On the Road: Douglas Community Centre, Dundee

"Hard to believe that Project Ability artist Jonathan McKinstry and I are half way through this eight week project at the Douglas Centre, Dundee. Time seems to have hurtled by as the group has embraced each session with a real enthusiasm and produced some lively artwork.

We have continued to introduce ideas around playful mark making, like painting with edges of card instead of brushes. Jonathan had described to the group this technique he had seen in a film whereby a surface layer of paint can be scratched into to reveal a contrasting ground colour underneath – otherwise known as sgraffito !

The Dundee Artists tested these methods out using silhouetted images and a bit more drawing from observation."
-Meredith Crone, Project Ability Tutor

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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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On the Road: Douglas Community Centre, Dundee

January 2018 saw the beginning of a new project for Project Ability artist Jonathan McKinstry, myself and a group of nine service users of the Douglas Community Centre, Dundee. At the end of January we embarked on an eight week course of Visual Art Workshops.

The first two of these took the form of playing with different media and exploring possibilities. In the first week participants drew and painted with combinations of handmade and professional artist’s tools and implements. There was a bit of drawing from observation and plenty of use of the imagination.

The second week involved some more beautiful mark making, but this time in the form of monoprints.

We will continue to explore techniques over the coming weeks and as we get to know one another I suspect some folk may get hooked on certain art media and wish to delve deeper !
-Meredith Crone

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The Happy Club

Two Project Ability tutors, Consuelo and Celine, have been going along to The Happy Club in Easterhouse for the past couple of weeks. The Happy Club is an ongoing evening club for young people with autism and their parents and these were the start of a six week series of workshops with the two tutors.

Consuelo has been working with the group for quite some time already, but for Celine it was the first time she had been along.

'The art workshop is just one of the activities available to the young people. There's some stiff competition from the computers but there are quite a few budding young artists who have joined us and been very focused in making some wonderful artwork.

The first couple of weeks we have been experimenting with printmaking and we plan to do some work with clay and textiles for the rest of the sessions. As you can see from the photographs, there has been an explosion of colour and creativity so far!

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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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Project Ability part of nationwide art project celebrating the centenary of the women’s vote

We are delighted to announce our support for PROCESSIONS, a mass participation artwork to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave the first British women the right to vote. 

PROCESSIONS is produced by Artichoke, the UK’s largest producer of art in the public realm, as part of 14-18 NOW, the UK’s official arts programme for the First World War centenary.

PROCESSIONS will invite women and girls across the UK to come together on the streets of Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London on Sunday 10 June 2018 to mark this historic moment in a living, moving portrait of women in the 21st century.

Project Ability is one of 100 organisations working with women artists up and down the country in the lead-up to the event, as part of an extensive public programme of creative workshops to create 100 centenary banners which will form part of this vast artwork.

The banner-making workshops will focus on text and textiles, echoing the practices of the women’s suffrage campaign and will be spaces to consider the power of the vote today and our shared future. The banners made will represent and celebrate the diverse voices of women and girls from different backgrounds.

A group of women from our ReConnect and Aspire programmes will work with tutor Sandi Kiehlmann over the coming months. 

Helen Marriage, CEO Artichoke said:
“The 100th anniversary of the passing of legislation which made universal suffrage unstoppable is a moment both for celebration and reflection. Individuals and groups up and down the country, including XXX, will be at the heart of this UK-wide artwork. What they make and bring to their chosen procession on Sunday 10th of June will form part of a unique living portrait of women today.”

PROCESSIONS is commissioned by 14-18 NOW and produced by Artichoke. With support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

(Image taken from http://www.processions.co.uk)

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Ladysbridge Stories - January workshops

Thanks to the enthusiastic response of participants and their willingness to share their stories, we had yet another great session in Aberdeen. There were some new faces amongst the group which was great! 

In the morning session we discussed the idea of creating a map that references the history of the site, the wards and individual memories attached to them. We already had prepared an outline of the map which we put up on the wall to discuss how we can populate it. One thing we were quite keen on working together was the map key. Using certain locations like the farm, gardens, patients training area, we asked the participants to help us create a visual representations for these locations. Charles made a fantastic collage for the patients training area. Others have made great drawings of animals that were found within the grounds.

