Meet the Volunteers - Anna Reid

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

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

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

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

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

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Meet the Volunteers - Katarzyna Konarska

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

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

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

Thank you Katarzyna!

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Volunteers Week: Where are they now?

Today marks the start of Volunteers Week, taking place accross the UK from 1st-7th June. This is a great opportunity to celebrate all our volunteers, current and past, and to thank them all about their contribution to our organisation. Their time and effort is invaluable to a charity organisation like ours, and we hope they get as much from their experience here as we do from them. 

For Volunteers Week, we asked a few of our previous volunteers where they are now and how their time with Project Ability affected their career.

Lucy Payne

"Initially I volunteered at Project Ability within the Tuesday morning Aspire classes. They are a great group and the tutors, Sandy and Meredith, were such fun to work with. It was a very relaxed atmosphere and I helped the artists with whatever they needed, from providing them with materials to helping roll out clay. I volunteered whilst in my final year at Art School studying Illustration.

After I finished both volunteering and university Tracy and Elisabeth got in touch with me and asked me to do a series of illustrations of the people and the studios of Project Ability. I obviously jumped at this and it was such an amazing experience and so nice to be asked to do so. It was such a unique opportunity to really get to know the people working within Project Ability and I felt I was able to get a really intimate snapshot of the place. At the end of the residency I had an exhibition of my work in the gallery which has just ended this May. I have loved working with Project Ability, it is such a vibrant place to work and the people who work there are so warm and welcoming."


Ailsa Sutcliff

"I began volunteering with Project Ability shortly after I graduated from Art School in 2014. As I had studied Communication Design and specialised in Illustration I had been used to fulfilling briefs and meeting multiple deadlines, so the prospect of being in a completely free and joyful artistic environment was really appealing to me. 

I was very fortunate to have been placed with the Friday Aspire group, who immediately made me feel incredibly welcome and I formed close bonds with many of the participants. I grew so attached to them all and valued my Fridays at Project Ability so highly I ended up staying far longer than I had intended; I think I volunteered for over a year in the end! Eventually I bid a tearful farewell to the group but did some further voluntary work with various nursery groups and was later very lucky to be offered a position as a tutor for the Thursday Night Social. 

Since then I have also been working regularly on the Create programme and outreach projects which has given me the confidence to pursue tutoring in various contexts; I have run several different workshops in Glasgow and recently assisted in some art classes in Edinburgh. I’m currently working with Glasgow Museums Resource Centre’s Education team and am leading two classes for their Macmillan group, responding to the collection and artefacts in the stores. 

Project Ability has not only been an invaluable part of my professional development but has really helped my confidence and mental health, giving me endless amounts of creative inspiration and joy."
 

Max Mcilmunn

"I've been involved with Project Ability for a wee bit over a decade now. I came in to one of their film making workshops, started making some short movies, and never really stopped, going so far as to volunteer as an assistant in later workshops to help younger artists learn how to make their own films. More recently, I've been part of the Project Ability Media Unit since it began, filming, editing, and even animating projects with associated groups and artists across Scotland."

Many thanks to all our amazing volunteers from all of us at Project Ability!

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Meet the Volunteers - Seamus Killick

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you Seamus!

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LDAW17 - Judith Abubakar

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

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

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

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

Top image: portrait by Alicia Bruce.

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LDAW17 - Steven Reilly

Day 5 of Learning Disability Awareness Week 2017, time to learn more about the amazing Steven Reilly via Aspire tutor Sharon Quigley.

"I’ve worked alongside Steven Reilly now for almost 20 years and I never cease to be blown away by his generosity of spirit and enthusiasm for sharing his art and ideas with his fellow artists and the public.

Project Ability provides a unique, exciting and dynamic studio environment for the artists who participate and create on a daily basis and Steven’s attitude towards making art embodies that experience. His work is colourful and bold and suffused with playfulness and fun, which he transmits to everyone he comes into contact with. He is the life and soul of the workshop!

