On the Road: Buckie and Keith

As part of our trip to the North East, Project Ability’s ‘On the Road’ artists visited Burnie Day Centre in the historic fishing town of Buckie and the Keith Community Hub, located in the centre of Keith, a country town famous for its Country show, traditional music and its important position on the ‘Scottish Malt Whisky Trail’.

Keith and Buckie, though very close in proximity, are both very different towns in look and feel; one coastal and the other rural. We received the friendliest of welcomes in both venues and were amazed at the enthusiastic and focused response, by both groups, to our sessions.

On day one we were treated to a tour of all Burnie’s marvellous, purpose-built facilities, such as its brilliant soft play room, snoezelen multi-sensory environment, activities rooms and even a trampoline room. Laid out in the shape of a horseshoe, Burnie encloses a beautiful sensory garden, which was buzzing with bees.

In Keith we were given a preview of the group's beautiful collaborative collaged wall mural which now brightens up one of their main meeting rooms and can be enjoyed by many of the groups who share facilities at the centre.

We’d travelled north to Elgin on Sunday with a car stuffed full of clay, plaster, drawing inks and an array of objects to inspire participants, such as ceramic skulls, Indian block prints and plastic toys. For both workshops we devised sessions which could offer our participants a series of tactile and multi-sensory activities, resulting in beautiful pressed clay plaster reliefs. These reliefs explore a number of processes rolled into one to ensure that everyone can connect and engage on many levels. The sessions involved lots of rolling, pressing, printing, pealing, measuring, mixing and tapping.
-Sharon Quigley, On the Road tutor

Burnie Day Centre,
28 Highfield Road
Buckie
Moray

Keith Community Hub
26 Mid Street
Keith
Banffshire
AB55 5AH

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Shop item of the Week - ‘Judy Garland’ by Michael McMullen

Shop Item of the week is this portrait by Michael McMullen of 'Judy Garland'. Michael works in our Aspire studios and has a great way of working with line in his drawings and paintings. Judy is pen on paper and measures 59x41cm. You can purchase this drawing for £25 from our online shop or in our gallery shop at Trongate 103. McMullen's images have a distinct style to them, often drawing people with his signature broad sloping shoulders. Michael has been producing some excellent work in the past couple of years and we're saving as much as we can in the hope of a solo exhibition at some point in the future. His Superhero paintings at our Christmas show were a great success, with two large canvases selling to two very happy customers!

   

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Artwork of the week - ‘Snow Leopard’ by Anji Goddard

Artwork of the week is this beautiful painting titled 'Snow Leopard' by Anji Goddard. 'Snow Leopard' is part of Goddard's solo exhibition titled 'From the Heart of the World', up in our Gallery II until July 1st. This exhibition is filled with gorgeous animals, often with a deep blue night sky and the soft light of the moon shimmering down. This exhibition is the culmination of many months of work by the artist, and it is a gorgeous selection of paintings. In our main gallery we are exhibiting a new exhibition titled 'Our Worlds', come by to see both shows until June 1st!

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Meet the Volunteers - Anna Reid

In today's 'Meet the Volunteers', we introduce you to the brilliant Anna Reid, who has been volunteering with our Create programme.

"Project ability reminded me that art, particularly as a form of play, is unbelievably important when it comes to learning and confidence. I started volunteering with the Create programme after graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, where my practice focused primarily on social engagement with young people.

After graduating I knew that I wanted to continue being creative whilst working with the community, and when I heard about Project Ability, and the programmes they ran, it seemed like the perfect opportunity. It certainly was. I found I learnt as much from the young people I worked with as (I hope) they did from me. As I got to know the artists and work alongside them, the experience became more and more rewarding. The Create programme meant young people could express their spontaneous ideas using anything from clay, to photography, to drawing and even printmaking. The facilities and space are fantastic, and the staff are extremely supportive in helping you navigate the studio and finding materials. I loved visiting the Project Ability galleries, which provided me with endless inspiration and appreciation for the artists working at Project Ability.

I would highly recommend the experience to anyone who wants to work alongside inspiring artists and needs a reminder as to why art is so beneficial for the community."

Thanks Anna! If you would like to volunteer with Project Ability, download an application form and apply by Monday 26th June. 

