For our last Meet the Volunteers this block, please meet Nick Thomas, who has been an invaluable addition to our Create Saturday Visual Arts Classes. Keep an eye on the website, we will be advertising for the next block soon.
"In the ‘difficult first year’ out of art school, the Create workshops have been something of an oasis - albeit a tiring one - in the midst of a week generally filled with a service work and application forms. I graduated from painting and printmaking at the Glasgow School of Art and, although I moved away from these to time-based media whilst studying, the participants at Project Ability have since reminded me of the simple satisfaction of creating images and sculptures. Seeing the development of ideas from week to week, the range of source material (ipad games have featured heavily!) and the excitement generated by (among other things) overhead projectors, I’ve left Trongate 103 on a Saturday afternoon exhausted but invigorated.
A project I’ve been involved with over the last year has seen me researching the history of the Third Eye Centre, active in Glasgow in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The Third Eye was forward-thinking in terms of its programme of social engagement, which included community work and a strong relationship with Barlinnie’s infamous Special Unit. One of the offspring of this period in Glasgow’s artistic history is Project Ability, and I was lucky enough to be able to speak to Joyce Laing recently - art therapist at the Special Unit and co-founder of Project Ability. Hearing Joyce talk so eloquently about her life, helping those who would perhaps otherwise not have had access to the arts, was incredibly inspiring. Knowing that her valuable work continues to this day, and being able to contribute in a small way, has been integral in reaffirming my belief in the positive effect that art can have in people’s lives."
This week, meet Sabine Geissler, an Austrian community artist who has been an invaluable addition to the Aspire team.
‘I completed the equivalent of a BA in communication design, focussing on illustration, back home in Austria. After completing this degree I spent some time working as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, in Austria and Australia, where I lived for a while. As I had worked as a nanny during my time at uni and loved spending time with children, I decided to go back to uni and did a diploma in Montessori early childhood studies in London. I have worked with children as a pre-school teacher for almost 8 years now, but to give myself a more solid basis for the work in the education sector, I simultaneously completed a BA Hons. in early childhood studies at London Metropolitan uni.
During my time as a teacher I enjoyed creating art with children tremendously and due to my background in both fields I began looking into opportunities working as a community artist, as I wanted to combine both my passions, art and education. For the last year and a half I have been working first as a volunteer and later as a paid freelancer for a couple of organisations in Glasgow. I knew of Project Ability through some of my friends and always wanted to get an insight into this amazing organisation, so when a volunteer position came up and I was offered to volunteer for the Aspire workshops, I felt very lucky to have got in. It is a wonderful space and I love getting to know the participants, being able to take part in something so worthwhile and uplifting.’
Thank you very much for everything, Sabine!
Project Ability’s award winning film programme is delivered by a team of professional filmmakers who support young people with disabilities to construct their ideas, develop their stories, learn technical skills, impart their knowledge of filmmaking and most of the time manage to stay one step ahead! Our young filmmakers are passionate, enthusiastic and well-informed about film.
We deliver beginner and advanced classes in our studio in Trongate 103 where, following a successful fundraising campaign in 2012, we have excellent resources and current generation equipment. We also deliver film projects in community venues and in partnership with education.
We are now looking to increase our bank of freelance film tutors and ask that filmmakers interested in this opportunity send us an expression of interest, an up to date C.V with relevant details of training and qualifications, details of professional experience and digital links to work made in the last 2 years.
We will acknowledge receipt of information received.
Anne Guillemin applied to volunteer with us after an extensive career spanning 32 years, working for 10 years at the Visual Arts Studio and a further 22 years as an art teacher in a variety of schools throughout Glasgow. Recently retired, Anne applied to volunteer with our ‘Create’ programme, here’s what she said about her experience…
"Working as a volunteer for Project Ability proved to be a very enlightening experience for me. It provided a perfect opportunity to work alongside some very interesting and inspiring young individuals. It was a treat to be able to spend time with the older kids in particular and share in their enthusiasm towards their artwork.
The talented young staff and volunteers encourage a carefree yet focused atmosphere in a fantastic space where budding young artists get the rare opportunity to create exactly what they want to create in a safe supported environment.
It was a privilege to be a part of their team and is one which I will treasure and can heartily recommend. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with these lovely kids. They taught me more than I gave to them. Life lessons."
Our 2012 / 2013 Exhibitions report, including information on our gallery programme and our off-site and international projects can now be read online by clicking here.
