Shop Item of the Week - Stained Glass Sailboat by Jan Thomson

Our Shop Item of the Week is this lovely little stained glass boat by Jan Thomson. Measuring 16x11cm, this sailboat would be a perfect gift for anyone that loves the sea. Jan Thomson has made a small selection of stained glass sailboats for our gallery shop, all in different sizes and colors. You can see a few more pictured below. If you would like to purchase the yellow and green sailboat you can find it available for £15 from our online shop and also our gallery shop at Trongate 103

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Performance workshop: Foley Art

What do celery, a hot water bottle and a tambourine all have in common?

Last week our young Create artists were learning the art of Foley – the unique skill of sound creation for film and TV. Our project room became their recording studio for the week and an array of weird and wonderful objects became their instruments. 

Inspired by the way sound can enhance and change our perception of film they created their own short story, complete with dramatic sound effects.  Want to know more - watch this space for their finished film coming soon!

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Seminar & Book Launch: Friday 03 August

As part of the Festival 2018 we have teamed up with artists working at the supported studio within St Hedwig Hospital in Berlin and will be exhibiting works by over 15 artists from Germany, with a small number of them visiting Glasgow during the Festival. We are taking this opportunity to hold a seminar on Friday 03 August which will look at the ways in which individual artists can gain confidence, skills and a sense of community through working in a supported studio.

We’ve asked artists from Berlin and Glasgow to share their thoughts about their artistic practice and the way in which a supported studio such as Project Ability and St Hedwig Hospital can help individuals with lived experience of mental ill health to achieve their artistic potential. For anyone interested in finding out about Project Ability, we will be introducing the organisation and talking a bit about all three of our studio programmes, but the focus will be on our ReConnect studios. We are delighted to be able to invite the public to this event, which is part of the official Festival 2018 programme.

In addition to promoting the exhibition of work from Berlin, which will be on show in the gallery,’ Neu Begegnung’, we will be taking the opportunity to present the release of a publication showcasing artworks and text by most of our current ReConnect artists.

Friday 03 August, Project Ability Gallery, 1st Floor, Trongate 103. Arrive at 12.30pm for tea and coffee ahead of the seminar which runs from 1-2pm. We will be offering tours of the Project Ability studios from 2-2.30pm for anyone who is interested. This will be an informal event and there will be time for questions after.

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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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Meet the Volunteers - Hanne Lillee

Since it is #VolunteersWeek, we bring you another 'Meet the Volunteers' today: the wonderful Hanne Lillee, who has been a great addition to the Aspire team.

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
I’m a Glasgow based artist working within sculpture and photography. I hold a MFA in Fine art from Goldsmiths University.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
Aspire, Monday morning class.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I applied to volunteer because I wanted to gain more experience in supporting artists with learning difficulties.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
Yes, it was wonderful to be able to help the artists achieve their artistic intentions. The impressive facilities at Project Ability means the artists have various mediums to work within, and it is always great to help an artist explore a new medium and the possibilities that comes with that.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
Art making can sometimes get a little too serious, and helping the artists at Project Ability has reminded me that art making also should be fun, spontaneous  and exciting!

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
Michael who attends the Monday morning and afternoon classes have been working on a fantastic pencil drawing on a large canvas. He has a great line and attention to detail!

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
Certainly.

Thanks Hanne!

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Meet the Volunteers - Alison Brown

This week is #VolunteersWeek, and we want to take this opportunity to thank all our incredible volunteers, past and present. 'Meet the Volunteers' gives you a glimpse into our volunteering programme and into what spending a few hours a week in our studios brings to our volunteer's practice. Alison Brown is one of our current ReConnect volunteers, and she answers our question in today's feature.

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
I graduated from Glasgow School of Art quite a while ago – but in the meantime had worked in radio and television, and had a family. For years I knew that I really wanted to get back to art and design, but struggled to get started again. When I finally left broadcasting, I experimented with image sequences and surface pattern in drawings, prints and collages. Also I like to draw people as often as I can - I’m fascinated by faces and spend a lot of time in cafes scribbling unsuspecting coffee drinkers.
                                                                              
In what workshop did you volunteer?
The ReConnect Workshop on Friday morning.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?

