Artist in residence - Yeonjoo Cho

Our new residency programme started last month, with talented painter and recent graduate Yeonjoo Cho spending a month in our studios. She tells us more about her practice and her experience at Project Ability.

"I am a contemporary painter who explores gender, identity and culture through landscape paintings. I got a Master’s degree last September at the Glasgow School of Art and am currently thinking about a new art project which is more focused on the form of painting and feminist issues.

Since I have experienced being marginalised as a woman, or as an Asian or as both, I have been interested in many social issues related to equality. In addition, in Scotland, I was often considered as a stranger, struggling with communication in English and I roughly could understand and empathise with the aim of Project Ability: creating opportunities for people with disabilities through art.

Also, because most of the people I hung out with in Glasgow were people who studied art or who were in the art scene, I wanted to expose myself to a new environment which would allow me to meet people who have different backgrounds. Thus, when I read the notice of this residency programme, I thought there would be something I can share and learn from other artists at Project Ability.

And, as I expected, I met many artists who were very open minded toward a new artist who just became a member of the shared studio. Whenever they had a workshop, they stopped by my place to ask questions about my work and to share their experiences, which enabled me to blend in more easily. Since the atmosphere was very warm and everyone looked so passionate, I could be relaxed and push myself to think about my new art project. For me, it was like a perfect bridge which connects the art school or small isolated studio to the broader world. What I try to pursue through my art practice is not art for art’s sake but art which tells stories about me, other people and our society. And this one month was a nice opportunity to feel it in real life. 

As an emerging artist who just graduated from art school, it was also a nice experience to have a studio and an access to other artists’ studios and workshops. Project Ability offered me lots of professional tools and materials to focus on my practice. Therefore, in practical aspects, it also helped me a lot to continue my practice and to do more experiments.

Overall, I got positive energy and inspiration from lots of supportive artists and staff members at Project Ability. I am hoping that there was something I contributed for the other artists as well."
-Yeonjoo Cho

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Thompson Hall at Project Ability

Earlier this month, London-based artist Thompson Hall visited Project Ability with his ActionSpace Artist Facilitator Lisa Brown for a three day residency in our studios. Here is what he had to say about his experience.

"I would like to thank Project Ability for inviting me to spend time in their studio for a residency. Doing a short residency was one of the things I identified as the next step after the exhibition I created with my studio colleague Ian Wornast, My Life in London, which was shown at two venues in London earlier this year.

I feel that being around the other artists that I met at Project Ability was very inspiring because it enabled me to find out about their work and at the same time learn some new skills, such as making my own canvases and producing lots of prints from the drawings I did in my sketchbook on the train. 

I also found working alongside Lisa Brown, my ActionSpace Artist Facilitator, who was making some work as well, was very useful and has inspired me to make more work and given me ideas for doing more things in the future. 

I felt I enjoyed the whole experience in spending time just experimenting with different materials and not being under pressure to produce work for an exhibition. I also felt more relaxed around the people I met. I wish I could have spent more time with them to talk about my work and ask them questions about their work. I’m looking forward to visiting Project Ability again at the beginning of next year, when my exhibition will be in the gallery. I hope I will get to have more time getting to know your artists a lot more. 

I was very happy to be there."
-Thompson Hall


Thompson Hall is at Studio Artist at Action Space, a London based arts organisation that supports artists with Learning Disabilities. 
Images from My Life in London and more of Thompson’s work can been seen here.   

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Residency: Cameron Morgan and Sandi Kiehlmann

Cameron Morgan has now completed his fifth residency in one year, thanks to funding from Creative Scotland. This time, he went to Dunoon to spend four days with artist (and Project Ability tutor) Sandi Kiehlmann. 

"Cameron and I began our collaboration by exploring the small seaside Victorian town of Dunoon on the west coast of Scotland where I live and have my studio. Cameron used his camera and we both used my iPad to take photos, in particular the Victorian Pier and Castle House Museum.

The museum visit was great to get a sense of the history of the town, and we both enthusiastically took photos of the displays, from children’s toys to a collection of hand made steamships and sail making tools. Frequently we were drawn to the same subject matter and excitedly discussed these beautiful historical objects and artefacts.