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Cameron Morgan - Arthouse residency

Cameron Morgan started his two-week residency in the Arthouse, Wakefield, on Saturday 17th June. Project Ability' technician Jim Ewen is with him for the first week; here he tells us what the two of them did during the first couple of days. 

"Seventeenth of June 2017, we arrived at the Arthouse Wakefield with real excitement and the beginnings of a Florida tan. We thought summer was over already. Two weeks in May is the same for everyone right? No, we’ve traveled 230 miles to a different climate and we’re amazed and scunnered at the same time. Cameron Morgan has been awarded a 2 week printmaking residency here in Wakefield and I’m his buddy, driver, assistant, fellow artist? It doesn’t matter, I’m the technician for Project Ability which means I do anything and everything and that’s why it’s a great job. This is going to be fun.

The Arthouse is a young, handsome, brick building. It comprises of a new build, born in 2009 and a refurb of a Victorian listed library. 50 studio artists work here now and two more live in the fantastically accessible flat which even has a socket by the bed for your essential pillow vibrator. A great deal of money has been spent here, the facilities are fantastic, the light floods in everywhere and just as a bonus the roof doesn’t leak. Odd for an artist studio.

The printmaking studio is kitted out with an auto-etching press, a laser-cutter, iMacs and silkscreens galore. It’s almost the Arthouse’s greatest asset but that has to be reserved for the workers here. The staff made us feel so welcome and Ian the cleaner made us laugh at 8am. Surrounded by bars, restaurants, the train station and The Royal Theatre, the Arthouse couldn’t get any more central. It seems the cultural quarter is important to this cathedral town. The Hepworth Wakefield is 15min walk from here. The Sculpture Park is the same by car and, oh boy do the people love that place! Heavin wi folk!

I visited Yorkshire Sculpture Park about 15 years ago when two friends married on the grounds. It was beautiful, but now, when Cameron and I visited it, it’s evolved and attracted the biggest names in international sculpture. There are new galleries, cafes, and installations all over the place (as well as plenty of sheep). People love it. The art, picnics under a tree, the walking. But the art - there is just so much of it now! It’s the first time I’ve seen work by Ai WeiWei. Twelve Bronze zodiac heads. Like totems to worship, and worship people do. I watched. Arms raised in adulation, a photo taken from every angle, data sacrificed. And then as Cameron did, the people bow and grovel in search of the best low angle shot. I don’t mind the selfies and wanting to record everything but I was wondering if this kind of human behavior was what Ai WeiWei intended all along? As Cameron fluttered around the zodiac heads, I stood back and watched the pilgrims.

After the long hot walk past the boat house with no water, past the lake with too much, we took a rest at James Turrell’s Deer Shelter Skyspace. I’ve always wanted to see this master’s work and it didn’t disappoint. Stepping through the door into the underground space immediately removes you from brea-ing sheep, crowds of people and constant heat. A space of contemplation and coolness where the focus is the square hole in the high ceiling. Bright cerulean blue square as perfect as a new watercolour pan, wetted for the first time with so much promise. The square sky doesn’t change today but I can still watch it forever. This is my idol, pure colour.

Tony Cragg’s retrospective was simply stunning. Beautiful complex forms, with the maker in me trying to unlock their secrets of construction. The simple framed drawings which accompanied the sculptures were enlightening. Even the most complex of structures begin with a drawing. Drawing always comes first, and it’s what we’re doing today. In the Arthouse printmaking studio Cameron sits drawing his idea of a combine harvester. It will be one of many that will be produced today in preparation for tomorrow. For tomorrow we meet another of the locals –the screen printer- who will guide us through the cultural quarter and help us on the way to express the love of the combine through paper and ink.

And if it doesn’t cool down soon I’ll be dreaming of Turrell’s Skyspace, praying to the zodiac, and making plans for a pilgrimage to our temperate rainforest we call home all the while I’m topping up my Floridian tan."

Keep an eye on the website for Jim's second blog next week!

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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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Shop item of the week - ‘Two Birds’ by Scott Smith

Shop item of the week features this lovely pair of birds by Scott Smith. These are two seperate drawings on two seperate squares of black mount board. Measuring a total width of 54 cm and a height of 30cm, they are the perfect size for any nook and cranny in the home. They are being sold as a pair but if you'd like just one please contact the gallery. You can buy these two direct for 30 pounds from our online shop here.