I had admired work done by Project Ability artists for years, and always thought it would be great to get involved. Beyond wanting to do something positive for other artists, I was also keen to learn about working with people in this kind of setting. I wanted to build a knowledge of how to encourage and support people to explore their artistic potential, alongside the fact that I really like working with people - I find the process of meeting and making connections with individuals really fascinating.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
I really has! And surpassed them. I look forward to each session, to find out how things are going with everyone in the studio. The Friday artists have been a real joy to work with. Everyone is so dedicated to their work, creative and fascinating to talk to. There’s an incredible range of work being created, and I’m so impressed by the way in which people are keen to push forward and gain new skills and insights.

What I didn’t anticipate was the level of interest and support I would get back from everyone, which has been very inspiring. To be honest, I was a little nervous at first, but everyone in the studio was so welcoming that I soon felt like part of the family. It’s been years since I’ve spent time in a shared creative space and find it very motivating. I’ve been inspired to try things that I’ve seen in studio, and also try long-neglected mediums that I thought I was no good with. Being at Project Ability has reminded me too that it’s good to experiment and ‘play’ with my work, and be confident in what I am creating.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
It’s been great to work with adult artists, as previously many of the workshops I had run or assisted with previously were for children. Beforehand I thought that this would add extra layers of complexity to the experience; that people would be looking for more detail and specific help or guidance. What I found is that it’s not as straightforward as that - the support I offer actually really depends on the person I’m speaking to and what’s happening with them that day. My contribution could be as simple as giving a bit of encouragement and finding materials, or something more demanding. I’ve discovered that it helps to keep an open mind and be flexible.

I’ve learned a lot about focus. The ability to use work as a focus beyond everything else that’s going on in life can be central to an artist’s practice, and I’ve begun to discover how to use focus, and sometimes the skill of re-focussing, as a way of getting around blockages or bad days.

I’m fascinated by the way that the work opens up lines of communication between individuals, and gives a central point of contact. In my non-voluntary working life, I’ve always had to do the talking…and be the person who is persuading and generally making things happen. At Project Ability, I’ve been working on being calmer, letting people come to their own conclusions in their time. I’ve been working on listening rather than filling the space with my thoughts or ideas… I’m finding out how to step back and allow things to happen.

And finally, persistence is a great thing! There’s nearly always a little more paint you can ease from a tube…

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
It’s really difficult to pick out one person to be honest, I really like so many of the people I’ve met and the pieces they’ve produced….I couldn’t just pick out one…

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
Definitely…in fact I already have.

Any other comments?
Thank you for such a fantastic experience. I have gained so much, I just hope I’ve made a useful contribution in return. I’m not usually lost for words, but I’ve found it really difficult to put into words what this experience has meant to me.  Thank you to all in the Friday ReConnect studio and Celine.

Thank you Alison!

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Meet the Volunteers: Jade Sturrock

Today, please meet Jade Sturrock, one of our wonderful volunteers who has been supporting our Aspire artists on Tuesdays. 