His subjects are wide ranging and can reference anything from transport, history, film and TV; from Wonder Woman to Robert Burns, as well as mythical, extinct and rare creature’s, such as King Kong, the sabre toothed tiger and the giant squid.

Always open to exploring new materials, processes and mediums, Steven is constantly and fearlessly challenging himself to take on projects that he can really get his teeth sunk into. He can easily turn his hand to ceramics, animation, silk painting, printmaking and painting and will regularly arrive at the beginning of each block announcing “Let’s really push the boat out this time dear!”
-Sharon Quigley

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LDAW17 - Jacqui Smyth

Today's Learning Disability Awareness Week featured artist is quite the woman! The amazing Jacqui Smyth, by Aspire tutor Alison Mitchell.

"Jacqui Smyth has been working recently on a series of drawings inspired by the music, sleeve art and photographs of some of her favourite musicians.

Working mostly to quite a small scale, her drawings relate the vitality, abandon and glamour of her chosen subjects. She's a big music fan and loves to pinpoint a particular time and place where she remembers listening to any given piece of music.

As a dj on Sunny Govan radio her tagline is 'Glasgow's answer to Edith Bowman'.

She has been a regular artist in our Aspire group for the last year and has made consistently beautiful and vivid work exploring print, silk drawing and paint alongside masses of gorgeous drawings on paper and card."
-Alison Mitchell

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LDAW17 - Tom Muir

Today, for our Learning Disability Awaraness Week 2017 daily feature, we would like to focus on one of our longest attending artists, the delightful Mr Tom Muir.

"On a Tuesday morning when I arrive at the Project Ability studios to prepare for the morning Aspire workshop, the first person I see is Tom, rapidly shuffling toward the workshop with a big smile and the eager enquiry, “What boat did you get today Sandi?”, (my commute involves a short ferry journey).

Tom is 85 years old and has been coming to Project Ability for 18 years and is one of our oldest and longest attending participants. He loves boats, and especially the PS Waverley, the last sea going paddle steamer on the river Clyde. He has made numerous drawings, paintings, prints and ceramic pieces of her. He never tires of making nautical images and will also happily make images of transport, landscapes, animals, royalty, and religious paintings (his minister must have quite a sizeable collection by now). Tom loves making artwork to give away to people, which he does with a huge grin.

In recent years Tom has become less mobile and his vision has deteriorated, but this hasn’t diminished his enthusiasm for making artwork. The canvases are smaller but he still continues to create wonderful work in a wide range of media, including pencil, fine line pen, felt pens, dip pen and ink, acrylic and watercolour painting and printmaking. Tom also works in ceramics, creating 3D boats, planes, cars, buses and trams that are so fantastically joyful.

His drawing isn’t as sharp as it used to be, and he now requires one to one help to identify colours or roll clay, but his artwork is still distinctively gloriously Tom Muir."

-Sandi Kiehlmann, Aspire tutor

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LDAW17 - Adnan Mohamed

"Adnan Mohamed – better known in the art workshop as Adi – has been coming along to Project Ability’s Aspire group for a couple of years now. You might say he’s a relative newcomer then, but one who already makes a very big impression! 

From the outset Adi’s interest has been in portraying personalities from a broad sweep of popular culture; Movie actors from 1960’s films, TV personalities, Star Wars characters, wrestlers and Superheroes. Occasionally Adi draws these figures freehand but more often he pens them onto acetate paper and uses an overhead projector to create big bold pastel drawings and acrylic paintings.      

                                                                                                                                                           

Most recently Adi has been modelling clay heads. He jokes with me that he has enough to open a shop now! The clay sculptures start off in a similar fashion with Adi bringing in a picture of a famous character or celebrity, or asking Stewart at the front desk to source an image of someone special. Adi has been employing a couple of techniques to build his heads. Sometimes he makes a solid oval shape for the head and balances it on a tapered cone of clay for the neck, after he has added some features he must slice the head in half and ‘scoop the brains out’ to make it hollow, then join it back together. Other times he will construct the head around a ball of paper, then make the features. Either way it has to be hollow before he fires it in the kiln.  