Our 2012 / 2013 Create programme report, including information on our Saturday Visual Arts classes, Introduction to Film classes and Art Matters can now be read online by clicking here.
Our 2010 / 2013 Volunteer programme report can now be read online by clicking here.
This week, let us introduce you to Antonia Spagnoletti, who has been volunteering with our young 6-12yrs filmmakers on Wednesdays.
"I have always had a passion for the Arts. During my childhood, I spent most of my time engaging with the arts in some form or another, attending classes weekly in an array of art forms ranging from painting and drawing to dancing and theatre. My self-confidence has grown in direct relation to my appreciation and understanding of the arts. As an adult, I found myself drawn to visual media and I achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Film and Photography at Edinburgh Napier University in 2011. The arts have become an integral part of my life now and I have been developing my practice ever since, working on some fantastic creative projects and even exhibiting my work internationally.
For me, imagery is a very powerful thing. you can express and inspire so much from an image, it opens discussion, challenges perceptions and can conjure up vivid emotions or memories. As a firm supporter of the arts as an important positive contributor to self-development and personal growth, I believe that the arts provide us with models to think differently, work differently and assist us in relating to each other.
I am currently involved with the Create workshop - Introduction to Film for 6-12 year olds. I wanted to be able to support other peoples’ creative practice whilst igniting their passion for the Arts, just as I was inspired when I was young. It is my favourite part of the week, being able to work with such free artists. I love to see their approach to creative working, and it’s really rewarding to see them get as excited about developing and exploring creativity as I do. It’s also been an invaluable and informative experience for me too, particularly in my own approach to creativity. Volunteering with Project Ability is a great opportunity to learn just as much as you are there to help and I look forward to being part of many more projects to come."
This week, let us introduce you to Katie Hawson, who has been a wonderful addition to the Create team.
"Having recently graduated from Glasgow School of Art, where in my final year, art became the most stressful element in my life, I felt I needed to be reminded that in reality art can be not only therapeutic but actually fun. Having volunteered now for a few weeks with the Saturday morning Create workshops, the children and staff at Project Ability have done just that. In the workshops there is a sense of excitement with the environment lending itself well to enriching everyone’s experience of art, encouraging equality and freedom of expression. The passion of the young people, the sheer concentration and their ability to show enthusiasm for a project over a number of weeks is quite remarkable, however the most valuable aspect of these workshops is sheer amount of fun both staff, volunteers and children have when working together.
Within my own practice I'm interested in the perception of reality and use my work to create conspicuous, esoteric images that suggest a narrative that isn't there. Working mainly within printmaking I often become heavily involved in the practical aspects of the medium as a whole. Since graduating I have been involved in a number of group shows and have recently shown my work in a small solo show at the Brunswick. Overall Project Ability has shown me how to approach my own work without giving myself any limitations. Although I'm on this blog as a volunteer for Project Ability, where in theory I should be telling you about how I've been helping others at the workshops, in reality it's those I have met at the workshops who have been helping me."
Thank you from all of us, Katie!
Administrator (Full Time). Initially for 12 months with the possibility of extension
37.5 hours per week.
Salary Scale £18441-£19959
We are seeking an organised professional to provide a comprehensive administrative support service for the organisation.
You will have excellent communication skills; verbal and written and first class IT skills including Microsoft office (word, access and excel).
You will be able to demonstrate experience in a similar administrative role and experience of working in a face to face customer service environment.
You will be flexible, able to manage a complex workload and to work on your own initiative without supervision and as part of a small dedicated team.
Closing Date Monday 3rd June 2013
Interviews Wednesday 19th June 2013 in Glasgow
Tel: 0141 552 2822
Scottish Charity No: SC005226
This week, meet Gillian Datlen, who has been a great addition to the Art Matters team.
"I started at Project Ability in January and have been volunteering on the Art Matters project on a Saturday evening.
Although I have a lot of experience working with children in schools, working with adults has given me a very different, valuable experience. It has been such a rewarding time for me and I have enjoyed meeting and working with the creative individuals who participate. Each person has their own style, unique ideas and very different approaches to their work so it’s great to facilitate this without structuring each week as a lesson. I have been extremely impressed at the quality of work being produced and the skills of the young people, some of whom have been attending Project Ability workshops from a young age. This is proof of how successful Project Ability is, not only for enhancing skills but for providing individuals with an artistic outlet, and ultimately, improving their confidence."
Thank you from all of us at Project Ability for your hard work!
