Heritage workshops at Linn Park Adventure Playground - Week 3

Another week at Linn Park Adventure Playground and another week of great heritage workshops with the centre’s youth groups and schools, this time exploring print making, using a wealth of natural printing materials sourced from the park and playground. 

The first recorded Printworks in Glasgow was situated on the White Cart River and opened its doors in 1742.  By the end of the 18th century there were around 30 across the city.

Workshops will be ongoing until August 2017, keep an eye on our website for announcements about our summer heritage programme for children and young people at Linn Park Adventure Playground.

These workshops are made possible thanks to generous support from Heritage Lottery and the money raised by National Lottery players.

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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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Walking Group - Week 9: Hidden Gardens

On Wednesday 17th May the walking group visited The Hidden Gardens located at the back of the Tramway museum.

We split into two groups for a 45 minute tour of the garden area, walking through traditional, woodland and raised bed areas. Our 'vouluntour' leader was Lisa, and she told us the history of the building that had been there before the museum and gardens.

It started life as a plant nursery before being home to a stone masonry, and then a tram depot which was also where the trams were constructed. The gardens still feature a large chimney from these factory days.

Before it became the arts venue it is today, it was the first location of the Glasgow Transport museum. The gardens feature several distinct areas including a lawn area where events, picnics and weekly tai chi classes take place.

The woodland area hosts the xylotheque, a wooden gazebo-like structure that is home to books, each made from wood featuring an inlaid panel and the name of the tree engraved on the corresponding page.

There is a nature area with houses for birds, bees and many other creatures as well as a mint border and herb beds. There is the opportunity to buy plants and also a wishing tree where you are able to write on a small biodegradable card and hang it from the tree.

The gardens are beautiful and peaceful, with many nooks and crannies tucked away so visitors can have a private spot to relax or work in peace. Popular with families there is a host of events taking place year round, check out thehiddengardens.org.uk for more details.
-Morag McGilchrist

The Walking Group is supported by Tesco Bags of Help

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Start of a new project with the Royal Hospital for Children

Tomorrow marks the start of an exciting year long programme between Project Ability and the Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow.  Working on a weekly basis with one of our experienced visual artists, patients from Ward 4 will have the opportunity to explore a diverse and exciting programme of visual arts activities and to develop their own creative practice.

Many thanks to Trefoil for their generous and ongoing support of this project and the Create Programme for Children and Young People.

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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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Linn Park workshops - Week 2

After the fun of our paper making workshops two weeks ago, pupils visiting Linn Park Adventure Playground were able to explore more of the area's rich heritage by looking at hand dying techniques. 

They were inspired to create these beautiful, colourful bags after learning about the dye works and bleach fields that sprung up around the White Cart River in the 18th and 19th century. Pupils explored different techniques for transferring dyes and inks to fabrics – including marbling with shaving foam!

Workshops will be ongoing until August 2017, keep an eye on our website for announcements about our summer heritage programme for children and young people at Linn Park Adventure Playground.

These workshops are made possible thanks to generous support from Heritage Lottery and the money raised by National Lottery players.

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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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Mental Health Awareness Week 2017

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week! An annual campaign, this year's theme is 'Surviving or Thriving?' To mark the week, we visited Project Ability's ReConnect studio, and spoke to a couple of our artists about the ways in which the ReConect workshops have helped them.

"Project Ability is a life-line; a sanctuary; somewhere I can come and not be judged and am free to be myself and people understand my struggle. It gets me out into the world and stops me hiding away."

"When I started at Project Ability it gave me a reason for going out. I felt safe, calmer and not worried about what people think or say. It gave me confidence to do other things. I always get encouragement whether from other artists or staff. They also understand if you are having a 'bad day' and leave much happier with yourself."

Visit our website to find out more about Project Ability's ReConnect programme. You can also find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week and the Mental Health Foundation by clicking here.

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Heritage workshops at Linn Park Adventure Playground

Thanks to generous support from Heritage Lottery and the money raised by National Lottery players, the first of Project Ability’s heritage workshops in partnership with Linn Park Adventure Playground got off to a great start last week. 

Inspired by the wealth of natural and industrial heritage in the Linn Park area pupils from Mary Russell School had the chance to take part in a hands on  paper making workshop and explore the history of the Millholm Paper Mill that once stood in the park grounds.

Staff from Project Ability and Linn Park Adventure Playground were then joined by Gary Linstead – Countryside Ranger – for a presentation and guided walk of the park.