 

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Artwork of the week - ‘Scotsman’ by Gerard Gallagher

 

'Scotsman' by Gerard Gallagher is our chosen artwork of the week. This colourful  figure is undoubtedly a Scotsman, complete with kilt and Balmoral Bonnet. Gallagher is an artist working in our Aspire workshops, and he, along with fellow artist Edward Henry, are  currently part of a two-man exhibtion in our gallery titled 'Our Worlds'. Gerard draws mainly figures, and often works from old posters and advertisements in magazines. His mark making is minimal and loose, giving his work a relaxed and expressive feel. 'Our Worlds' features new work by both Gallagher and Henry, and is up in the Project Ability gallery until 1 July. 

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Meet the Volunteers - Katarzyna Konarska

"With an education in the Fine Arts and Design Academy in Poland and an interest in art therapy, I was very excited to be given the opportunity to become a volunteer with Project Ability. In 2016 I supported a gentleman at Aspire class and was very happy to see how much he enjoyed it. I am thoroughly enjoying my time at Project Ability where all the staff and fellow volunteers are very knowledgeable, have a great sense of care and it’s a pleasure to be a part of the team.

With Aspire, I am helping artists with drawing, painting, ceramics and other types of artistic media they choose to express themselves with. I’m witnessing  how they create wonderful works of art. I‘m really glad I’m working with such inspiring and creative artists who are in kind teaching me how to balance being encouraging, instructive or when to step back and let their creativity flow. It has inspired me to go back to my art as well.

I would highly recommend any artist to volunteer at Project Ability. It is a wonderful opportunity to work with friendly, helpful and like-minded people within excellent facilities. But the best of all of course,  is the chance to work with a group of great artists.
Thank you and all the best."

Thank you Katarzyna!

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Heritage workshops at Linn Park Adventure Playground - Week 4

For the last of our heritage workshops with schools and youth groups at Linn Park Adventure Playground, children and young people explored weaving and carpet making, inspired by the Geddes Carpet Factory and Dye Works, which once stood where Holmhead Crescent and Holmhead Place are now. 

In the 1700’s the factory was one of the area's main employers and those taking part in the workshops were very busy producing their small masterpieces.

We have an exciting programme of activities taking place at Linn Park Adventure Playground over the summer for children with additional support needs aged 5+ and their families. 
Booking is essential, contact Linn Park Adventure Playground on 0141 633 1493

Friday 30th June - Rag Rug Carpets and Weaving Workshops, 10am-12noon & 1-3pm

Friday 7th July -  Foraging for Foliage Walk, 10am-11am (Access to the park via steep slope with steps and uneven terrain.)
Paper Making Workshops, 11am-12noon & 1-3pm

Friday 21st July - Foam Printing Workshop, 10am-12 noon
Tie Dye Workshop, 1-3pm

Friday 28th July - Foraging for Foliage Walk, 10am-11am (Access to the park via steep slope with steps and uneven terrain.)
Printing From Found Objects Workshop, 11am-12noon
Textile Printing Workshop, 1-3pm

Friday 4th August - Rag Rug Carpets and Weaving Workshops, 10am-12noon & 1-3pm


These workshops are made possible thanks to generous support from Heritage Lottery and the money raised by National Lottery players.

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Artwork of the week - ‘Tiger Moon’ by Anji Goddard

'Tiger Moon' is our artwork of the week. Unframed this striking painting measures 30 x 30 cm and in its frame and mount it measures 52 x 52cm. This beautiful painting is made in acrylic on canvas paper, and can be seen in our Gallery II until 1 July. 'From the Heart of the World' is a solo exhibition from Anji Goddard, and it has transformed our Gallery II into a jungle!

Anji Goddard works in our ReConnect programme and is a multi-talented artist. You can read more about Anji and this impressive exhibition here. Please contact the gallery if you have any questions about Anji and her paintings.