At the Dunoon Burgh Hall, I was exhibiting work as part of the Covepark Residency exhibition. Cameron liked the printed melamine plates pieces I was exhibiting and expressed an interest in exploring the souvenir plate theme. I liked the idea of creating collaborative work that could be reproduced in limited editions.

The following day we worked in the studio. Cameron made some drawings and paintings of the chickens in the garden, then spent the remainder of the day working on a large watercolour painting in the studio. I continued to experiment digitally with our work from the previous day, exploring ideas for digital print products such as plates, coasters, chopping board and fabrics.

The next day was the Cowal Gathering, an annual local Highland Games. Thuy, our wonderful volunteer from Budapest joined us for the festivities on a beautiful sunny day. We all enjoyed sitting in the field watching the hammer throwing and caber tossing, and wandering about the tents and attractions, people watching and taking photographs to the sound of pipe bands.Our last day was spent in the studio making artwork based on our photos from the Games. Cameron made his Highland Games paintings and I developed product ideas with them.

Cameron made a range of paintings including the above large watercolour painting of a detail of the Burgh Hall stairwell, it has amazing observational detail, perspective and patterning. The plan is to make a batik based on this painting. Cameron also made drawings and paintings of the chickens and goldfish before beginning on the Highland Games series of paintings.

I am keen to continue to develop print design ideas based on the artwork begun during the residency. The repeat prints of Cameron’s paintings reminded me of Nigerian wax print fabrics in their boldness of imagery and colour (pictured above)."

We all look forward to seeing the finished products! 

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Tany Raabe-Webber on her visit at Project Ability

"As you all may or may not know, back in Shrewsbury where I live, I have set up and run ArtStudio01, an artist collective. In January 2016 we had a trip to Project Ability to see an exhibition of our work in the Project Ability gallery. This has made us realise that we also have artistic ambitions, and since then our studio group had increased to 9 artists, including myself as an artist and artists’ facilitator.

Because ArtStudio01 has grown and the artists want to show their work and develop their skills and creative practices, I wanted to visit and learn about what other learning disability art studios are doing so that I can develop our studio collective into an inclusive, thriving and successful artists’ hub.

I was recently awarded an Arts Council England, Grants for The Arts Award to do a research and development project into Learning Disability Arts, studio models and artists’ practice. I’m presently touring around on a series of #StudioVisits with my Producer on this project Jennifer Gilbert and Jackie Cooley as an associate artist of ArtStudio01. Project Ability was on our list and it was great to catch up with everyone in the studio too.

We talked, and talked, and talked with Elisabeth Gibson, the Director of Project Ability, who told us loads about the organisation, who does what, what exhibitions you do, how you sell work in the shop and all about the volunteers that support you and all about the artist residencies that happen in and outside of Project Ability. Omg you guys do so much!

A big part of my project is for ArtStudio01 to run our first artist in residence at our studios in Shrewsbury. So we also came to talk to Cameron Morgan who’s going to exhibit his work with us and join us for a short 3 day residency in March next year. We are very excited about this!

I also caught up with Simon McAuley who’s doing a research into identity, labels and self-defining or not as a Disabled Artist. I could have talked and debated all afternoon on this with Simon. It’s really fascinating research and at the core of my own practice as an artist and Disabled Artist. Hope to catch-up again to see where this takes you.

It was so lovely to be back in the studio at Project Ability, and thank you all for such a warm welcome. I’ve realised that as an Associate Artist of Project Ability I’ve lost touch with what you’ve all been doing so I must visit more often to keep in touch. I shall be making an annual visit from now on. See you all next summer!"
-Tanya Raabe-Webber

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Residency: Cameron Morgan and Tracy Gorman

"I’ve know Cameron for many years, almost 18 to the day in fact, when I first started working at Project Ability. Whilst I’ve worked alongside him in many workshop situations, I’ve never had the opportunity to work directly with him to produce a body of work in partnership. To say I was delighted to have this opportunity would be an understatement.

We were allocated five intensive days in my studio in Quarriers village, where I introduced Cameron to my work space and some of the collection of objects that inspire me. I, like Cameron, am a bit of a collector of things. Most hold a feeling of nostalgia, inducing memories from my childhood. There’s a lot of chintz, china, and silverware, much of which remind me of things that could be found in my granny’s house. However, all of the objects I remember from the past, have long since been lost or given away and didn’t hold the same value as I have attached to them, to others in my family. Most of the things I have, I sourced through charity shop raids in a bid to recreate the memories of the ones that are now long gone.  Many of these objects, feature in my own paintings, along with garden birds, another fascination of mine, and in a way another fragile and fleeting object.