Workshops will be ongoing until August 2017, keep an eye on our website for announcements about our summer heritage programme for children and young people at Linn Park Adventure Playground.

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Paisley workshops

To celebrate Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 Project Ability has been working with three Renfrewshire Schools on an exciting project, inspired by the shape, colours and patterns of the city’s iconic Paisley Pattern. 

Pupils from Mary Russell School, Clippens School and Kersland School have been creating their very own ‘plastic patches’, which will be joined together to create large banners for public display, showcasing the talents and achievements of almost 300 pupils aged 5-18, and adding to Paisley and Renfrewshire’s rich cultural tapestry. 

Watch this space for information on where and when you can see this vibrant exhibition of work.

Official supporter of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 - www.Paisley2021.co.uk

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Project Ability bags £4200 from carrier bag charge fund

We are delighted to announce that we have bagged £4200 from a Tesco funding scheme!

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help funding initiative, which sees grants of up to £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to thousands of  local community projects every year. greenspace scotland is working with Groundwork to provide support to communities in Scotland. Millions of shoppers voted in stores up and down the country. And it can now be revealed Project Ability has been awarded £4200 to keep our Walking Group going for another year!

“Funding from the Tesco Bags of Help scheme will help people with disabilities who take part in our visual art studio to enjoy a years’ programme of safe walks and visits to places of cultural importance in and around Glasgow.” Said Elisabeth Gibson, Executive Artistic Director.

Tony McElroy, Tesco’s Head of Communications in Scotland, said: “Bags of Help has been a fantastic success. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response from our customers. The great thing about Bags of Help is that local people are invited to decide how the money will be spent in their community. We can’t wait to see the projects come to life.”

Voting ran in stores throughout February with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award using a token given to them at the check-out. Since launching in 2015, Bags of Help has awarded more than £28.5 million across more than 4,000 local projects.

To find out more about Bags of Help, visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp

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Cameron Morgan FRSA awarded Creative Scotland Open Project Fund

Creative Scotland awarded over £1.2million through the Open Project Fund in March 2017 to 55 recipients, including individual artists, musicians, dancers, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries. We are delighted to announce that our very own Cameron Morgan FRSA is one of the recipients!

The funding will enable Cameron Morgan to spend 12 months in Project Ability’s inclusive studio to reflect on his past body of work and research new creative practices. The project will include a residency at the Art House in Wakefield and the commissioning of three artists to invite him into their studios, where he will work alongside them to learn new skills and to further extend his creative practice.

The Art House is currently seeking a skilled printmaker to work with Cameron during his residency (more info here).

Congratulations to all the award recipients!

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Learning Disability Week - Aberdeen workshops

Project Ability and C-Change, in recognition and celebration of Learning Disability Week 2017, are delighted to invite you to join us for the launch of an exciting new social history project, based around the former Ladysbridge hospital in Aberdeenshire.

We are inviting people with learning disabilities in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, including those who were former residents of this hospital, to tell your story, your way, in words and pictures.

Do you want to share your memories? Learn about the history of the Hospital? Find out about the research that is taking place across the country on the history and culture of learning disability?

We want to hear from you!  During the day you can talk, draw, write, reminisce, sing, dance... Expert art tutors are on hand to help.

Project Launch : Tuesday 16th of May 2017 between 10am - 3pm at the Aberdeen Arts Centre & Theatre (ACT Aberdeen).

Lunch is provided at 12 noon. In the afternoon at 2.00pm there will be a presentation by Sue Dumbleton from the Open University's Social History of Learning Disability Research Group about "The social history of people with learning disabilities in Scotland : 50 years of change.” (more info on the SHLD Research Group here).

The project continues with a programme of workshops and talks on Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th May, 10.00am – 3.00pm with lunch provided at 12 noon. Join us at ACT Aberdeen, for the day, or drop by for a morning or afternoon session.

To book a place please contact our C-Change Aberdeen team:
Phone: 01224 974 737
e-mail: aberdeenoffice@c-change.org.uk

The project is supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

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Walking Group -Week 7: Alexandra Park

The name Glasgow is derived from the Gaelic word 'Glaschu' which means 'green hollow' or 'dear green place'. The name is still a very appropriate one as there are more than 100 parks and green spaces scattered across the city.

One of the favourites of these is Alexandra Park to the east of the city in the easily accessible district of Dennistoun. Our walking group travelled there on a 38 bus and enjoyed a good leg-stretching walk. For most of the group it was their first visit to the park but for one person it brought back some early memories as her parents had lived next to the park and she had been their several times as a child. She remarked that it 'seemed much bigger then'.