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
I am an artist currently living and working in Glasgow. I studied painting and printmaking at GSA and graduated in 2016. My practice  primarily consists of a combination of painting and collage. I enjoy combining natural, organic forms and painterly mark making with found imagery, often taken from mass media to creative emotive juxtapositions, which all mostly revolve around the female body. I aim to re-configure ways in which the female form can be depicted and viewed, blurring the line between abstraction and representation. Bold colour or forms tend to draw in the viewer, before the fragmented nature of the image exposes a more ambiguous intention. Drawing upon female subjectivity, representation and sexuality, I enjoy re-coding conditions which are typically restrictive of women’s self expression and the unregulated body.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
I volunteered in the Aspire workshop on tuesday mornings.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I applied to volunteer initially because I have always had a strong interest in the therapeutic benefits of making art. I enjoy being around people and sharing ideas about thought processes whilst observing the enjoyment  it brings. I also wanted to gain insight into what it was like for people to be creative in an open workshop setting where they can interact with one another and the sense of community it generates. Making art alone can often feel very self-serving so I was keen to support others to realise their creativity whilst opening my own mind up to different ways of doing things.
I also felt disheartened by art world politics and the lack of connection I was able to have with other creatives in my everyday life. Being slightly isolated from a wider artistic community since leaving art school, I  wanted to be back in a creative environment. I was also aware of many of the constraints faced by artists such as funding, exposure and opportunities and admired the fact that Project ability Provided a safe space for people from all different backgrounds to make work.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
The experience exceeded my expectations because I have been able to witness first hand how important the work and ethos of Project Ability really is in practice. I was a little nervous about not knowing how to help, or what I could do to best support the staff and the artists but everyone was super friendly, welcoming and supportive. It has been a real confidence booster to know that not only do I enjoy this kind of work, but that I am actually well suited to it and would be capable of continuing to do it in the future. I can’t describe how heartwarming it has been to observe the sense of achievement experienced by everyone involved in the workshops.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
I have learned that the rules, boundaries and limitations that might exist in everyday life or in art world politics do not exist within the Aspire workshops. Creative processes are impulsive and immediate, and do not always need explanation or justification, which I have found completely fascinating and liberating to observe as an artist. In the past I have found that it is all too easy to get caught up in the rights and wrongs and fiddly details when making or perceiving things. Attending the Aspire workshops has opened my mind up to whole new ways of using materials and the importance of not getting too hung up the final outcome, but rather valuing the making as a cathartic process in its own right.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
I have been working a lot with Martin on a one to one basis, and he really stands out because his work is so expressive. He really enjoys being bold with his use of materials and the types of imagery he is inspired by. I have found it really rewarding to work with him because through sharing his ideas and running with them together I think he feels more confident about making things. He made a wonderful sculpture of an turtle called Sam out of clay which I think he was really proud of and I thought it was absolutely amazing.
I also really enjoyed the two exhibitions held in the Project Ability gallery back in March called ‘The Queen Mothers’ and ‘Kay, Sharif and Smyth’. I thought the expression and imagery were absolutely brilliant and they did a great job of bringing to light the viewpoints and expression of young female artists with disabilities. They were so strong and made an impact which will stick with me for a long time!

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
Absolutely. It pushes you out of your comfort zone but is such a rewarding experience and permanently alters how you perceive art making for the better. You really feel welcomed in to the Project Ability community.

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Meet the Volunteers - Emma Helen Reid

Our current volunteers have been with us since the start of the year, and have been fantastic additions to our workshops. We would like to say a huge thank you to all of them, and are very proud to introduce them to you. This week, meet the brilliant Emma Helen Reid, who has been volunteering in our ReConnect workshops. 

In 2017 I graduated from M.Litt Fine Art Practice – Sculpture at Glasgow School of Art. In my practice I explore personal, corporeal connections with technologies that are embedded in many of our lives. My work can include video, writing, technology, sound, textiles, performance.

Since January I’ve been volunteering with ReConnect on Tuesdays. It is an incredibly engaging and productive studio to be in, each artist is making their own work while being supported by their tutor Celine and other staff. The artists I’ve met here are working with a wide range of processes and materials including painting, drawing, ceramics, and glass.

I am currently working with a group of ReConnect artists to make drawing, writing, collage, and photographs exploring the theme ‘studio traces’. Through the workshop we’ve been thinking about the potential significance of the incidental marks that we leave behind in the process of making work. We’ve also been talking about the wonderful and important feeling of community in this studio. We will bring the work together to make a digital publication.

I am learning lots from the experience through getting to know everyone, learning about the work they are making, and hearing about the various motivations and intentions they have. I’m grateful I have been able to return for a second block to see the different ways that works are developing. It has been a pleasure to be a volunteer with Project Ability and to find out more about this inspiring organisation.
-Emma Helen Reid

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘croft’ by David McCracken

Our Shop Item of the Week is this beautifully rendered ceramic croft by David McCracken. We've had our eye on the beautiful creations David has been working on for the past few months. We now have a collection of ceramic Scottish abodes in our shop and each one describes a different type of shelter commonly found in the highlands. As this one is, they are all exquisitely crafted with a real-life weathered look about them. Measuring 21x14x9 cm this unique piece of ceramics is priced at 50 pounds. You can purchase 'croft' from our online shop or come by to have a look at the whole collection at our gallery shop at Trongate 103.