We started on day one, with a flying visit to my home. Most of my collection of things are on display there and Cameron seemed to have an affinity with many of them too, happily snapping them with his camera and referencing his own memories attached to them. He was particularly drawn to some photographs of my daughter taken many years ago, of her playing in the cherry blossom of a beautiful tree we had in our back garden. This became our initial starting point in a theme of work that aims to celebrate home, the living room, and the mantle-piece, with a large helping of nostalgia thrown in.

“It’s a great studio Tracy has, out in the countryside, a smashing old building! We did a joint collaboration with the cherry blossoms, I did them and the branches and leaves, Tracy did the little birdies. It was different to work on Linen, it has a different texture.  I’m very pleased with them! They work very well indeed! We worked like sausages!”
Cameron Morgan

Our time together has been a beautiful whirlwind of creativity, we hit the ground running and did not waste a single minute in the studio, or as Cameron put so well, “we worked like sausages!” Over the past 5 days, my studio has been filled with music (and singing from us both) from artists of the past, such as Dean Martin, Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash and the Corries, to name but a few. I have learned that I share far more in common with Cameron than I ever knew, that we like a lot of the same things and I have immensely enjoyed his company.

“I’ve enjoyed working with you, it’s been good fun”
Cameron Morgan

I couldn’t agree more with Cameron, we have produced more work than I could have anticipated too, with further works to be developed. Now that our 5 days are over, it kind of feels like only the beginning of something, not the end."

-Tracy Gorman

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Opportunity: Artist residencies

As one opportunity closes, another opens! This coming autumn / winter, Project Ability is delighted to be able to offer 3 opportunities to Glasgow based visual artists, interested in experiencing our unique working studio environment. Our residency programme gives opportunity to artists to develop their practice within our busy working studios, over the course of one calendar month. Your experience with us will give you the opportunity to engage with our artists, be inspired by their innovative artistic practices and give you time and space to make work. Free access to our facilities and materials is included in this residency.

Opportunities are available for the months of September, November 2018, and February 2019. Interested artists are invited to submit a short proposal of how they would use their time, along with an artist CV, and up to 5 images of recent work.

All applications and enquiries to be sent to our Volunteers Co-ordinator, Tracy Gorman at volunteers@project-ability.co.uk . Deadline for all applications is Friday 24th August 2018. Please also state your preferred month on application. Good Luck!

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Artwork of the Week - ‘The Duke’ by Cameron Morgan

'The Duke' by Cameron Morgan is our Artwork of the Week! Currently on display as part of a collection of ceramic footwear, 'The Duke' can be seen in our Gallery II. 'These Boots Were Made' is a small showcase of new ceramic works by Morgan, all inspired by classic footwear. We have a reception this evening for the event, (6-8pm), along with the opening of our flash exhibition, 'Abstract Domestic', which exhibits work made by Cameron Morgan and Gregor Wright, the culmination of a collaborative residency project between the two. 

 

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A great end to a great project

For the past eight weeks, a group of students from Glasgow School of Art has been meeting with a group of Project Ability artists, spending a day per week in the studios together, conversing and making. This pilot project has now come to an end, and the students & Project Ability artists met today for a feedback session and to see their work exhibited in our Project Space.

"It is refreshing to have this available to us, where there's no inhibition, a freedom for the sake of making."

"When you are put in the right place with good people, good things happen."

"I am far more confident about 4th year."

"It brought back the innocence of art."

 

"The project has completely exceeded our expectations, the blend of our participants with a selected group of students from GSA, could not have come together more beautifully.  Today we celebrated the work made, the friendships forged and talked about the importance of having opportunities such as this one.  The process was simple, we brought together artists and gave them space to work, to communicate and collaborate and they all did just that."
Tracy Gorman - Tutor

Many thanks to Lesley Black at GSA, Tracy Gorman and all the students and artists involved: James Pert, Adnan Mohammed, Judith Abubakar, Peter Johnston, Susan Breckenridge, Jennifer Cuthill, Naoko Kizaki, Kate Lingard, Ash Morgan, Holly Smith.