 

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Meet the Volunteers - Robyn Boyle

"I’ve known of Project Ability since a lecturer suggested applying to volunteer when I was discussing my plans after studying at Gray’s School of Art. I’ve been following a plan towards studying a masters in Art and Psychotherapy for over 10 years. It’s the only career I’ve ever felt compelled to pursue. I have a deep desire to help others in any way I can, which combined with my engrained creativity would make it the ideal job for my personality.  I’ve always admired the work Project Ability does and really wanted the opportunity to learn from them and the artists supported there.

As part of my journey, over the last two years, I have been working as a support worker for adults with learning difficulties, mental health illnesses and physical disabilities. I have incorporated art workshops and community based creative activities - when appropriate and if time allows - with the people I support, including helping to remodel the bedroom of a young woman I support to include a large sensory corner where she can spend some time out of her wheelchair.

In my job I have many other responsibilities, so having the chance to be immersed in a purely arts based environment at Project Ability, has been amazing. The feedback from the tutors has also been encouraging, especially when they have recognised the benefits of something I’ve tried with the artists they support.

A lot of the art workshops I have facilitated at work or other places, I have volunteered and have funded by myself. Having the time, space and resources at Project Ability has given me the opportunity to experiment more with people. Engaging with the artists to identify what they enjoy has been a big highlight for me. This has been particularly helpful with the non-verbal artist who I have spent the most time working with. The flexibility to switch to different materials and processes has helped me support him without creative limitations.

Focusing solely on art as a method to enrich people’s lives has been one of the most valuable periods of time I have spent volunteering. I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge and learned new techniques to support people which will help me in future projects.

My own art practice has benefited too.  While supporting one of the Saturday artists, I have made examples pieces to work from. There’s been quite a few moments where I have made work completely divorced from my usual palette and style because I haven’t been aiming to produce ‘art’ or been too precious and concerned with the result, yet I have liked the outcome more than I usually do. Working with the artists has definitely taught me to make work I enjoy making removed from my own expectations and standards I tend to place on myself.


I have been sad at the end of every session because I’ve been having far too much fun!  I will definitely miss working with all of this group of inspiring people, but I’m so grateful that I have been fortunate enough to have worked with the artists alongside the tutors."

Thank you Robyn!

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Walking Group - Week 10: Pollok Park

What a wonderful day for a walk in the park and what a wonderful park to walk in. Pollok Park in the Southside of Glasgow is not only the biggest park in the city but one of the most beautiful – especially on a sunny day. Our walking group were very pleased to get one of these last week for their trip and thoroughly enjoyed the sunshine. The Burrell Collection museum is currently closed for refurbishment but there is still plenty to do and see in the park.

There was wildlife aplenty with ducks, damselflies, newts and bees being spotted and lots of birdsong heard from the trees above. The group also had the great pleasure of seeing the shire horses grazing in the field and then being led along the riverbank.

It wasn’t the first time the group had been to the park but it was their first time to find the carved dinosaur bones in one of the cultivated garden areas.

For more information about the park visit  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollok_Country_Park

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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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On the Same Latitude - Copenhagen

In 2015, ReConnect artist Simon McAuley worked on a project with photographer Ida Arentoft, where both artists took photographs in their respective countries, Scotland and Denmark, following guidelines and time frames they had set up. This resulted in a beautiful collaborative exhibition -On the Same Latitude- which was showcased in our gallery.

This month, the exhibition travelled to the Copenhagen Photo Festival, with a new map publication to accompany the show and guide the viewer on the artists' journey. The exhibition is in a disused industrial building and runs from 1st June to 11th June.

Simon McAuley joined Ida Arentoft for the install and the opening, and they took part in a podcast, which you can listen here

(photos by Simon McAuley, except portrait by Sia Engelund Jensen via Facebook)

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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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New artist in residence opportunities

Project Ability is delighted to be able to offer two opportunities to Glasgow based visual artists, interested in making and experiencing our unique working environment. 

Our residency programme gives opportunity to artists to develop their practice, within our busy working studios. Your experience with us will give you the chance to engage with our artists, be influenced by their practices and give you time and a space to create with us.

We have two opportunities available, one for the calendar month of August and one for the month of September.  All interested artists are invited to submit an artist cv along with a short proposal of how they could use their time with us to our Volunteers Co-ordinator, Tracy Gorman at volunteers@Project-ability.co.uk.  Any enquiries regarding these opportunities should also be directed to Tracy.