Perhaps because the sculptural techniques can take a little longer than his drawings and paintings the characters can change a bit during the making and sometimes finish up being someone entirely different. Adi seems pretty open to this idea of the personality emerging out of the clay as he is working on it. What we are now starting to see are mythical types and characters from folklore rather than specific people.

Adi has just finished making a comical head that is wearing a Fez hat, this reminds him of a cheeky cartoon character he’s seen that kept blobbing its tongue out. He has also created a moustachioed man with an enormous Quiff hairstyle and an old Captain of days gone by who smokes like a chimney, not to mention a demon with horns and fire flaming down out of its’ mouth.   

I don’t think Adi has produced quite enough clay heads to open a shop yet, but there are several that would sit beautifully together as a group and I’m very much looking forward to a time when we can see these artworks in an exhibition."

-Meredith Crone, Aspire Tutor
 

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Tommy Mason exhibition closing event

Join us on Friday 28th April, 12-1pm for the closing event of Tommy Mason's exhibition in the Trongate 103 foyer. Everybody welcome!

Aspire artist Tommy Mason's unique large scale paintings have taken over the Trongate 103 foyer as a celebration to World Autism Day, and will remain there until the 29th. 

Tommy has been working with Project Ability for over 25 years, and the studio would not be the same without him. He helps to make Project Ability a creative and positive environment, and we are always happy to have the opportunity to share his art with the public. Tommy Mason’s style is one of a kind. Once you have seen his work you will forever recognise A Tommy Mason.

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The end of Thursday Night Social

It is with regret that we announce the end of the Thursday Night Social. 

Glasgow Life who provide Trongate 103 with front of house services is pulling out at the end of March and we can no longer deliver out of hours’ activity.

The situation might change, and the tenant organisations in Trongate 103 are asking Glasgow Life to work with us to find a solution, but for the foreseeable future Project Ability’s studio will close at 5pm.
We are looking into alternatives and will keep you posted.

The last Thursday Night Social will take place on Thursday 30 March.

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Artwork of the week - ‘Mobile’ by Cameron Morgan

We're celebrating the closing of two exhibitions this week with another brilliant slip-cast telephone made by Project Ability's Cameron Morgan. This candy coloured phone is the last in a series of slip-cast telephones which looks back at the evolution of this marvelous invention! 'Put your sweet lips closer to the phone' has been on show in our Gallery II for the past month, and tomorrow is the final day. Each of the phones on display is an edition of five, and each one is priced at £180. Read more about Cameron on his webpage, or check out the brand new TV Classics website to see what Cameron has been up to over the past year.

Tomorrow sees the final day of this exhibition as well as The Artists of the West Midlands: A New World; a beautiful exhibition of paintings and drawings made by six very talented artists from the West Midlands who have been involved in a mentoring programme with acclaimed portrait artist Tanya Raabe-Webber

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Artwork of the week - by JM Boyce

 

Artwork of the week features this beautiful painting on canvas by ReConnect artist JM Boyce. The Doberman Pinscher has a perfect sheen to his coat and it’s colouring is complimented by the deep magenta flowers and green foliage in the back ground.
JM Boyce is extremely gifted in painting and this subject matter is her specialty. She has been painting many different types of dogs for several years at the Project Ability studios, and, as is visible here, she has perfected the art. This painting measures 70 x 50 cm which makes the dog just about life size. It is picture perfect in every last detail and stroke of the brush. If you would like to see more of this artist’s work please contact the gallery.

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Artwork of the week -  #21 by Ross Prince

Ross Prince works in oil pastels on paper and canvas, creating 'mood landscapes' of various colours and compositions. #21 is an abstract drawing that has the look and feel of a painting. Using oil pastels in a creative and painterly way, Prince beautifully captures light and movement. Although he hasn't used any brushes, one can almost see the brush strokes that have made this artwork. The challenge of using this pallette should not be underestimated; we don't often see a painting with greens and oranges together in a harmonious way like this.

