’t sure how much interesting footage and pictures I would get: it seemed like quite an intricate process and the kids were really absorbed in it. I wasn’t sure how many were going to be there and it was quieter than expected. However, after seeing the bucket of dye and how easily it splashed on even the most careful participant, I was quite glad!
The lack of pandemonium meant I got a lot of lovely shots of bags and scarves being knotted, pleated, tied and dyed. The whole process seemed a lot easier than I would’ve thought: it’s amazing how detailed and intricate patterns could be achieved with a few simple twists. After taking some shots of the group at work, I was offered the chance to make my own, which I of course accepted!
I used marbles, which I tied to the inside of the bag with elastic bands, pleated the handles and knotted it. At first I just used the blue dye, but I’d twisted my bag up so many times there were a lot of white bits, so I popped it in the red dye for a little longer. Considering that I haven’t done any tie-dye since college, I was quite pleased with my results!
The week got off to a lovely, sunny start and I got the chance to interview one of our Reconnect artists for a short video. David Bradley is also represented by inclusive arts agency by Outside In, and was one of only two artists chosen to exhibit in London’s Bethlem Gallery as part of the Anxiety Festival in June. I filmed a short interview with David talking about his inspirations, working practices and artistic aspirations.
Outside In had originally sent some questions with the intention of getting written answers. After some discussion we felt that the best way to talk about art was by doing exactly that: talking about it! It also meant we could show some examples of David’s work that we have here in Project Ability. The video will be sent to Outside In ahead of the Festival launch.
I also got to go out with the walking group again, who this week were off to the Burrell Collection. Originally the plan was to walk around the grounds of Pollok Park, but the rainy weather soon saw to that. Still, it didn’t put a dampener on our trip around the museum: we were given a guided tour, which was really informative. I’ve been to the Burrell as few times, but it makes such a difference to the experience hearing about it from someone who knows about the history behind it.
It’s just a shame today’s good weather couldn’t have started a few days earlier: the grounds of Pollok Park are really lovely, I like that there’s a secluded, natural place like that in the middle of the south side. At one point I couldn’t even hear the traffic from the main road!
Anyway, that’s about all from me this week- if I couldn’t get the sunshine for my walk I hope it at least keeps up for the holiday weekend. Have a good one, folks!
It’s been an utterly hectic couple of weeks here at Project Ability, and it’s been a thoroughly knackering but amazing experience. Last week we finished up on Thursday for the Easter weekend, and we had a huge push to get everything done. The gallery saw swarms of visitors leaving lots of lovely comments about Cloud, and up in the workshop we had our very first One Minute Film workshops.
I was still buzzing from the screening of the One Minute Films when I wrote my last post- in case you couldn’t tell! Considering that I’d never taken a workshop before, I thought it went really well. It helped that all of our young film makers were brimming with ideas and were happy to use the short time we had to the fullest. We had a hand drawn animation, Lego stop motion, time lapse Jedi duel and even a satirical documentary piece- there was certainly no shortage of diversity!
Most of the films were finished by Thursday, but we still had a lot to do: sound recording, effects and setting up the projector for our guests. We managed to thankfully pull it all together and our audience of film makers, parents, Project Ability staff and invited guests gave us a very warm reception. At the start of this week the films were all uploaded onto our Youtube channel, so you can see for yourselves how much we managed to wring out of a mere four sessions!
It’s been nice to have this week to relax and recover from GI festival fatigue, which seems to have affected some of our younger visitors too! However there’s lots to be looking forward to, especially now as I’m going to be here a little bit longer. Last week I was lamenting on how I was halfway through my internship already, but I’m now going to be here for an extra four weeks. There’s a lot coming up in that time so I’ll be kept busy!
This weekend sees our Friends and Family Fun Tie-Dye workshop. I missed the last workshop as I was in London, so I’m looking forward to documenting this, taking pictures and clips of the group in action. It’ll be good to see families getting involved and seeing first-hand what goes on in our workshops.
A lot of what’s coming up will be in celebration of Project Ability’s 30th Birthday, which we’ll be celebrating all year! First things first: we’ve launched a JustTextGiving fundraising appeal, with a target of £10,000. It seems like a huge task and a lot to achieve, but it’s all going towards facilitating our huge roster of artists, events and exhibitions.
If you’d like to help us out, it’s easy: for example, if you wanted to donate £5, text ANNI30 £5 to 70070- however much you choose is up to you! There’s also a JustGiving page, too. We have big things planned for this year, but we need all the help we can get!
Last week saw the launch of our 30th Birthday fundraising campaign. We are setting the bar very high this year, as we are hoping to reach an amazing £10,000!
We need your help to achieve this, so please get in touch if you are taking part in a sports event or if you have any fundraising idea you would like to share with us.
You can also help us with just a few clicks on your phone: text ANNI30 £5 (or £10) to 70070, and donate securely to our campaign via JustTextGiving.
- Royal visit at Project Ability
- Artist Residency / Creative Partnership opportunity
- Shop Item of the Week - ‘Wyllie’s Paper Boat’ by Michael McMullen
- Artwork of the week - by Martin Sloss
- Shop Item of the Week - by Tommy Mason
- Film & Animation
- Recruitment & Volunteering
- Trongate 103
- Walking group
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