The deadline for all application is Monday 26th June. Good luck

(image: Florence Dwyer, ReSearch residency 2016)

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New volunteering opportunities starting August 2017

As our spring workshops draw to a close, Project Ability is gearing up for our autumn 2017 programme due to start later this August. We are looking for a wide range of visual artists, who are interested in experiencing our creative programme of workshops. Our studios offer a vibrant and colourful working environment for our artists, tutors and volunteers alike. Volunteering with Project Ability will challenge you, no matter what stage you are at in your career.  It can open up your practice and introduce you to new ways of making art, we hope you will be energised and inspired by your experience with us.  Please look at the ‘Meet the Volunteer’ feature on our website, to be inspired by the past and varied experiences of our previous volunteers. 

We are welcoming applications from both graduate and undergraduate artists, with experience in ceramics or printmaking and across the visual arts, to support our ‘Aspire’ participants in the making of their artwork.  Our Aspire programme is for adults with learning disabilities. Volunteers should be able to commit to at least 2 hours a week, each week, for 8 weeks.  Workshops take place from 10am – 12noon and 1pm– 3pm, Monday to Thursday and 10 – 3pm on Friday.

We also have an opportunity to volunteer with our ‘Sunday Social’ group, an afternoon workshop giving opportunity for adults, from across our programmes, to socialise and make art.

In addition we would also like to recruit artists for our ‘Create’ Saturday workshop programme.  With opportunities from 10 am to 12:30pm to volunteer with our youngest artists aged 5 – 12 years and from 1pm to 4pm to support young people aged 12 - 21 years.  We also have further opportunities to volunteer with Art Matters; a designated studio time for young adults 21 – 28 years, from 4pm – 6pm.   Successful applicants should, as much as possible, be able to commit to 8 sessions, with further opportunity to extend their experience, possible.  

Finally, we have further opportunity to volunteer within our ReConnect programme, which supports artists with lived experience of mental ill health.  ReConnect supports artists to develop their individual art practices in a supported studio environment.  We would like to recruit visual artists who enjoy engaging with others and talking about art, who would like to support and contribute to our open studio. Opportunities are available on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings from 10am – 1pm.

If you have any questions about any of our opportunities, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Tracy Gorman, our Volunteers Co-ordinator at volunteers@project-ability.co.uk

Download the application form and send it back to Tracy at the email address above by Monday 26th June.  Good Luck.

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Artwork of the week - Sky High by Edward Henry

 

Sky High is a brand new painting by Aspire artist Edward Henry. Painted in acrylic on board, this piece measures 40 x 60 cm and is for sale for £65. It has a beautiful colour palette and although the birds look quite menacing the overall feel of the painting is uplifting and serene. This painting is in our newest exhibition, which opens this afternoon at 4pm, titled  'Our Worlds'. This is a two man show of paintings, drawings and prints with Edward and also Gerard Gallagher, another of our Aspire artists. The artwork in this exhibition shows the unique perspective each of these artists has on their world.
Edward has been an artist with Project Ability for several years and in this time he has acquired a very unique style of painting which is very recognisable. He has his own fan base of art lovers and we're sure this exhibition, featuring his most recent works, will be very popular amongst our visitors.
The show, Our Worlds, is up in our Gallery until 2 June. Anji Goddard exhibits a beautiful selection of paintings in our Gallery II at the same time. You can read more about her exhibition here.

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Volunteers Week: Where are they now?

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.

Lucy Payne

"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."


Ailsa Sutcliff

"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."
 

Max Mcilmunn

"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!

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Summer for Young People at Project Ability

We have a packed programme of Summer workshops for our young artists! 