This is one of several 'mood scapes' by Ross in our current exhibition, 'The Artists of the West Midlands: A New World', which features six young artists from the West Midlands. This exhibition has been orchestrated by acclaimed artist Tanya Raabe-Webber, who also curated the exhibtion with Project Ability. Tanya also acted as mentor to these artists and has helped them to develop their artistic talent.

We are delighted that Tanya has secured funding to allow the artists to come to Project Ability for a two day Cultural Exchange, titled ‘Take 6’, which will include workshops at Project Ability and gallery visits around Glasgow. This has been funded by a ‘Grants For The Arts, supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

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Artwork of the week - ‘Brick 1980’ by Cameron Morgan

 

Artwork of the week features this slip-cast ceramic  'Brick' mobile phone made by Cameron Morgan. Part of our current Gallery II exhibition, 'Put your sweet lips closer to the phone', this 1980's style cell phone is an edition of six, and sized a bit larger than the real thing. There are four different types of phones in this show, each one an iconic piece of history and design.

In 1876, 29-year-old Scottish born Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for his revolutionary new invention–the telephone. This marked the beginning of an evolution of wired and wireless communication that has proven to be one of civilisation's greatest and most important achievements. 'Put your sweet lips closer to the phone' highlights this evolution through Morgan's usual vibrant and bold style. Priced at £180 each phone is a limited and signed edition of either six or seven. 

The exhibition is up until February 21st, along with 'The Artists of the West Midlands: A New World', at our first floor gallery at Trongate 103. Stop by for a look at the exhibitions and a browse of our gallery shop, which features a wide variety of hand made crafts and fine art - all made by our artists in our third floor studios!

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Artwork of the week - ‘Untitled Impressions’ by John McNaught

Artwork of the week is this beautiful painting on canvas by Project Ability artist John McNaught. John works in our Aspire studio and has been a member of Project Ability for several years. 'Untitled Impressions' takes its composition from the much loved subject matter of many impressionist painters - bridges, flowers and women in hats.

This painting is bursting with colour and warmth. Measuring 110 x 110cm it is a powerful and serene presence and would be a gorgeous addition to any home. This painting will soon be for sale in our gallery shop so please contact the gallery if you are interested. 

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Artwork of the Week- ‘Always Here’ by Erika Juniper

 

'Always Here' by Erika Juniper is our artwork of the week. It is a four-minute video, filmed in the Tycanol Woods, while the artist was on residency. The solo material was created through a process of listening and responding to the self, the wild and the music. Project Ability is currently showing Erika's solo, along with three other artists’, until November 26. Each is accompanied by photographs and its own soundtrack, available through headphones.

Erika Juniper, along with fellow artist Andrew Kelly, both came to Glasgow to help lead workshops in our studios at Trongate 103. They, along with Arty Party's Ray Jacobs and inclusive movement practitioner Rachel Ligget, worked with Project Ability artists and dancers from Indepen-dance, to create their own personal 'solos'.

'Four Solos in the Wild' features moving imagery and photography. Additionally, there is also a slide show of images documenting the workshops that took place at Project Ability and Trongate 103, in the week before the exhibition.

Juniper's solo is a beautiful look into one person's relationship with the wild. It is a moving short film, a dance and a story. “Always Here’ can be seen until 26 November.

 

This project is supported by Arts Council England, The Basil Houghton Memorial Trust, and Telford and Wrekin Council.

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Artwork of the week- ‘Duck’ by Scott Smith

Artwork of the week features this lovely 'Duck' in duck egg blue on mottled grey/brown paper. 'Duck' is one of many beautifully drawn birds on display as part of Scott Smith's exhibition titled, 'Birds'. These pen drawings on paper are flying, swimming and waddling off to new homes at a quick pace, so if this one takes your fancy please be in touch with the gallery before it too flies the coop!
Scott Smith has been working within our Aspire studios for several years, and his work generally depicts people and animals with confident lines and a sense of the beautiful and the comical. He began drawing these birds just a few months ago and we are delighted to be showing them as a whole collection. They are all new and original works of art that have already proven to be very popular.
The drawing, sized 43 x 59 cm is priced at a very affordable £20. 'The artwork is framed for our exhibition and is available for purchase in the frame, ready to hang on any wall, for £75. Come by the gallery to check out 'Birds', in our Gallery II, until November 26.