This week, let us introduce you to another fantastic volunteer: Theresa Malaney, who has been a great addition to the Aspire team.
"I am delighted to have the opportunity to volunteer with Project Ability. My role is as a Printmaker, encouraging, enabling and facilitating the artists taking part in Aspire groups on Mondays.The work I see being done in these groups, the enthusiasm, passion and energy of both participants and tutors confirms my beliefs about the importance of understanding and acknowledging that the practice of each Artist is equally valid. Visual Art is a means of communication, self expression, interpretation of ourselves, our environment, emotions, beliefs.
Within Project Ability, Artists with mental health, learning disabilities and sometimes physical disabilities can utilise the space, time and resources to create their own Art Practice, and I see people being empowered by being able to make aesthetic choices, and moreover, the work created being valued for what it is- a true and significant Art Practice.
In my own practice, I am interested in exploring the relationship between the conscious and the unconscious, within self, and in relation to other. I mainly work within the media of Fine Art Printmaking, and try to experiment, expand and develop my skills within these media.
My work with the Artists taking part in Project Ability has reminded me that play is an essential part of the creative process, and also that within a limited time frame, much can be achieved."
Ruth Ansell has been volunteering with us on Saturday afternoons, working with our participants in our Create programme. Her contribution to the group has been invaluable, working one to one with many of our children during the course of our last 8 week block of workshops. Her input has been very much appreciated by both the children and the Saturday staff alike.
Ruth joins us with many skills: a BA(hons) in Textile Design from the Glasgow School of Art and a MA in Design Practice and Management from Glasgow Caledonian University.
She said this of her volunteering experience at Project Ability:
"Every Saturday for the past eight weeks I have walked into the Project Ability Studios to assist with the children’s class ‘Create’. Regardless of how wearisome the week has been I have been catapulted into a world of creativity. Through assisting the many experienced art tutors the project has to offer, I have subconsciously been shown the importance of the creative process, developing both confidence and wellbeing within the individual. It has been a truly inspirational experience to observe the children create their individual works. One that I believe may have broken down some of the obstacles I have faced within my own creative work.”
New volunteers recently started at Project Ability. Let us introduce you to one of them, the lovely Emily Ilet.
‘I have been volunteering with Project Ability for a few weeks now and it has been the most fantastic and inspiring experience. Every Saturday after the classes I leave with a renewed feeling of the excitement and possibilities of art and natural human interaction. The way in which the children interact with each other and the staff is wonderfully honest and open, as is their interaction and engagement with the art materials and themes explored in class. It is bewildering to see and experience the range and extent of creative production in just an hour’s class, and the sense of community and collective enthusiasm in the room is amazing. Project Ability offers a space in which the children can build confidence and express their ideas through creative activity in this warm and equal environment, and as an organisation it is inspiring in itself. Building relationships with the children has been wonderfully rewarding, and the energy in the room early on a Saturday morning is astonishing.
Since graduating in Sculpture & Environmental Art from The Glasgow School of Art in 2011 I have been involved with The Pipe Factory, an artist-led studio and exhibition space in the East End of Glasgow. As part of Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2012 I co-curated Ok-yuh-pahy, a two-day performance event situated across three floors of The Pipe Factory, which was one of many events organised by The Pipe Factory as part of Least Event which lasted the length of the festival. I also volunteered with The Travelling Gallery in 2012, an experience which made me want to work more with children in an artistic environment as the curiousity, questioning and forthright opinion with which the students responded to each exhibition was refreshingly uninhibited.
My artistic practice is often situated in the public realm and I am intrigued by the ways in which people encounter a work and respond to it. I work with performative gesture, drawing and writing, exploring in an absurd and poetic way attempts to engage, communicate with, and disappear into nature. I have really enjoyed volunteering at the Saturday Create classes and this has encouraged me to pursue work in art education/workshops with other organisations in the future.’
- Emily Ilett, Saturday ‘Create’ Volunteer
We are looking for an artist with skills in ceramics and an artist with skills in printmaking to support our ‘Aspire’ participants, starting the week commencing 21st January for a period of 8 weeks with the possibility of an extension. Volunteers for these roles should be able to commit between 3 to 5 hours per week.
We are also hoping to recruit six artists for our ‘Create’ Saturday children’s workshop programme. We have two opportunities from 10 am to 12:30pm to volunteer with our youngest artists aged 5 – 12 years and two opportunities from 1pm to 4pm to support young people aged 12 - 21 years.