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Walking Group - St Mungo Museum and Cathedral

Our walking group had its last outing for a while with a ramble up the High Street to visit St Mungo's Museum.

This being a very historic part of the city, there was lots to see and talk about on the way, and lots of photos to be captured.

The museum houses an eclectic mix of works, most of which have a religious connection but it seems that for some items this link is quite a tenuous one. A photograph of 'Charlie's Angels' in an exhibition about angels seemed a little bizarre but was certainly entertaining!

The next stop was St Mungo's Cathedral. Some of the group hadn't been there before but even those that had enjoyed an exploration of this magnificent building and its surroundings.

The walking group are taking a break for a while to look for more funding so will hopefully be planning some more outings soon. More photos can be found on our Facebook Page. 

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Meet the Maker - Ruth & Kirsten Mutch

Last Thursday Kirsten and Ruth Mutch gave a fascinating talk as part of our Meet the Maker series, talking about Ruth's artwork and Penguin Parade, the business they have created to promote and sell her work.

The Meet the Maker series has been designed so that artists working at Project Ability can find out more in depth about other artists and makers' practice and also get an insight into how creative practice can be promoted and thought about as a business.

Kirsten and Ruth took us through the milestones in their creative journey, starting in 2010 when Ruth joined Project Ability. Ruth developed her distinctive style of working early on and has used this to create successful products, as well as in some instances capturing part of her own personal story, as a working artist with autism.

Kirsten talked us through the practicalities of setting up a website, handling production and promotions, working with stockists and even illustrating a children’s book. They shared some great insights and helpful tips that they had found out along the way.

Ruth gave a heartfelt thank you to Project Ability at the close of the talk: “Of course none of this would have happened if I hadn’t started coming to Project Ability and received the fantastic support and encouragement I get here.  They gave me hope and purpose during a very difficult time of my life and have increased my self-esteem and confidence. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have Project Ability to come to. I am really grateful for all the opportunities they gave me to exhibit and sell my work, with the highlight being my solo exhibition last year.”

Thanks so much to Kirsten and Ruth for coming to share their inspirations and experiences with us!

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Down’s Syndrome Scotland workshops

On Sunday, our workshops with young people with Down's syndrome and their siblings continued after a short break due to the weather conditions.

The printmaking continued with an introduction to mono-printing along with some drawing, painting and collage.

It looks like everyone had some fun and there were some beautiful results. We look forward to seeing what happens next week!

For more photos, check out our Facebook Page. 

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Call for Volunteers - Esther Ferrer performance

Project Ability is looking for amateur performers to take part in the group performance piece I’m Going To Tell You About My Life, which will premier in April 22nd in Glasgow as part of the Glasgow International festival.

The piece has been conceived by 80-year old Spanish artist Esther Ferrer and involves 10 performers who are fluent in British Sign Language and 10 verbal performers speaking in different languages.

If you are a BSL user or speak a language other than English, and you want to tell others about your life, please get in touch! No previous experience is required.


PRODUCTION INFO

Rehearsal dates: Friday 20th April (pm) and Saturday 21st April (all day)
Performance: Sunday 22nd April, 1-3pm

The rehearsals will be led by Esther Ferrer, assisted by a BSL interpreter.
Project Ability will cover transport costs for all volunteers up to £10 per day

Please note that the performance will be:
- Filmed, and an edited version of the film will be on display at Project Ability’s Project Space for the duration of the festival.
- Professionally photographed, and the images taken may be used for press coverage, promotion of the event on the websites of the project organisers and funders, documentation and evaluation. 

By participating in the event you agree to be filmed or photographed for these purposes.


HOW TO APPLY

To apply for this opportunity, or find out more, please contact:

Mónica Laiseca at monica_laiseca@outlook.com and
Celine Mcilmunn at celine.mcilmunn@gmail.com

Deadline for applications: Tuesday 10 April, noon. Shortlisted volunteers will be notified by email on Friday 14 April.