After lunch we worked a little bit more on the map’s key drawing, and dwelled more into people’s memories, making lists of things people would like to add onto the map. In the afternoon we also had a visit from Alastair Minty who had worked in ladysbridge hospital in the late 80's. Most of the participants knew Alastair very well and were very keen to talk to him. Davie has prepared questions for him and we did a great round table interview / discussion with Alastair. This has been a fantastic opportunity for the ex patients to share their side of the story and ask questions. Also a great opportunity to find out more about the work Alastair has been doing over the years and how his time at ladysbridge hospital affected his career.

The next workshops will be on Thursday 15th February in C-Change Aberdeen. 

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Walking Group - Week 1: GoMA

Our walking group kicked off 2018 with a visit to Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art to see the current exhibitions there. There was a rich variety of works to see in every part of the building with a wide range of themes, styles and mediums on display.

Two solo and two group exhibitions are in the four main galleries along with permanent displays that document the history of the building from the residence of a wealthy merchant to the municipal gallery it is today in the balcony spaces. It was a lot to take in.

One of the exhibitions, Taste, which can be found in gallery 2, is composed of works from the Glasgow Museum's collection and includes pieces by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Fischli/Weiss, Andy Goldsworthy, David Hockney, Eduardo Paolozzi, David Shrigley, Stanley Spencer and Andy Warhol. This will be an ongoing exhibition that will will periodically change with rotations taking placing over the coming years. A highlight for our group was the short film The Way Things Go by Swiss artist duo Peter Fischli and David Weiss. You can watch a short excerpt here.

Other exhibitions on the day were: solo exhibitions by Aaron Angell and Stephen Sutcliffe and Polygraphs: Truth, evidence and the authentic voice, a group exhibition that explores our connections to the arms trade, slave trade and feminism and includes works by Barbara Kruger, kennardphillips, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Hito Steyerland, Alasdair Gray and ex-Project Ability tutor Beth Forde.

More information on all these exhibitions and more can be found here.

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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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Walking group - Week 24: The Briggait

On the 29th November the walking group headed to The Briggait. Now an arts venue, the Briggait was originally built in 1873 as Glasgow's fish market. Transformed with offices around the edges, the main space in the center of the building makes an excellent area to display art installations.

We went to meet with the artist who currently has work displayed there, Fiona Macintosh. Her exhibition,‘My home is your home, mi casa es su casa’, is a series of prints that accompany an amazing biography, ‘ROSA of the Wild Grass, The Story of a Nicaraguan Family’, about Rosa and her journey of over 30 years through adversity to keep her family and community strong.

The work covers a range of emotions as each picture is from a different time in the ladie's life, some depict extremely happy times with parties and loving family moments, others are often heartbreaking and poignant like a picture of a pregnant Rosa holding a gun to protect her unborn child.

Many of us were very moved when talking with Fiona and hearing her personal experiences of being lifelong friends with Rosa and her family. The exhibition is on until the 26th of January and artists from both the walking group and the ReConnect program will be producing work to be displayed in the later half of the exhibition so expect more news on this soon.
-Morag McGilchrist

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Walking Group - Week 23: Tramway

Our walking group braved the Scottish weather last week to make a visit to Tramway in the South side of Glasgow to see a trio of exhibitions. First stop was upstairs to Narrative: The Koestler Scotland Exhibition 2017, a display of works from prisons, secure hospitals, secure children’s homes, immigration detention centres and community justice services across Scotland.

The work in the exhibition is hugely varied and thought provoking and produced a wide range of responses from the group. Author and poet Jenni Fagan curated the show and said 'I believe creative projects are hugely important to rehabilitation in ways that we are probably only just beginning to understand'.

Next stop was the huge Tramway 2 gallery to see the Amanda Ross-Ho exhibition, Untitled Period Piece. The scale of the work with gigantic trousers and pattern pieces feels like a visit to a tailor's workshop in Alice's Wonderland. It felt like the perfect location to model the new rain-capes that were bought with a Scotmid community grant and have an impromptu photo-shoot - with help from one of the exhibition invigilators!

The last exhibition of the day was Momma! Momma! by Megan Rooney, a strange and in places unnerving installation that makes you wonder 'what just happened here?'

Some of the group had a short walk in the rather wet Hidden Gardens before everyone went their separate ways.

You can find more information about these exhibitions at http://www.tramway.org/strands/Pages/visual-arts.aspx

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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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Walking Group - Week 22: The Lighthouse Poster Exhibition

"On Wednesday the 8th November, the Walking Group went to The Lighthouse to visit an exhibition of posters and have the chance to make our own.