We also have a further two opportunities to volunteer with our 21 – 28 year old artists, in our studio provision, ‘Art Matters’ from 4pm – 6pm. These volunteer positions will run from Saturday 26th January until Saturday 23rd March, with the possibility of an extension.
All of these volunteering positions are based at our workshop in Trongate 103.
Closing date for applications had been extended until Monday 14th January 2013
Project Ability has an exciting mix of new volunteer opportunities for graduate artists, starting January 2013.
Further information on these opportunities can be found here along with the application form.
Closing date for applications is Wednesday 9th January 2012.
Introducing this week’s featured volunteer, David Masters. David has been volunteering with us for several weeks. He is supporting our youngest participants to learn new skills on our newest pieces of workshop equipment, the ipad. David has worked one to one with the young artists enabling them to create their own short animations. They have all enjoyed exploring a variety of props and using their own drawings to make individual short films - the results have been truly fantastic! Project Ability would like to say a huge thank you to David, and to all our volunteers.
‘My background is in computing science, but I have always been interested in the creative applications of technology. Most of my time right now is spent writing iPhone and iPad applications, including a range of interactive children's books.
My son, Adam, attends the Project Ability workshops which he thoroughly enjoys, and when the possibility of volunteering at these workshops arose it seemed like a perfect opportunity to combine technology and creativity—and to have fun too!
I've thoroughly enjoyed working with the children at Project Ability, helping them to make stop-motion animation using everything from paper drawings to Lego blocks. Using iPad and Smoovie software, the children have been making short animated stories. What's particularly rewarding is how quickly the technology becomes second-nature and how much it lets the children's creativity shine through.’
This week we are delighted to introduce Ida Arentoft in our ‘meet the volunteer’ feature. Ida has been volunteering for several weeks now, supporting our young people in our Saturday Create workshop programme. She has become very much part of our team, with her support and dedication being appreciated by the staff and children alike. Here’s a little more about Ida…
‘I graduated from The Glasgow School of Art in Fine Art Photography in 2010 and previously I studied photography back home in Copenhagen. I mostly use photography and video in my practice, and in my imagery I am interested in finding or creating spaces of indeterminacy. My pictures are usually concerned with an investigation of our surroundings, showing glimpses of at the same time familiar and unfamiliar places, which allow recognition and wonder.
Since graduating, I have developed my own artistic practice and taken part in a number of exhibitions. Taking the photographs often happens when I travel and my studio in David Dale Gallery and Studios provides a great space for reflecting on and exploring my practice. I work as a Gallery Assistant at Street Level Photoworks in Trongate 103, where I have also been involved in the teaching of numerous photography workshops for people with special needs, one of these workshops in collaboration with Project Ability. Working at Street Level Photoworks enables me to be part of an inspiring artistic community, which is also an important part of what I gain from volunteering at Project Ability. Having previously worked at a 24-hour care home for children and young people with multiple disabilities, it has been very valuable for me to combine this working experience with my art education by assisting at Project Ability.
It has been an amazing experience to be involved in the Create workshops at Project Ability every Saturday. The children are so enthusiastic about making art, and I am impressed by the works that they create as well as by their strong ability to reflect and speak about their creative processes, interests and ideas. There is always such a great energy at the Create workshops and the children manage to produce a lot of art, while also being skilled in developing and concentrating on one piece of art work over several weeks. I enjoy being part of creating such a creative platform where the children are enabled and can succeed in the making of a variety of art works. There is a true sense of community at Project Ability and I always leave the workshops with an excitement of the children’s dedication to their individual creative activities. It has been an inspiration to build relations with the children while assisting them. During my time with the young children at Project Ability, I have often thought about how the workshops in a unique way offer them creative opportunities where they can all participate together with other children, while exploring their creative talents in a communal, equal and open environment.’
This week we would like you to meet Oliver Pitt. Oliver first volunteered with us during the Lennox Castle Stories project, but as he joined us late into the project, he was keen to gain more experience and has continued to volunteer with us. Over the past weeks he has worked with our Aspire artists, supporting them in print-making techniques. His help and support has enabled individual artists to develop their personal skills in the media of print. Oliver’s donation of time and skills is very much appreciated by us all here at Project Ability.
‘Since graduating with a degree in design form Glasgow School of Art, I have split my time equally between illustration and exhibition based practise, though much of my work exists somewhere between the two. Utilizing both these disciplines means my work varies widely in both scope and medium and is not restrained to any particular contextual parameter.