 

 

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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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Meet the Volunteers: Adam Brown

The Create workshops are now over for the year, and we say goodbye to a brilliant group of volunteers, including to Adam Brown, who is our 'Meet the volunteers' this week.

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
I am an Applied Arts HND graduate from City of Glasgow College.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
I volunteered in the Create workshop on a Saturday morning.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I’ve always been really keen on doing work for charity and also working with children so this seemed like a prime opportunity to do both.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
My experience has been wonderful at Create, it definitely lived up to my expectations.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
I have learnt that it’s important to listen to each individual person and try and assist them in a way that suits them best.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
It’s difficult to choose a favourite artist from the classes because each and everyone of them have talent in their own special area. One particular artist, Dearbhail, has demonstrated extraordinary talent in drawing and painting.

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
I absolutely would recommend others to volunteer at Project Ability, the experience has been very uplifting and has consistently been an exciting part of my week for the past few months.

Any other comments?
Everybody at Project Ability has been extremely inviting and have made me feel right at home and part of the team right from week one. The young artists have been amazing to get to know and have also always been very friendly and kind to me.

Thanks Adam!

If you are interested in volunteering with us, you can send us your application until 5th January 2018. Click here for more info. 

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Meet the volunteers: Samantha Harley

This week, please meet the lovely Samantha Harley, who has been a joyful addition to our Aspire workshops!

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
Undergraduate, Painting & Printmaking, Year 2. My practice mainly involves looking at everyday objects and rendering them in fun and new exciting ways. I mainly do a lot of screen printing, drawings and paintings.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
Aspire, on a Thursday afternoon.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
My little brother has Down's Syndrome and autism, so I have always been involved with helping people with disabilities. Art therapy is something I’d be interested in doing when I have graduated.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
Yes, I’ve really enjoyed my time at Project Ability, and I hope everyone else has enjoyed having me too! It’s been great getting to know everyone and starting to understand everyone’s situation and how they work.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
I have learnt lots from volunteering here but especially about how to interact with everyone. I’ve found interesting to see all the different ways we have communicated with each other. I have also found volunteering here has influenced my own work.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
I have been working closely with one of the Aspire artists called Peter. Peter has been working with clay and creates objects he likes, such as watering cans, to even cans of soft drinks! I find this really interesting as by just looking at what the objects are and how they are created, you can get a sense of who Peter is.

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
Yes! In fact one of my friends and classmate has been asking me when my volunteering ends so she can apply!

Any other comments?
I just want to thank everyone who is involved with Project Ability, because I think it’s a great organisation and I’ve had the best time volunteering here!

Thank you Samantha! If you are interested in volunteering with Project Ability, we are currently recruiting for January-March. Click here for more information. 

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Free art workshops for young people with Down’s syndrome

The World Down Syndrome Congress is coming to Glasgow in July 2018! To mark the occasion, Project Ability is offering groups for children and young people with Down’s Syndrome the opportunity to get involved in visual art workshops leading to an exhibition in Trongate 103 in Glasgow.

Our professional art tutors will visit your group and tailor a workshop to your requirements. Whether you can accommodate 1 session or 4, talk to us and we can make it happen! Workshops can take place in our accessible studio in Trongate 103, or we can come to you.

Workshops must take place between January and May 2018. Art materials will be provided. There is no charge as the project has been generously supported by the Trefoil Foundation. Artwork will be professionally framed and exhibited in Trongate 103 and available as a digital download.

If you are interested to take part, please get in touch with Michael Richardson: create@project-ability.co.uk // Tel: 0141 552 2822 (Thursdays & Fridays)

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Meet the Volunteers - Laura Gaiger

Today's Meet the Volunteers focuses on the fantastic Laura Gaiger, who has been volunteering with our Art Matters workshops.

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
I studied Painting and Printmaking at Glasgow School of Art and graduated last year, 2016. Now I have a studio in the East end and I make oil paintings - most of them are semi-abstract still life and interior paintings, or paintings from film photographs and film stills. They hint at stories of domestic and family life.