Summer Performance Workshops, 12-18 years

Join our workshop facilitators for a week long programme exploring performance and music as a creative response to our annual Young Talent exhibition.  Look at how movement, sound, props and lighting can be used to explore how artwork and spaces make you feel and think.  Perform the final piece on the Friday in front of a live audience and captured on film by Project Ability’s Media Unit.
Week 1: 10-14 July, 10am-2pm
Week 2:  24-28 July, 10am-2pm
Cost: £20 per week
Location: Project Ability gallery and studios

Book your place by phoning 0141 552 2822 or emailing us at create@project-ability.co.uk
 

Merchant City Festival – Creative Carpets, Family workshops age 5+

Inspired by Glasgow’s rich textile and carpet making heritage join Project Ability as we explore the techniques of rag rugs and weaving in the Trongate 103 Foyer. 
Date: Sunday 30th July
Times: 11-1pm & 2-4pm
Age suitability:  5yrs upwards, all children must be accompanied by an adult
Booking: Drop in
Cost: Free
Location: Trongate 103 foyer
 

Linn Park Heritage Workshops, Family Workshops age 5+

Join us at Linn Park Adventure Playground, an accessible outdoor space for children with disabilities, to explore the rich natural and industrial heritage of Linn Park and the White Cart River.  Free drop in arts and craft workshops will be running on the following dates, workshop details will be released shortly:
Friday 30th June, 10am-3pm
Friday 7th July, 10am-3pm
Friday 21st July, 10am-3pm
Friday 28th July, 10am-3pm
Friday 4th August, 10am-3pm

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Meet the Volunteers - Anya Mooney

Anya Mooney is one of our amazing volunteers, and a fantastic addition to our Aspire team. Here she tells us more about her experience with Project Ability.

'I have found my time volunteering at Project Ability to be incredibly enjoyable above all else! As I am not originally from Glasgow it has been fantastic to be part of one of its communities out with the art school where I study.

For me it has been particularly interesting to hear the stories of a different generation, some who have grown up in difficult circumstances, when our society was less supportive of adults with learning difficulties. As a student I spend a lot of time around people my age and in a similar situation to myself. I’ve found it fascinating to talk to a more diverse group of people with different life experiences and hear their stories.

I see a huge range of artistic outcomes every week at Project Ability and it is refreshing to see the artists making work so intuitively. Week by week I have got to know each student better and their individual style and way of making has really come across. I have found many of the students are confident and unself-conscious with their work; this is great to watch and a helpful lesson for any artist! Seeing how immersed the students get in making, as well as the pride at finishing a piece has demonstrated to me how important a space like this is. It is evident that the level of care from all the permanent tutors and staff has been influential in creating such an honest, open and inclusive environment! It has been brilliant to be part of it!'

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Ladysbridge Project

Ladysbridge Hospital was a long stay institution for people with learning disabilities in Banff in North East Aberdeenshire.  The hospital closed over 20 years ago.  Many people who stayed in the hospital still live in and around Banff and in Aberdeen.


Project Ability and social care agency C-Change have received funding from the Heritage Lottery to support people with learning disabilities to research the history of the Hospital and to share with us their experience of living at Ladysbridge. The project is also gathering memories from former staff and family members. 


The project launched on Tuesday 16th May 2017 and will be carried out over the next twelve months.  The project team - an artist, writer, designer and film maker - were joined by over 60 people at the project launch at Aberdeen Arts Centre.


Watch this space for project updates!

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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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Heritage workshops at Linn Park Adventure Playground - Week 3

Another week at Linn Park Adventure Playground and another week of great heritage workshops with the centre’s youth groups and schools, this time exploring print making, using a wealth of natural printing materials sourced from the park and playground. 

The first recorded Printworks in Glasgow was situated on the White Cart River and opened its doors in 1742.  By the end of the 18th century there were around 30 across the city.

Workshops will be ongoing until August 2017, keep an eye on our website for announcements about our summer heritage programme for children and young people at Linn Park Adventure Playground.

These workshops are made possible thanks to generous support from Heritage Lottery and the money raised by National Lottery players.

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Meet the Volunteers - Seamus Killick

For our first Meet The Volunteers feature this year, we are delighted to introduce you to the amazing Seamus Killick, who has been a brilliant addition to our Create team.

"Pretty much as soon as I walked into the ginormous studios at Project Ability, I felt at home. Amazing equipment, great light and most importantly all these fascinating works of art casually lying about the place. Spongebob and George Michael and bizarre swirling landscapes - all adding this ambience that made me excited to work alongside some very talented visionaries!