I have recently finished co-curating a project at the CCA called ‘What We Have Done, What We Are About To Do,’ exploring and critiquing the concept of archives in relation to Glasgow’s artistic heritage. And for this years G.I. festival, I did a month long collaborative work ‘Prawns Pee’ taking the form of 22 screen-printed daily newspapers working with 50 artists, writers and performers.
This is the second Project Ability programme I’ve been involved in and have found them both hugely rewarding. Within my own practise I always get the most from working collaboratively, be it a group project or learning/teaching new skills. So to get the opportunity to pass on some knowledge and work with such a diverse and interesting mix of people really excites me.’
For this weeks ‘meet the volunteer’, we are delighted to introduce Sally Hackett. Sally has been volunteering with our Wednesday Aspire workshops for a number of weeks now and has become a fixture in our ceramic room. She has supported many participants to express themselves using the medium of clay and her help and support has been much appreciated by both our staff and Aspire artists alike, thank you Sally!
‘I am a recent graduate from Duncan of Jordanstone College of art, and although graduating in illustration, I currently specialise in ceramics. Combining these two aspects results in the sculptural narratives I create. My work explores the public and their perception of common decency. I like to explore the human condition, glorification and humorous aspects of life.
Mediums of printmaking, drawing, painting and textiles are also very dominant in my work. Experimentation is something that is very important to me so how successfully Project Ability utilises this is amazing.
I have found my time at Project Ability fantastically inspiring. I think clay work as a medium is a very valuable one, and feel the tactile element has worked really well with the participants. I have loved working with the open minded people, who approach with no preconceptions in a very uninhibited and creative stance. I am always in awe of the diversity of work being created.’
Introducing this weeks ‘meet the volunteer’, Megan Taylor! Megan has been volunteering with us on Saturdays evenings with our new group Art Matters, for young people aged 21 - 26 years. She has been supporting our artists in the studio, assisting them in the development of their own personal art projects. Megan’s contribution to this new group has been invaluable, here is a little more about her…
‘I graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2012 with a BA(hons) in Communication Design, specialising in illustration. Since graduating, I have been involved in various roles such as lecturing and set/spatial design projects.
Within my eclectic practice, my work aims to explore the language of drawing. I draw inspiration from a variety of written sources as I find myself fascinated by imagery embedded in loaded words which allow me to respond and construct drawings between transitional states of mind and disciplines.
My work often explores the relationship between spectator and the observation of drawing as mental spaces, through abstract sculptural performance drawing. My working process aims to challenge the perception of the viewer and question the meaning of space, through exploration of large scale experimental drawing and juxtapositions in site specific spaces.
In my current work I aim to address these questions through an understanding of the self and changing states of mind in the body of drawing.
In terms of material and media, I have worked largely in two- dimensional mediums: primarily painting, collage and drawing. More recently I have experimented with sculptural processes and installation work, so to evolve my painting and drawing practices into a more contemporary and experimental three dimensional process.'
Volunteering at Project Ability has been very inspiring as it has taught me so much about other individual creative processes and approaches to image making. I have enjoyed observing the interdisciplinary fashion of mixed media techniques used to explore and convey different ideas.’
This week introducing Aelfred de Sigley, Aelfred has been volunteering with us on Saturday mornings working with our youngest participant in our ‘Create’ programme. His contribution to the group has been invaluable, working one to one with many of our children during the course of the last 8 weeks. His input has been very much appreciated by both the children and the Saturday staff and we are all looking forward to the next block of workshops with him on board.
"After having been aware of project ability for some time I visited the workshops one afternoon and was overwhelmed by its sense of genuine openness and creativity. I am a recent graduate from Fine Art Photography and my desire to volunteer with Project Ability is a holistic extension of a belief I have in my own practice that authorship and interpretation are interchangeable positions. Further, I feel they are necessary and open positions by which we navigate our world and its symbolic order and a belief that creativity makes up an integral and embodied part of engagement with others and the phenomenal world. A process of grounding within a social context, which is at once basic in the need to communicate and forms our most complex imaginative functions in the play of inner and outer worlds that we occupy. Exploration through the individualistic creative process can be both intensely vulnerable and a form of non-verbal communication involving the full complexity of ourselves as individuals and how we connect and are affirmed within a social context.