The International Poster Exhibition is part of Graphic Design Festive Scotland and showcases 140 posters and sets of posters, including the top three winners. Festival founders Warriors Studio, Jamie McIntyre former art director of It's Nice That, Jaemin Lee director of South Korean studio Fnt and last years winner Koos Breen recent graduate of Royal Academy of the Arts, the Hauge, made up this years judging panel.

The competition received 6095 entries from 81 countries and we were told about how hard not only the judging process was but to chose only 140 to exhibit. The posters were diverse, from moving images you would see on a bus stop to South Korean dream like glittery comics, to adverts for events and political pieces.

It was impossible to choose a favorite, fortunately we didn't have to. After looking around we got to take part in a poster making workshop each choosing a message we wanted to convey to the world.

The posters were simple, we all got one blank sheet of paper and a selection of letters to cut out and glue, the task of making them interesting and meaningful feel to each of us. I really enjoyed working on my poster and enjoyed seeing the different styles of work and how different countries view poster making."
-Morag McGilchrist

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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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Radiophrenia Festival - Writing Group podcast

The Project Ability writing group has been working with tutors Joanna Peace and Luke Shaw towards a podcast (or podcasts) to be broadcast at this year's Radiophrenia festival, which runs from the 6th - 20th Nov: "Radiophrenia is a temporary art radio station – a two-week exploration into current trends in sound and transmission arts. Broadcasting live from Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts, the station aims to promote radio as an art form, encouraging challenging and radical new approaches to the medium."

Participants have been exploring the themes of radio, sound, transmission, recording etc. through a series of writing exercises, and have been given the opportunity to learn about and use recording equipment to capture each other conversing and reading their work and to record sounds from around the studios and the wider building. Alongside this, they have been working with Vilte from Media Coop to construct their own documentary film about the project.

Radiophrenia and Media Coop are working with three other workshop facilitators and their groups across Glasgow, and will host an event on the 17th November, so that participants from all of the groups can come together and have a 'listening party' to hear what each other have produced. It will be in the Clubroom at CCA, between 4pm and 8pm. 

The film by Media Coop will launch in the new year, so keep an eye on the website for more information. 

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WalkingGroup - Week 20: the Tenement House

"On Wednesday 11th October, the walking group took a rare morning trip to visit the Tenement House in Garnethill. It was a wet day so we took a brisk walk through George Square before heading to the Garnethill area via Sauchiehall Street. Once there we were given a private tour of the house and museum.

The tenement itself is amazing to see, Miss Toward who lived there with her mother Mrs Toward until her death, had collected and saved everything. The wealth of information about the time period and how Miss Toward lived was vast due to her desire to not waste and throw stuff away.

The house is set to be staged as it would have been in the late 1800’s with the gas lighting restored. The furniture is exquisite with a gorgeous grandfather clock over 200 years old in the hallway.

In the kitchen the original range and Belfast sink are still there and the bathroom has been restored to show what Victorian indoor plumbing was like.

Downstairs there is a museum area with more information about Miss Toward and her mother, and more items of theirs as well as information on life in Glasgow at the time, why tenements were built and how they housed different people."
-Morage McGilchrist

You can find more information on the Tenement House here

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Cameron Morgan & Charlie Hammond residency

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

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

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Project Ability at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children

With generous funding and ongoing support from Trefoil, Project Ability have been working in Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children since May.

Part of a diverse and exciting visual arts programme, artist and arts practitioner Iona Grey has been working with a small group of young people on their own creative projects.

Recently, the young artists have been working on graffiti posters using stencils and spray paints, inspired by graffiti artist Banksy.

“First the children draw their chosen images onto card which I carefully cut out. We then take their work outside to the garden to work with spray paints of varying colours and overlapping chosen areas creating more depth” – Iona Grey

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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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Ceramics Workshop with Tracy!

Earlier this week, Volunteers Coordinator and ceramics whiz Tracy Gorman hosted a special ceramics workshop, with participants focusing on creating multiple, beautiful pieces to soon grace the Project Ability shop.

Many great looking items were started, and we look forward to seeing the finished results!


 

Check back soon to see the finished pieces. 

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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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The Friday Group goes to Dunoon

Last week, the Aspire Friday Group took a trip to Dunoon with tutor Valerie O'Regan. They enjoyed a beautiful sunny day in the town, sketching in the harbour and taking in the views.

The group also spent some time in the Burgh Hall, where they were greated by Jenny Hunter, the Programmes Coordinator, who showed them around their Artist Rooms Andy Warhol exhibition. A great occasion for more sketching!

The group had a fantastic time and will be looking forward to coming back to Dunoon in the future.

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