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Spooky Movie Night 2016

 

After the success of last month's fundraising Quiz Night, we are launching our second fundraising event this year: Spooky Movie Night!

Join us on Thursday 27 October in your best spooky fancy dress (or not!) for the screening of cult-classic Frankenstein.

Each entry includes pizza, a drink and a free raffle ticket. We will draw the raffle on the night, and as usual you can expect some great prizes! The best fancy dress will win a prize too, so be creative!

Note: the number of places are limited, so make sure you book your ticket soon. We won't sell any tickets on the night as we need a bit of notice for the catering.

Tickets can be bought from our 3rd Floor reception or from our gallery.

Thursday 27 October, 7pm-9.30pm

3rd Floor, Trongate 103, G1 5HD

0141 552 2822

Cost: £10

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Artwork of the week - ‘Elaine’ by Lewis Scott

This week we bring you 'Elaine' by Lewis Scott as our Artwork of the week. This drawing is oil pastel on paper and sized at 60 x 83 cm. It is one of five portraits Lewis has made in the past year with us. Lewis works in our Aspire workshops and has been an artist at Project Ability for several years. His mark making is bold and strong, and his colours are rich and dense. 'Elaine' wears a black vest and bright pink t-shirt. The style is decisive and not at all precious. You can see the strength and energy that has gone into every colour and form, with no time wasted to clean up smudges and finger prints. To see the four other portraits by Lewis Scott please visit his webpage

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Artwork of the week - Cookie Monster by Aiden Kelly

'Cookie Monster' is the star of our Artwork of the week post! Made in our Create studios by Aiden Kelly, it sits proudly in our current exhibition Young Talent 2016. Complete with a plate of glittered cookies, he has his arms open wide in anticipation of his favourite meal of the day. Aiden created this sculpture from cardboard, paint and glitter over several weeks in our Saturday Create programme for young artists.

'Cookie Monster' is only on exhibition until tomorrow at 5pm, when our Young Talent exhibition closes for another year. The young artists who work at Project Ability are making amazing works of art all year long in our Trongate 103 studios, and August/September is the time when they get to choose their favourite masterpiece to go on display in the gallery. It is always a fun, creative and exciting show. This piece is just one of the brilliant artworks that make up this year's show. If you haven't seen it yet there is still time! 

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Artwork of the week - ‘Glitter’ by Judith Abubakar

This week we bring you this mixed media canvas by Project Ability artist Judith Abubakar as our Artwork of the Week. Judith very often uses glitter and tissue paper to create her artworks. They are bright, colourful and full of energy. Working with these materials on a stretched canvas gives the finished piece a mix of both two and three dimensions. The bright pink back ground is applied first and given time to dry. Then the colours and composition of the glitter and tissue paper are carefully considered to make the work as brilliant and bold as possible. 'Glitter' is part of our Young Talent 2016 exhibition, on display in our gallery until Saturday the 24th of September. 

Each year our annual Young Talent exhibition showcases and celebrates the artwork created by children and young people from Project Ability’s Create Programme, now in its 16th year. Our Create programme engages with children and young people with disabilities in a wide range of creative activities including visual arts, film and new media. For more information about this exhibition follow this link.

Judith's piece is a small but mighty work of art. With its colour, contrast and sparkling glitter, it joyfully shares Judith's talent and creativity. 

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Artwork of the week- BB-8 by Alistair Downie

Artwork of the week is this ceramic sculpture of the droid BB-8 from the latest Star Wars film- The Force Awakens. The sculpture is about as cute as the real thing, and very skillfully made by Alistair Downie. Alistair is part of our Create programme for young artists. Our annual Young Talent exhibition will feature this work, along with about 40 other artists' works from our Create programme. Opening this Saturday at 2pm, we welcome all of our young artists, along with their friends and family- and the general public- to join us in celebrating the amazing Young Talent of 2016 at Project Ability!