To engage with these young people, has so far been a process of being regularly invited through participation and an open interpretative process into the worlds, concerns and creative imaginations of the young people coming to the Saturday morning Create workshops. The works that are produced on the page, canvas, modelled in clay etc. are also introductions into each individuals' world. Individuals who are often so present, genuinely innovative and critically playful with the world around them that it is difficult not to be drawn into their enquiry and be challenged by how they look and imagine. The way in which they intemperate and rearrange the cultural world around us is fascinating and I often find myself enthralled by the freedom with which they use gesture and language to build a complex world within the medium that they are working.
The Saturday Create workshops have become return to the building of an engagement with each of the individuals' concerns in a creative/interpretative conversation around their practice. Getting to know some of these individuals and their creative output has itself been a very involved process, from which I leave each week with the feeling of having been invited into the different, complex and unabashed worlds. To play a role in their sincere and open developing practice is a privilege and invitation to take part in the same sincere and open spirit."
Project Abilty would like to thank Aelfred and all our volunteers for their time, commitment and enthusiasm - a great contribution to the programme!
I am a graduate from North Glasgow College with a First Class Honours in Visual Art. My Art practice is about ‘Home’, my journey began from where I grew up (Iran); it was there that I started to realise safety; security and comfort are essential to call somewhere home - these do not exist in my homeland, so I started to look for somewhere that they did. This brought me to Istanbul, Turkey and then India, but Glasgow has become my home and all of those things I was looking for, I found here, the safety, security and comfort that were missing for most of my life. My work reflects the journey I took to finally find ‘Home’. At the moment I'm working on pieces for an exhibition at People's Palace next year and this same work has also been short-listed for an exhibition in Manchester.
I found out about Project Ability when I was visiting Trongate 103 Exhibitions. I have always found it important to enable children to improve their skills for their future, and that's why I wished to work with Project ability to achieve my goal, which is helping others in need of help. I also wanted to gain experience and volunteering at Project Ability has enabled me to do this. Volunteering with Project Ability has shown me the impact the workshops have on the children, they show an improvement in social interaction with their peers in a new environment encountered out with their schools, and there is a happiness, peacefulness, satisfaction and calmness in the workshop setting. This experience has also impacted my own life and practice.
To kick start this blocks ‘Meet the Volunteer’ feature, we would like to introduce Nina Wesolowski. Nina has been volunteering with us on Saturday afternoons, working with our young people in our ‘Create’ workshops.
"I graduated from Glasgow School of Art 2010 in Fine Art Photography. During my final year at art school I was heavily involved in establishing a community project in Woodlands which involved seeking funding for and then building a community garden in a derelict gapsite alongside local volunteers. Since graduating, I have been employed in various roles within the garden and instigated a variety of artistically driven side projects.
My practice is concerned with connecting art with social issues surrounding ownership, commonality, compromise, power, inclusion and sustainability. I think the role of artist is a complicated concept that can take on a variety of hats and guises but is an amazing place to stand in order to explore possibly and change.
I am also studying community development and was drawn to Project Ability as it shares similar values about empowerment and equality and it’s a wonderful space where all means of communication are as valid as each other. I love being involved in an environment that encourages a sense of freedom that builds confidence and draws out potential, enabling people to make art through reflection, celebration and self-determination.
The sense of concentration, engrossment and passion of the young people in their artwork is really inspiring and the unquestionable purpose of art always seems so obvious, honest and really joyful when I leave on a Saturday afternoon!"
Nina and all of our new volunteers this round has been fantastic so far, their good work is very much appreciated by staff and participants alike.
Project Ability is very lucky to have artist Consuelo Rosa Servan visiting from Madrid, Spain. Consuelo has been working with an art association for disabled people in Madrid called Debajo del Sombrero, and has embarked on a number of exchange programmes throughout Europe researching similar organisations. In May and June 2011 Consuelo volunteered at Vaalijala Rehabilitation Center in Finland. While she was there, she attended a European Outsider Art Association conference in Helsinki which had delegates from many other arts organisations in Europe, including Project Ability. She then contacted us expressing an interest in volunteering and was successful in getting Grundtving Exchange funding, to spend a month in Glasgow.
Consuelo is wrting a blog about her experiences at Project Ability which you can read by clicking on this link http://procesoscreativosenarteoutsider.blogspot.co.uk/
After 3 weeks in Glasgow and many hours spent in our studio and workshops we caught up with Consuelo to see how she was getting on:-
“I like the people in Glasgow; they are very easy going and friendly. Project Ability is very similar to the organisation I work for in Madrid with its many years of experience in working with people with disabilities. I chose to come here to improve my English and I love the space Project Ability has here at Trongate 103. I have gained lots of knowledge for my blog and many, many memories which I have been able to capture with my camera.”