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Sarah Kudirka Residency

Sarah Kudirka was in residency with us in February.  Read on to hear about her experience:

'The creative world I encountered at Project Ability is welcoming and industrious. I was made to feel very welcome and quickly found myself becoming industrious too. Each day that the studios are open lots of artists come in and get on with what they want to do, in a wide variety of media. I saw everyone absorbed in what they are making and it was wonderfully infectious. They are absorbed in making things but everyone is also happy to share and talk about what they are doing.

'I had wondered before starting the residency how I would feel about working without a door to close on my workspace, as I have always worked in isolation. Turns out I liked it a lot. The buzz of voices and other noises that come from a well-used physical production space (as opposed to an office full of people on screens) was kind of wonderful. I liked it when people were passing by and keen for me to go and see what they were making or had questions about what I was up to. It sounds a bit of a daft realisation but it is very different from (and so much better than) sharing my work on social media to have real people 'liking' and giving feedback live on what you are doing. I'll miss that!

I am new to Glasgow having moved here to live and work just last summer, so this residency came at an important time for me. I have made new friends at Project Ability, set off a strong series of work based on exploring my new home city and started to settle in as a professional artist in Scotland.


'To give some kind of structure to my residency I had set a target of 100 paintings on polaroids (painted and drawn over polaroid snaps of city skylines have been my project for the past 6 years) and also wanted to start some three larger canvases of similar proportions to polaroids too. I hit my 100 pictures target, which gave me a sense of satisfaction but I also took time to have lots of chats with the artists around me, think, walk to bits of the city I'd never seen before, and watch clouds out of the window - it's all research.

'Mental health and well-being for creative people are strongly tied to having the space and resources to create, explore and make stuff. We all have what's in our heads and stuff to deal with in our lives and I'm no stranger to anxiety. My hearing disability has never stopped me from asking questions and striving to understand to what others are saying. Inclusive arts facilities are so important.

I'm really glad to know the brilliant people I've met at Project Ability and intend to stay in touch.

I loved going in to the studios every day, got loads done and found it a totally positive experience.'

Thanks, Sarah!

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Cameron Morgan and Gregor Wright - Week 4

In the four weeks since their residency started, Cameron Morgan and Gregor Wright have been experimenting with drawing on different mediums, including tea towels.

"At the moment I’m trying to encourage some abstraction and the work we’re making just now is a sort of fusion of our response to neo-expressionism, familiar pop culture icons and ideas of craft and making." said Gregor.

"The tea towels seemed like a good thing to paint on because as a surface to work on they're similar to canvas, but as an object they’re quite humble and mundane. The idea came to me after Cameron and I were looking at the plate paintings of Julian Schnabel, which Cameron liked compared to some of the darker, more abstract painted works."

We're looking forward to seeing where this collaborative partnership takes them! 

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Cameron Morgan and Gregor Wright start their collaborative partnership

After a very successful residency with Charlie Hammond, Cameron Morgan has started his new collaborative partnership with another Glasgow-based artist: Gregor Wright

The two artists met up twice already, familiarising themselves with each other's work and discussing how their respective practices can feed this collaboration.

Cameron showed Gregor some of his work currently in our gallery and in our shop, and they then went to Wright's studio near Trongate 103.

We are very much looking forward to seeing what they come up with in the next ten weeks!

Cameron Morgan's series of residencies is funded by Creative Scotland. Gregor Wright is represented by The Modern Institute. 

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Artist in residence: Sarah Kudirka

Our newest artist in residence started last Thursday, and has already settled perfectly in the studios. Previously based in London, Sarah Kudirka has recently moved to Glasgow, and is using the residency to further her cityscape polaroid project. A great way to discover a new city! 

"I am working on a big series of paintings about walking and looking up at the sky squeezed in between tall buildings: a simple idea but a compelling project. Each image is made over a Polaroid snap I’ve taken in a city where I live, work or travel. Since starting this project in 2012 I’ve made hundreds of vivid images that have been recognised as “beautiful and accessible” and “highly innovative”.

Sarah aims to make 100 polaroid paintings of cityscapes from the city centre during her time at project Ability, as well as work on canvas. You can follow her progress on our residency instagram @PA_Research_Residency

Welcome Sarah!

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Cameron Morgan and Charlie Hammond’s residency draws to a close.