It's been too much fun hanging out with these kids and seeing their ideas come to life. It kind of reminds me why I got so into this art stuff back in school - it's a chance to share your private world with others. To become an explorer not only in your own imagination but to pick other peoples brains too. The to-and-fro of idle chit chat is wonderful brain food for me, especially the frankness of children which can be hilarious.

I like getting involved with an individual's idea and seeing how I can best help out with it depending on that person. Sometimes it might just be chatting about it or observing it and sometimes I might have to get stuck in with the clay. I like that at the beginning I felt like a kind of 'volunteer' person but then throughout the process I felt so relaxed that I just felt like another member of the class, with running jokes and nicknames and bouncing ideas of each other. Because I'm there for pretty much the same reason as they are. We all had many over lapping influences like Disney, Pokemon and Star Wars.

It's not been without its challenges! Creating stuff can be a frustrating thing when it doesn't go the way you intended it and sometimes we might just not feel like it. Just got to roll with the punches! I like embracing mistakes and I want to convince kids that accidents can be the best things in the making process.

Project Ability - its been fab. I leave with a head full of ideas and some fond memories of these wee guys!"

Thank you Seamus!

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Walking Group - Week 9: Hidden Gardens

On Wednesday 17th May the walking group visited The Hidden Gardens located at the back of the Tramway museum.

We split into two groups for a 45 minute tour of the garden area, walking through traditional, woodland and raised bed areas. Our 'vouluntour' leader was Lisa, and she told us the history of the building that had been there before the museum and gardens.

It started life as a plant nursery before being home to a stone masonry, and then a tram depot which was also where the trams were constructed. The gardens still feature a large chimney from these factory days.

Before it became the arts venue it is today, it was the first location of the Glasgow Transport museum. The gardens feature several distinct areas including a lawn area where events, picnics and weekly tai chi classes take place.

The woodland area hosts the xylotheque, a wooden gazebo-like structure that is home to books, each made from wood featuring an inlaid panel and the name of the tree engraved on the corresponding page.

There is a nature area with houses for birds, bees and many other creatures as well as a mint border and herb beds. There is the opportunity to buy plants and also a wishing tree where you are able to write on a small biodegradable card and hang it from the tree.

The gardens are beautiful and peaceful, with many nooks and crannies tucked away so visitors can have a private spot to relax or work in peace. Popular with families there is a host of events taking place year round, check out thehiddengardens.org.uk for more details.
-Morag McGilchrist

The Walking Group is supported by Tesco Bags of Help

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Start of a new project with the Royal Hospital for Children

Tomorrow marks the start of an exciting year long programme between Project Ability and the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow.  Working on a weekly basis with one of our experienced visual artists, patients from Ward 4 will have the opportunity to explore a diverse and exciting programme of visual arts activities and to develop their own creative practice.

Many thanks to Trefoil for their generous and ongoing support of this project and the Create Programme for Children and Young People.

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Project Ability at The Alliance Conference

Back in February, a few Project Ability artists were invited to The Gathering in Glasgow's SECC: Cameron Morgan, John Cocozza and Steven Reilly were on hand to draw conference goers' portraits in watercolour and oil pastels. The stall attracted a lot of people and the artists delivered many unique and colourful portraits.

We are now delighted to announce that we will once again be drawing portraits, this time at the Alliance conference in Glasgow's Radisson Blu hotel. Now is your chance to get your very own Cameron Morgan or John Cocozza artwork!

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LDAW17 - Judith Abubakar

Our last feature for Learning Disability Awareness Week 2017 is about a delightful young artist who has been coming to our Create classes for years: the fantastic Judith Abubakar. Text by tutor Celine Mcilmunn.

"Judith is a joy to work with. She arrives in the studio full of energy and enthusiasm and is always keen to try new things. Her sense of humour and infectious laughter often has us tutors in stitches and her tales of what she’s been up to socially makes us feel like we lead very dull lives indeed!

Judith loves to use bright colours in her art making and her choice of subject matter is wide and varied. She especially enjoys working with textiles and making objects that have a practical use as well as being interesting and beautiful to look at.

Judith leads a busy life and along with enjoying her workshops at Project Ability she also takes part in a drama group and sings in a choir so she is always busy being creative in one way or another."
-Celine Mcilmunn

Top image: portrait by Alicia Bruce.

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