   

In what workshop did you volunteer?
I’m volunteering with the Art Matters group at 4.30pm on Saturdays.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I volunteered with Project Ability in the past, while I was studying, and loved the experience, so I knew I’d enjoy doing it again. I have a more settled routine now I’m not a student, so I’m able to be more committed, and it’s really important to me to feel that I’m making a meaningful contribution to others. I want to help other people find as much joy, fun and fulfilment through making things as I do.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
Absolutely. Saturday afternoons at Project Ability are currently the highlight of my week! The studio is really peaceful at this time of day, and it’s a really pleasant environment to be pottering around helping the artists with materials, and having a chat about what everyone is making or has been doing that week. I enjoy being part of a really relaxed and positive community and feeling appreciated for taking part.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
I’ve gotten to know many of the artists in the Art Matters group by now, and I have a much better understanding of the various needs that the different artists have. I’ve learned how to communicate with people with different ways of communicating to myself, and not to be afraid to strike up conversations with disabled or differently abled people. I have also gained a lot of ideas and artistic inspiration from seeing everyone’s work and all the exciting things going on in the other workshops.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
I always have a great time chatting with Peter - he sings me his favourite Disney songs each week and makes me guess which films they’re from, which I’m not very good at! I love seeing Jonathan’s work develop - I’ve never met someone so focussed on what they are making, and the detail in his freehand drawings is incredible!

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
Yes, definitely - anyone who enjoys being part of a sociable community of artists and wants to give back to the artistic community of Glasgow! It’s great fun.

Any other comments?
Thank you so much for involving me at Project Ability - I hope I’ll be able to stay involved for a long time.

Thank you so much Laura!

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Project Ability Fundraising Survey

Like many charities, Project Ability faces funding challenges and we must find more ways of generating income to allow us to continue to deliver our vital work.

With many not-for-profit organisations fighting for the attention of the general public, we understand that it is important to be focused, imaginative and offer something that is genuinely going to engage and benefit our audience.  That’s why we need your opinion on what we should do next. 

It will only take a couple of minutes to answer the four questions here but it will make a huge difference to us if you do it as it will help us to plan effectively for the future.  If you provide your contact details, we would like to offer you 10% discount next time you visit our shop in the Gallery or online.

Thank you!

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Meet the Volunteers: Karina Baillie

This week, let us introduce you to the brilliant Karina Baillie, who has been a great addition to our Create team. 

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
I am a graduate of Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art. My practice encompasses many different mediums, from video installation to sculpture, drawing and painting. Recently I have been working in the community, focussing on facilitating different groups such as a mural project in the East End with adults with mental health issues.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
I volunteer at the Create Workshop ages 8-12 on a Saturday morning.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I’ve admired many of Project Ability’s artists and frequently visit their gallery space, and have always known Project Ability to be a brilliant resource in the community. I had recently finished a Counselling course and wanted to spend more time working with young artists, because I knew it would be a great learning opportunity and a privilege to become part of the Project Ability team.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
The experience of volunteering at the Create workshop has far exceeded my expectations. Interacting with the young artists is an energetic and fruitful role, I have learned so much from the tutors knowledge and found every class to be invigorating and rewarding.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
The young artists are all uniquely talented individuals with brilliant ideas and different styles of working. It’s a lot of fun being in the workshop facilitating their various projects, from making clay sculptures to print making. I’ve learned loads of new techniques and the young artists have opened my mind to exciting creative processes which have influenced my own artistic practice.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
I find the work of two of our young artists Guy and Gabriel incredibly inspiring, they both have their own brilliant flair for colour and their use of this in our recent classes have produced beautiful Perspex panels that look like stain glass windows.

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
There is a real sense of community in the workshop that is unique to Project Ability. It’s a supportive environment which is full of fun and energy, I would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering becoming part of the Project Ability team.

Thanks a lot Karina! 

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Meet the Volunteers: Mij Rothera

For today's Meet the Volunteers, we focus on the amazing Mij Rothera, who has been volunteering with our aspire team.