For the past few months, Cameron Morgan and Glasgow-based artist Charlie Hammond have been meeting every week for their collaborative residency. The pair got to know each other's work and to create a series of prints inspired by Charlie's matchbox collection.

"I liked working with Charlie very, very much – he has a good sense of humour, is a lot of fun, and has a really good nature. I really enjoyed myself’ said Morgan.

The residency, which ended last week, resulted in an impressive body of work.

"Working together with Cameron has been a joy", Hammond said. "Like many good collaborations we started with no clear direction but found our way through action, the work itself the result of these ongoing and very natural conversations.

Cameron’s energy is infectious (though a few more tea breaks wouldn’t hurt!) and his ability to translate the essence of an object into a direct and playful drawing or ceramic allowed us to progress quickly, screen-printing layer upon layer and developing the works far beyond our initial thoughts.

Not only have we ended up with a great body of work but also a great friendship."

Cameron and Charlie's work will be on display in our gallery in a short exhibition in early April. 

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Drew Walker: Always Expect the Unexpected

"My name is Drew Walker and here is a summary of my experience in Project Ability in January 2018.

My week-long short residency at Project Ability revealed to me a place where there was great respect and a dignified approach towards people working as artists with backgrounds of mental illness, learning difficulties or physical disabilities. However, these do not hinder or impact upon the creatively enriching experience, which exists within the shared working space of Project Ability, where the immense variety of talent and creative process surrounding me was amazing to witness.

I contributed to my short residency as an artist who experiences mental illness and a PhD researcher who is looking into art-process, mental illness and recovery. So, I divided my time to do the following:
1. To observe the working processes of the artists working in the Reconnect, Aspire and Create spaces and their engagement and interactions with staff and volunteers.
2. To understand what provision and structure was deployed in the delivery of activities.
3. To bring my own art practice into the Reconnect space, using a collaborative method of creativity.

I began my experience by observing, photographing and talking to staff, volunteers and artists. I had decided to create one of my ‘dead-wooded’ creatures, a staple symbol of my art practice and an integral part my process. The ‘dead-wooded’ stag represents my own recovery process from mental illness. As my art practice parallels and enriches my research, I wanted to share both aspects during my week. My goal was to create a portrait of Project Ability using the language of those in the Reconnect, Create and Aspire spaces.

Conversations occurred naturally whilst I was working and I decided to use some of those words and phrases, placing them on the sculpture of the stag. I wanted to reflect the artists’ thoughts as people, at the core of it all. The stag was painted white and the lettering in a variety of colours.

A few days into my residency, my dad who is my artistic collaborator and who accompanied me at Project Ability, spoke to me about the idea of accompanying the wooded stag with found material from Glasgow. Seizing upon this notion, we found two disused damaged yellow traffic cones in the nearby vicinity of the Glasgow Green. We painted them and transformed them into sculptural pieces to enhance and draw attention to the stag.

Making my art was only one part of the story during my residency, but it did provide the nexus for many insightful conversations and interactions with those who were curious about the stag. I immediately found a connection with the other artists and the staff in the space, feeling very welcome. I was greatly impressed by the sheer variety, resources and freedom found within Project Ability through the engaging activities of Aspire, Reconnect and Create. I understood that the space is a lifeline for some and a platform for every participant, by being together whilst creating art. I found the approach of valuing artists’ work, providing opportunities for exhibiting and potentially selling pieces to be crucial to the humane attitude in Project Ability. Here, the people are acknowledged as artists. They are not labels or categories of people with various diagnoses. The respect I noticed in the atmosphere showed that clearly.

I sincerely hope that in the future more places like Project Ability emerge, providing spaces for the therapeutic process of making art, whilst not being isolated or in a clinical setting. It’s a safe, friendly environment that puts the individual first. There should be a ‘Project Ability’ in every city and town. I know that had there been similar provision for me during my early stages of recovery. I would have greatly appreciated and benefited being in such a place.

Thank you to everybody in Project Ability for making my short residency so rich and inspiring. I would love to come back."

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Artist talk by James Jimbo

Last Thursday, former artist in residence James Jimbo came back to Project Ability to showcase the work he produced during his residency. Artists from Aspire and ReConnect came to engage with James and his work, and it was very interesting to see what inspired him during his time with us. The work was very well received and artists enjoyed the skills and playfulness in each drawing and painting.