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Artwork of the Week by Sam Perks

This abstract painting on paper is our chosen Artwork of the Week. As yet untitled, this is one of a selection of paintings that will be exhibited for the first time in our Gallery II later this month. Sam Perks works in our Create groups for young artists, and he has a very well developed and distinct painting style. Though his colour palette changes, the movement and brush strokes of his compositions can be recognised in each of Sam's paintings. Using bold brushwork and lots of dripping paint, these abstract paintings have an expressionistic feel to them.

Perks’ use and variation of colours are strong and confident, he has a talent for choosing a sophisticated colour scheme and making the most out of the complimentary and contrasting hues and shades. Sam often uses masking tape along the edge to create a clean white border around the image.  This further adds to the power and clarity of the expressive brushstrokes. Keep an eye on our exhibitions page for Sam Perk's first solo show in our Gallery II, opening on 16 August!

 

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Artwork of the week by Martin Sloss

Artwork of the week is 'untitled cottage' by Martin Sloss. Martin works at Project Ability as part of our Aspire programme, and currently has an exhibition here with fellow Aspire artist Ralph Douglas.  'Untitled cottage' is a beautiful painting that perfectly captures the feel of a country cottage; complete with fields, trees, rock paths and fences. The neutral tones of the colour palette, along with the different shades of purples and greens give this work a warm fresh feeling. The unusual layout and composition brings an abstract feel to the landscape, and allows the eye time and freedom to wander around the canvas, navigating and recognising all of Martin's subtle artistic gestures.


'Untitled cottage' is on exhibition as part of our current show at Project Ability, 'Ralph Douglas and Martin Sloss'. It is a gorgeous exhibition and well worth a visit if you enjoy painting. Martin has a unique approach to painting; he has had the opportunity to nurture his skill and talent at Project Ability, and we are very pleased he continues to share his creativity with us in the studios. This painting is for sale in our gallery and online as are most of the paintings in this exhibition. At £75.00 it would make a lovely addition to any home or office. You can see this painting in our gallery until July 9.

 

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Artwork of the week by Robert McCamley

Artwork of the week celebrates one of our much loved artists who passed away at the end of 2015. Robert McCamley was a charismatic character in the Project Ability studios as well as a very talented and inspiring artist. He worked with us for many years, and made many friends here. Today we held a reception, buffet style, in honour of Robert the artist and friend. 'The sun, the moon and the stars' is up in our Gallery II until July 9. This piece, of the leaning tower of Pisa, is a large drawing on paper, and a striking example of Robert's artistic talent.

Thank you to everyone who came along to the reception today, it was a beautiful way to remember Robert and his love of art. Project Ability would especially like to thank his family for their support and enthusiasm in the run up to the exhibition. He was clearly a man with much love and kindness in his life and we hope the exhibition reflects this.

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Artwork of the week - by Paul Dowden

 

Artwork of the week features this painting on panel by Paul Dowden, currently on exhibition as part of 'The Rainbow Collection', in our Gallery II. This painting is a beautiful example of Paul's work, showing many of the techniques he uses. Scratching, sanding, masking and polishing are just some of these processes. Finished with a supremely high polish-  this particular painting is reminiscent of 1950's design. The shade of red adds to this effect and the mark making appears to pay homage to Kandinsky and possibly Miro in a subtle way. It is a gorgeous painting and can be viewed as part of this exhibition until this Saturday.

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Meet the Volunteers - Simon Worthington

This week, we are very pleased to introduce Simon Worthington, another of our fantastic volunteers! Simon has been a great addition to our ReConnect workshops.

"I was attracted to Project Ability by the consistently exciting gallery programme and shop. On my first visit to the studios I was overwhelmed by the creative and supportive atmosphere.