Are you a graduate or undergraduate artist? Can you tell us what course you are on, or a little about your art practice?
I graduated from Glasgow School of Art more than 20 years ago (gulp), with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Photography. Nowadays I twiddle about with inks and brushes on paper in my spare time. I work with Enable and also occasionally as an Artist Practitioner at The Prince & Princess Of Wales Hospice.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
Wednesday Aspire Workshops.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I’ve been coming here for 2 years every Tuesday, supporting a young man to attend his art group. I love the atmosphere – it’s so positive and also informal. It’s great to see how focussed everybody is on their work. I have many years’ experience of working on arts projects for various marginalised groups (specifically with Artlink Central in Stirling), and wanted to play a small part in the wonderful creativity of Project-Ability.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
Definitely. It’s such a friendly environment. People are really well supported by the excellent Art Tutors to make, or continue working on, whatever piece they feel like that day. The large, bright space is really conducive to making art and there are loads of different art materials.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
The opportunity for creativity is vitally important – for everyone. Project-Ability plays a huge part in the lives of many people. It’s also important to not always have a set end-date for a project – people here can continue on their work for however long they feel. The experience has helped to make me create more art, too. Also, I’ve met a whole new bunch of talented people.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
I really like Andrew Boyle’s images. He works steadily and carefully on his detailed and very beautiful drawings and paintings. A stand-out artwork from the last year is Tommy Mason’s large painting of George Michael.  I loved the exhibition by Leslie Thomson too.Actually I’m inspired every time I walk into the studio.

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
Yes. It’s a wonderful way to get to know some very interesting, creative people, and to play a part in what I would say is a vital space and service for so many.

Any other comments?
Project-Ability offers a peaceful and positive space where all people need to focus on is their creativity. That’s priceless.

Thanks, Mij!

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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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Project Ability pop-up shops coming soon!

Save the date! We will be hosting a series of pop-up shop in the gallery in the run up to Christmas! 

Looking for something original, inspiring and that can't be found in the high street shops? This is your chance, our pop up shops will be packed with original gift ideas, cushions, cards, ceramics, artworks, mobiles, wooden objects, and plenty more! 

Saturday 25 November, 2nd & 9th December, 10am - 5pm in our gallery in Trongate 103.

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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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Meet the Maker – Mhari McMullan

We had an inspiring Meet the Maker session with textile designer Mhari McMullan. Mhari studied Textile Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. She moved to Glasgow in 2007 and in 2009 opened Welcome Home, a creative retail space representing craft, design and illustration now based in Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts. Mhari also works as a freelance designer, educator and consultant for other projects in art, design and retail.

Mhari joined us for the afternoon at Project Ability where she ran an excellent workshop introducing the group to a heat transfer textile printing process. Using collage and cut out processes participants built up images and designs in a range coloured papers. These designs were then placed inside the heat press for 45 seconds, and when they came out they had miraculously printed and fixed onto the fabric generating some fantastic results.

Everyone taking part in the workshop took to the process instantly, bringing their individual styles and ways of working to this technique and in the space of a short afternoon’s workshop produced a range of vibrant new works.

This fast and fun process really had the group hooked, so don’t be surprised if you see us producing some more works this way soon!

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘Cleopatra’ by Ronald McCulloch

Shop Item of the Week is 'Cleopatra' by Ronald McCulloch. This is an amazing painting with so much going on. The composition is inspired from a photo shoot of Marilyn Monroe posing as actress Theda Bara from the silent film Cleopatra, taken by photographer Richard Avedon.

We love this painting and after being out and about as part of a few exhibitions in the last year, it has now arrived in our gallery shop! Measuring 90 x 120 cm, this acrylic canvas is stretched and ready to hang. You can find it in our online shop for £120. Below is an image of the photograph McCulloch used as a reference to make this wild painting!!

 

 

 

 

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Quiz Night

Our annual fundraising event is back! Join us on Thursday 28 September for the always fun Project Ability Quiz Night, 7pm-9pm.

Are you pop culture savvy? Want to test your general kowledge? Look no further, our Quiz Night is the place to be!

Only £5 per entry, including a free drink and a free raffle ticket, with a chance to win one of our great prizes. You can come as a team, or join one on the night. Tickets are available to purchase on the third floor of Trongate 103. 

Who will be bringing the Project Ability trophy home?

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