‘Brilliant work – great colours’
-Edward Henry, Aspire

‘I liked the Elvis one and George Michael, I painted George Michael too, mine was much more colourful'
-Tommy Mason, Aspire

‘Refreshing to see work that’s been created a framework of joyfulness and freedom’
-Richie Davis, ReConnect

‘I really loved the use of line and for me being here in my first week of my residency, it couldn’t have come at a better time to see James work, someone so confident in their own practice – very inspiring’
-Emma Aitken, current artist in residence

Thank you, James Jimbo!

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Artist in Residence – Emma Aitken

Today we welcome another new artist in residence to our busy studios: Emma Aitken, who will be working alongside our artists for the month of November.  Emma was formerly a volunteer with Project Ability in our Create programme back in 2015, and has recently completed her Master’s Degree in Community Learning and Development.


‘After a 2 Year break from the studio, including a year being based in a library. I could not be more excited to be back in Project Ability with a chance to concentrate on my own practice!  Already everyone has been so welcoming and inspiring – I can’t wait to see what comes out of the month ahead!’

We are all very excited to see what you do with your time with us too, Emma!

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Cameron Morgan & Charlie Hammond residency

Charlie Hammond and Cameron Morgan have started their creative partnership a few weeks ago, and they are already experimenting with ideas and producing some work.

Hammond has a scrapbook showcasing the top of match books, each with its own design and imagery. The artists went on to make a stencil inspired by the match books, which will then be used to produce a print next week. 

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Artist in residence: James Jimbo

James Jimbo was our first artist in residence this year, when he spent the month of September in our studios, interacting with our artists and finding inspiration in their work. Here is what he had to say about his time at Project Ability:

"I've developed new ways of drawing for my armoury, directly based on diving into the blue boxes of Project Ability artists’ reference materials in the Aspire workshop.  A series of works in pen on paper resulted from this, which were developed further into expanding the ways in which I draw by drawing with paint, combining images and using my own source material.

Looking at the artists in the studios and the way they draw got me trying to be (even) freer with my approach. Not worry that something is exact, not necessarily worry about what it is about but accept (and hope) that the works construe an idea, an element, or a something else that can be identified.  It will take many moons to digest my experience of being in the Project Ability studios, seeing the work here, and the way my work has developed.

I have observed and admired the many varied ways the artists approach their work. The Aspire artist who painted the two tigers. Andrew Boyle, who painted the Train over the Glenfinnan viaduct, Doreen Kay and her yacht and castle Landscape. John Cocozza and his Bruce Forsyth paintings have been great to look at. So much so that I had to have a go at drawing ol' Brucie myself.

I've also seen works by artists I already admire, like Scott Smith, Terry Kerr, Michael McMullen and Cameron Morgan, the latter whom I have had the pleasure to chat to about his work on a couple of occasions.
I also had some brief but frank conversations with Paul and Alan which will stick in my memory. Alan's procrastination helped allay my fear of procrastination and Paul's enthusiasm for working is infectious!

All the tutors have been great too, and I have enjoyed my conversations with them."

It was a pleasure to have James work in our studios for a month. He will be back for a talk about his work in the coming months.

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Collaborative partnership: Cameron Morgan & Charlie Hammond

Cameron Morgan has started his new residency this week: a collaborative partnership with Glasgow-based artist Charlie Hammond, spanning twelve weeks.

Both artists will meet once a week in Hammond's studio and will discuss, experiment and create new work together. Their practices include a wide range of medium, in particular painting, printing and ceramics, and it will be very interesting to see what they produce during this partnership. We will post photos regularly during the residency, and you can also see their progress on Charlie's Instagram

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

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

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

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Artist Residency / Creative Partnership opportunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cameron Morgan - Arthouse residency Week 2

"A great second week with Cameron in The Arthouse, Wakefield!

We had 3 very successful days in the studio with the hugely talented Richard Marsden, finishing off prints and started 2 new ones.

The drawings Cameron made after our trip to The Yorkshire sculpture park was turned into a 5 colour screen print. Quite the task, but not only did Richard and Cameron manage to get the colours separated and screens made, they also managed to make many great prints from the screens. The colours chosen really worked well and popped.

Cameron now knows every stage involved in making screenprints, from simple 2 colour prints right up to a massive 5 colour print,and loved the whole process.