We are very pleased that Consuelo has chosen to work with us and she has been a great asset to the team, we will be sad to see her leave when her month finishes on the 14th September and she returns home. We wish her all the best for the future.
Project Ability has new volunteer opportunities for graduate artists, to contribute to our forthcoming Autumn Workshop Programme 2012.
We are looking for an artist with skills in ceramics and an artist with skills in printmaking to support our ‘Aspire’ participants, starting the week commencing 27th August through to the week beginning 26th November 2012. Volunteers for these roles should be able to commit at least 2 hours per week.
We are also hoping to recruit six artists for our ‘Create’ Saturday Workshop Programme. We have two opportunities from 10 am to 12:30pm to volunteer with our youngest artists aged 5 – 12 years and two opportunities from 1pm to 4pm to support young people aged 12 - 21 years. We also have a further two opportunities to volunteer with “Art Matters” our 21 – 28 year old artists, in a new ‘studio time’ slot from 4pm – 6pm. These volunteer positions will run from Saturday 25th August until Saturday 15th December 2012.
All these positions are based at our workshop in Trongate 103. Travel expenses will be paid.
Closing date for applications is Friday 10th of August 2012. Informal Interviews will be held the week beginning 20th of August.
If you have any queries regarding these positions, please feel free to contact our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Tracy Gorman.
Following Simon’s third residency, we trace his thoughts and production from the first drawings in 2009 to where his practice is now. This most recent series of works represent a recent transition from drawing to painting and demonstrate a reworking of painting's conventions at their most radically reduced. In the artist’s own words, it is apparent that he is a painter for whom painting is an uninterrupted personal investigation. Simon tests painting's material and conceptual possibilities with the attitude “learning as you go along”. The prospect or outcome of his practice remains an open question; answerable only through the production of new works.
This is your third year as artist in residence in Project Ability. Did this particular time reveal anything to you about your practice that you didn’t know already?
Yes, year three. It is strange really, a number of things have changed. This is the place I have been spending most of my days and I have completed the first wave of paintings. I decided not to do any painting before I got here, one of the first days I was working, there were sparks coming from my head.
Can you tell me a bit about your transition from a drawing tradition to a painting one?
Things have taken a considerable leap in a painterly direction; I had anticipated for a while that would happen. I like that space between drawing and painting; it feels like a very ambiguous place. I think it was a seamless transition - I started to make a number of paintings and tried not to think too much about how the materials were going to fit into the previous work, into my previous drawings. I feel that I wouldn’t have known how successful I could be as a painter, until I had actually done a painting.
I always have in mind minimalist ideals and also how I can push paint. On the other hand, a lot of my decisions are quite personal; they operate as part of a more intuitive process rather than a theoretical one. With regards to a lot of the drawing I have done in the past, I enjoy making marks with paint a lot more in a way that didn’t with the drawings. There is much control involved in drawing, you can be free with paint and I like the idea that it is not a repeatable mark that can ever be reproduced again.
Your work has developed links with traditional painting. Are you happy to be seen as a traditional painter?
Looking back now I understand the drawings more and with painting, I have reached a phase where I don’t need that preliminary drawing stage. Even though I consider the paintings and the drawings to be different, I still consider the thinking to be the same. I work with happy colours. I like to be playful and really enjoy painting colour. When I make decisions it can be about happiness. I have deliberately used a lot of white to achieve a very pastel, saccharine, sweetie effect. When I think about colour, I first like to see how they behave with each other, think about what it is that I want the colour to do. I haven’t used oils for 20 years; oil gives me more control over the manipulation of the paint while I get a feel for my palette.
Your works are always untitled, is it because they have no representational meaning?Not at the moment. Landscape is still important in my work, I have still held onto that but that’s not to say that in the future those references won’t fade as the painting comes to the fore. Rather than thinking of a title, I work towards getting to a point where I think that a work is finished.
What are your influences?
Artists, Richter, Monet. I am interested in Monet because of the way he handles light. Not only painters, I am influenced by concrete poetry, minimalism, I have always wanted to be that kind of painter.
Where will you go from here?
I will continue painting.
Simon will be exhibiting in the residency exhibition, Project Ability Gallery in early 2013.
Edward Henry has been attending Project Ability since 1994 having previously attended The Renfield Day Centre on Bath Street, where in recognising his talent for drawing and painting they recommended he come and join us.