Volunteering at Project Ability has given me the opportunity to spend time in the studios and, using art as common ground, connect with people I might have otherwise never met.
Being out of education for a few years it is really good to be back in a communal creative environment, the level of insight into other artists' practices is really valuable and I often find myself thinking 'I can't wait to try that when I get home.' As a shared working space, Project ability couldn't get much better. There is a sense that it is a place where many people come throughout the week and invest a lot of their creative and social energy, which contributes to an uplifting atmosphere.

Another thing that's striking about Project Ability is the range of materials and facilities available, this ethos of quality and professionalism is really impressive and must contribute towards the atmosphere of pride felt by probably everyone involved. In the studios seemingly anything is possible.

I chose to work with a ReConnect group and have thoroughly enjoyed it. I very quickly felt at ease in the group and very welcome in the whole at Project Ability. The open plan nature of the space means you can't go anywhere without a few smiles and 'hello's.

There is no visible structure to the classes which means you don't assume a predetermined role. Whilst this might seem daunting initially, it allows everyone to be themselves and work with autonomy. Most of my time is spent chatting to the artists about this or that. I can't offer much technical advice but enjoy talking about what work people find inspiring and why they think they're drawn to making art. It's great to see the same faces each week and watch their projects develop.
Celine, the tutor in our group is a master of facilitating a comfortable and informal environment- the importance of this over anything else is what I will take away from the experience."

Thank you very much, Simon!

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Artwork of the week - ‘The Tardis’ by John Cocozza

Artwork of the week this week could only have ever been The Tardis by John Cocozza. This sculpture has been hand crafted with the utmost patience and care taken by the artist, and can be seen on exhibition at KEY in Glasgow. It is one of the highlights of the exhibition, titled 'Flying Through Time', which features both Cocozza's work and some select pieces by artist Kevin Cantwell

John's work often centres around his love of science fiction, and The Tardis is one of his most beloved flying machines. This piece is strong and sturdy, measuring about 80 cm high, and the attention to detail means the artist has included everything right down to a miniature poster printed out just as it is on the real Tardis. Inside the light at the top of the piece the artist has inserted an LED flashlight so once the light gets dim the Tardis glows.

Using recycled bottles, cardboard and other various arts and craft materials, this sculpture truly is a magnificent example of upcycled sculpture and an incredible accomplishment for the artist. John worked with Kevin Cantwell as part of our  Research Rooms exhibition, during which time he was mentored by Kevin in the art of this type of sculpture. The Tardis is the first piece he has designed and created solely on his own, in the Aspire studios here at Project Ability. Visit Cocozza's artist page to see more of his work, and check out the exhibtion page to read more about his current show,  'Flying Through Time'.

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Meet the Volunteers - Jyni Ong

This week, please meet another of our fantastic volunteers: Jyni Ong, who has been an invaluable addition to our Create workshops.

"I was recommended to volunteer at Project Ability by a friend as an inspiring insight into Glasgow's Art community and a refreshing break from being an art student at GSA.

I have found it incredibly inspiring and have realised many things about my personal working process by working with Create participants. Their enthusiasm and love for creating art is wonderfully infectious and has inspired in me a resurged appreciation for making through materials. I love their spontaneity and energy to follow their ideas and their eagerness to explore new mediums. I have learnt a lot from them, particularly in their lightheartedness and enjoyment in their activities which I often miss in my own work in the attempts for perfection.

Seeing how unself-conscious and confident many of the participants are in their work is great to see and has taught me a lot about how I wish to view my own work. Also, witnessing the progression in their work over the weeks is incredibly fulfilling and how their ideas have manifested and developed in the things they have made, which are often of a really high standard. The tutors are also lovely and incredibly patient and generous with their time and knowledge attributed to each participant. Overall there is an immensely special feeling of community and welcoming support to all in Create. Most of all, I have learnt to try and enjoy myself as much as possible in my work like how all the participants do and I thank them and all the tutors for giving me these realisations and greatly inspiring me."

Thanks Jyni!

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