We also managed to have days out to The Yorkshire sculpture park, Barbara Hepworth museum and the beautiful city of York, I’m sure these will inspire many more pieces from cameron in the future. I must admit it wasn’t all so cultural as we also spent an evening watching Wonderwoman in the cinema and each morning started with a swim.

All in all a great week! So many new skills added and inspirational artwork seen."
-Jason Davis

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Cameron Morgan - Arthouse residency Week 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cameron Morgan - 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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ReSearch Residency August 2016 - Jonathan Kirkwood

Jonathan Kirkwood spent the month of August as Artist in Residence at Project Ability. Based in a studio within the main Project Ability workshop, Jonathan spent the month developing new projects. Here, he tells us about his experience:

"Having volunteered at Project Ability for a wee while now and then helping with the summer workshops over the course of July, starting my residency in August seemed like a natural transition from one thing to another.

I had used the summer workshops to try out a few small ideas with the Aspire group, doing little 5 or 10 minute kind of drawing exercises with them and it became really apparent that what really means the most to me is the people that attend Project Ability and the work that they create. So I came into the residency with the idea of bringing cameras loaded with film for everyone to create their own images of what Project Ability means to them.

Having done this a few times while studying at the Glasgow School of Art with my brother, I felt it would be the best way to capture what makes the studio environment so special. Carrying around a large digital camera and photographing those I hadn't fully met or communicated with felt like it would have been too invasive, so releasing my own control and allowing everyone else to create their own photographs seemed like the best choice. I've still to develop the film but I'll keep everyone posted!

As well as this, I began to create a body of work in collaboration with my brother. Jordon has Aspergers and being really close to him means that I have grown up within his magical world and have the amazing opportunity to get a really close and personal look at how he sees the world differently to myself. At least I thought it was different.

The freedom to explore areas of interest that I really haven't had time to do since being a lot younger made me realise just how similar I am to my brother. We share a vast amount of interests, most likely formed together at a young age as we shared a room and most of our things. The energy within the Project Ability studios really rubbed off on me and I soon found myself surrounded by bundles of prints and drawings that were created without too much thought.

I really can't thank everyone at Project Ability enough for the opportunity and being so welcoming. It's an experience that will always bring a smile to my face and one that was invaluable. I'm hoping to keep volunteering for just a little longer, I'm not ready to give up my slice of awesome, creative energy just yet!"

Thank you very much, Jonathan! You can see Jonathan's photo diary on our ReSearch Residency Instagram: @PA_Research_Residency.

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ReSearch Residency July 2016 - Ailsa Sutcliffe

Ailsa Sutcliffe spent the month of July as Artist in Residence at Project Ability. Based in a studio within the main Project Ability workshop, Ailsa spent the month developing a body of new work. Here, she tells us about her experience:

"The Project Ability Research Residency came at the perfect time for me in many respects. Having just encountered some unexpected personal hurdles, a month in the safe haven of Project Ability’s studios surrounded by enthusiastic, creative souls was exactly what I needed to get my mind and practice back on track.

Having a designated, light-filled space and the freedom to produce work of any kind, of any size, was incredibly liberating and I soon began to banish the self-inflicted restrictions I had placed on myself as an artist and illustrator.  Unwarranted anxieties about what kind of work I could, or should, make, started to fade and I quickly started to enjoy being more bold or ambitious than I usually am.

This enjoyment was perhaps due to my familiarity to Project Ability; the studios, the artists, the tutors. From volunteering and working at Project Ability for some time now, it’s become one of my favourite places in Glasgow and probably where I feel most comfortable outside of my own home environment.  It’s what made me realise that I wanted to teach, tutor and work with people and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities that it has given me.

I saw the residency as an opportunity to develop my skills in areas I wasn’t particularly confident in, improving my range as an illustrator and enabling me to help people with techniques I previously didn’t know much about.  Amongst various drawings, I completed two large canvasses for the first time, several drypoint prints and made some (wonky) ceramic bowls. For me, it was a pretty big achievement.

I have an infuriating tendency to freeze up and overthink what I’m making while I’m making it, and more often than not it goes in the bin before it’s even finished.  Working with the artists at Project Ability has definitely helped me eliminate (or at least reduce) that perfectionism and I found that working in the studios alongside them really improved my productivity and ability to make worry-free. There is a tangible sense of enthusiasm, talent and creativity in the studios that is infectious. You soak it up without even realising."