Edward’s artwork is influenced by television, books and more recently he has been learning to use the internet at some of Projects Ability’s blog workshops, where he also finds inspiration. He likes to work with acrylic paints as it dry’s very quickly and changes can easily be made.
‘I am inspired by the things I see around me and my imagination. I have been painting since I was 5 years old. I have had exhibitions in Sweden, the South of France, Ireland, Wales and all over Scotland. In 2000 I had an exhibition in Japan of my sunset paintings which are my favourite subject. Project Ability has done a lot for me over the last few years and has helped me to get my work in to lots of exhibitions.’
As well as attending Project Ability’s Aspire programme once a week, Edward also volunteers in our Gallery manning the reception desk, providing our visitors with information about our exhibitions, workshops, artists and selling goods from our shop.
‘Helping in the gallery is a good volunteering opportunity. There is lots to learn and I like meeting and helping people. I have made lots of new friends’
How did working in the communal Project Ability space compare to an independent studio practice?
We have been delighted to have artist Jason Pyper Davis mentoring Connect artist, David McCracken. Jason has lent us his expertise in sculpture, working with David to share his knowledge in casting. David has spent weeks creating a clay sculpture which he was keen to cast in another material.
‘Both my parents are artists and so I grew up playing in their studios which brought about my love for art. From a very young age I was drawn to working in 3D and this lead me to study silver smithing and jewellery after leaving school. I studied this for 2 years but became increasingly frustrated by the limitations on the size of piece I could make and so I went on to study Fine Art Sculpture at the Glasgow School of Art and graduated in 1996. Since then I have been lucky enough to work full time as an artist selling paintings and sculptures and also jewellery commissions.
'I became a volunteer at Project Ability after talking to Tracy Gorman who co-ordinates the volunteer programme and who I also share a studio with. It has been a great opportunity to work with a great organisation that does great work. The atmosphere around the place is one of fun and creativity. It has been a joy to come in and volunteer, sharing my knowledge of casting with David. I would highly recommend volunteering with Project Ability and I would definitely do it again if I have the chance.’
Watch this space for images of David’s final cast!
For this week's Meet the Volunteers, let us introduce you to Amy Henson, who has been a great addition to our Saturday Visual Arts Classes. Amy has been volunteering and assisting our young artists aged 12-25, and enthusiasm has been contagious!
"Having always had a passion for Art I attended Leeds College of Art and Design before graduating from Leeds University in 2005 with a degree in Fine Art (Painting).
I moved to London in 2007 where I formed an interest in Community Arts and and Arts Education. To this end I completed a foundation course in Art Therapy at The British Institute of Art Therapists and following that a PGCE in Post Compulsory Education and Training and The University Of East London, during which time I worked with Art and an extensive range of young people in East London.
Having kept up my Art Practice over the years I have regularly exhibited in group exhibitions in Leeds, London and the Isle Of Tiree! At the heart of my creativity is working in a person centred context, utilising Art with an aim to enrich people's experience of life, to build confidence and creative thinking. Volunteering for Project Ability I look forward to further developing my skills amongst a new range of people. I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone and share some ideas!"
Many thanks for your time Amy!
This week, meet Hannah Doyle, who has been volunteering with us since January and is helping out with our Saturday Visual Arts Classes.
"I graduated in 2010 from Edinburgh Napier University, with a BA (Hons) in Photography and Film. My work has focused on a range of visual media, combining moving image with stills, sound and illustration to build up an overall story. I also use stop-motion animation to illustrate vocal and musical recordings, along with time-lapse photography. My short documentary 'Mum' has been shown at Film Directing 4 Women and the London International Documentary Festival.
I'm currently volunteering with the Create workshops with children aged between 5 and 12, which is the most fun part of my week - it's taught me so much about creative thought and about their approach to the artistic process. I've particularly enjoyed using animation software to demonstrate how a story can be built up piece by piece, and I've loved working with the kids on batik pieces and seeing the ideas they come up with. When I first found out about Project Ability I wanted to get involved and I'm so glad I have- the experience so far has been invaluable."
Thanks a lot for your time and efforts Hannah, it is much appreciated by both staff and young artists!
- Meet the Volunteers: Nick Thomas
- Help us reach £5000 in small cash donations for the Create Programme
- Young Talent opening event
- Meet the Volunteers: Sabine Geissler
- The current block of Aspire workshops is finishing this week
- Film & Animation
- Recruitment & Volunteering
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