Thank you very much, Ailsa! You can see Ailsa's photo diary on our ReSearch Residency Instagram: @PA_Research_Residency

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Platform Residency - Week 6

This week was Project Ability artist Edward Henry's last week as Artist in Residence at Platform, Easterhouse. Over the past six weeks, Edward has been working from a studio set up at Platform one day a week, developing a body of new work with the support of artist Scott Lang. Each week, Scott has been updating us on Edward's progress.

"This week Edward made several sketches of the rooms we have been using during our time at Platform. He also made some sketches of the exterior of the building.

Edward then finished off his painting of one of the entrances by painting in figures. He used a previous sketch of some beauty therapy students as the basis for two of the figures. He added another couple of figures which are based on lecturers that he knows from the Glasgow Kelvin College campus next to Platform.

Once the painting was finished, Edward dried it with a hairdryer before applying two coats of varnish to give it a nice finish."

Thank you very much Edward and Scott! 

Click here to find out more about Platform, Easterhouse.  #madeineasterhouse

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Platform Residency - Week 5

Project Ability artist Edward Henry is nearing the end of his residency period at Platform, Easterhouse. He has been working from a studio based in 'The Bridge' one day a week, for the past five weeks, supported by artist Scott Lang. Each week, Scott has been updating us on Edward's process, and the development of his new work. 

"This week, Edward continued to work on his painting of one of the entrances to Platform.

After painting in the windows and doors, Edward added people using oil pastels. He used his earlier sketches of the beauty therapy students for this.

We then sat in the café area to do some sketching."

Thank you, Edward and Scott. Next week will be Edward's final week as Artist in Residence.

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ReSearch Residency June 2016 - Shireen Taylor

Shireen Taylor spent the month of June as Artist in Residence at Project Ability. Based within the Project Ability workshop, Shireen spent the month developing her practice, and new work. Here, she tells us about her experience:

"The artists’ studios at Project Ability are a wonderful place to work, with a welcoming atmosphere and a huge variety of activity. I came to the research residency with the intention of developing new sculptural directions in my practice, as well as using the opportunity to really get to see how the organisation worked for so many different artists.

It’s such a refreshing change to be in a flexible, open plan space, where any number of artists will take an interest in your work, and an even greater interest in showing you their own!  I spent much of the time making new drawings, and developing some of these into sculptural experiments.  My lack of expertise in some processes and the need to reinvent the work as I went on was treated with some amusement by some of the artists, but they were very intrigued by what I was trying to do.  

One of the tutors, Celine, took a small group of us on a walking trip to Pollock Country Park, which was a great chance to meet some of the artists not usually in on the days I was there. We visited the Giant Beech near the house, which formed the basis of a new drawing, and I took the opportunity to examine some of the ironwork and architectural details of the stables and gardens for the sculptural work I had planned.

Working in plastercine, wood and clay, I built some models for casting via silicon into wax, which will later be cast into metals such as aluminium, bronze and/or iron. I am really hoping that I might be able to invite some of the Project Ability artists to see this being done, as it can sometimes be quite a spectacle.  The finished works are intended to be included in an exhibition in the Project Room in Trongate 103 next year.

Working in the unique environment of the Project Ability studios has been an inspiring experience, and I really hope to get the chance to return and work with the artists I have met there. Thank you to everyone who I met during the residency for your friendliness, humour, and creativity. See you all again soon."

Thank you very much, Shireen! You can see Shireen's photo diary on our ReSearch Residency Instagram: @PA_Research_Residency

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Platform Residency - Week 4

Project Ability artist Edward Henry has now spent his fourth week as Artist in Residence at Platform, Easterhouse. During his six week rsidency, Edward has been working at Platform one day a week developing new work, with the support of artist, Scott Lang. Scott tells us about a new painting that Edward has been working on this week.  

"After wandering around Platform, Edward decided that he wanted to make a painting of one of the entrances to the building as he liked the shapes and angles. I took some photos of the entrance for him to use.

Edward started by painting the sky onto the canvas. He then drew the building on with oil pastels before blocking in the colours with acrylic paint."

Thanks Edward and Scott. We look forward to seeing more new work over the next couple of weeks.

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