There was a great deal of wildlife activity around the pond with squirrels, crows, pigeons, swans and many other water fowl so it was a bit of a nature lover's paradise with many photo opportunities.

After the tour of the park, many of the walkers went their separate ways but a couple of people carried on walking. The next stop was a visit to a little known statue of Buffalo Bill in the grounds of some flats on Whitehill Street. The sculpture is a bit of a mystery as several web searches have not revealed the name of the artist who made it, so if anyone knows, please tell us!

Finally, an impromtu visit to Market Galley on Duke Street to see 'The Minch' reveals a series of fascinating interactive installations by Suzanne Déry and Susannah Stark before a walk back into town.

You can find more info about Alexandra Park here  and 'The Minch' and Market Gallery here 

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We are looking for a Freelance Arts Administrator

Project Ability is looking for a Freelance Arts Administrator to manage an outstanding programme of visual art activities and exhibition for children and young people with disabilities. The programme takes place in Project Ability’s studio in Trongate 103 in the centre of Glasgow and various off-site locations.

This is a freelance contract to cover a period of maternity leave. The fee is £7,200, 80 days over a period of 12 months.

Send completed application and your C.V to the Operations Manager at operations@project-ability.co.uk or Project Ability, Trongate 103, Glasgow, G1 5HD
Closing date: 15th May.  Interviews 23rd May.

Key duties and responsibility

  • To work closely with the Artistic Director, staff team and artist tutors to plan and deliver a programme of workshops, exhibitions and events to support children and young people with disabilities to engage with contemporary visual art.
  • To sustain existing and develop new partnerships with other key agencies – schools, community organisations and special interest groups to develop, coordinate and deliver an ambitious and high quality visual arts workshop and learning programme.
  • To work with young people with disabilities to develop a programme of activities which support their creative learning and ambition.
  • To supervise art tutors responsible for project delivery.
  • To liaise with key stakeholders and funders.
  • To effectively evaluate the programme against planned outcomes and to produce written reports as required.

Experience, knowledge and understanding

  • Excellent track record of arts project administration.
  • Ability to demonstrate a minimum of three years relevant work experience.
  • Educated to degree or higher qualification in an arts related subject.
  • Understanding the needs of children and young people.
  • Understanding the special conditions required to give children and young people with additional support needs inclusive access to visual art.
  • Experience of project monitoring and evaluation.
  • Experience of report writing.

Person specification

  • Well organised with the ability to plan and deliver activities on time and within budget.
  • Confident and articulate.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to work effectively as part of a small team.

Documents to download

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Glasgow Open House 2017

After last year's successful collaboration, Glasgow Open House asked our Friday Aspire group to design once again the flags marking the venues taking part in this year's festival. 

Glasgow Open House Arts is a small, not-for-profit group which celebrates Glasgow’s vibrant, insightful and industrious culture. They do this by inviting its residents to present art, music, and performance in their homes.

"This year, we’re working with two fantastic organisations based in Glasgow: The Coach House Trust and Project Ability. We will be creating joyful, colourful and characterful “way-finders”, which will be used during the festival weekend to mark the venues which house an exhibition or event. We had a wonderful time working with the Aspire Group artists. They have produced fantastic pieces which we can't wait to exhibit alongside the work in our programmed exhibitions."

The festival opens on the 28th April and runs until the 1st May.

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Walking Group - Week 6: WASPS

The walking group doesn’t just give participants the opportunity to get out and about for a walk, it also opens doors to many interesting places and gives the group the chance to meet a range of talented people.

For last week’s outing, a visit to Wasps Studios in Hanson Street was organised to meet some of the artists that work in the ceramics and glass studios.

First was Glasgow Ceramics Studios to meet with Nicola Henderson who was previously an artist in residence at Project Ability. Nicola gave the group a short tour of the studios and then a look at some of the pieces she has been working on.

The group then popped in next door to Glasgow Glass Studio for another short tour and some chat with glass artists Fiona and Brian. It was a fascinating and informative afternoon.

For more information about the studios visit: www.glasgowceramicstudio.com and www.glasgowglassstudio.co.uk

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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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The Ladysbridge Hospital Project wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

Project Ability and C-Change have received £40,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, Ladysbridge Hospital Project, in Aberdeen and Glasgow. Led by a project team managed by Project Ability and C-Change, the project focuses on the heritage of people with learning disabilities living in Aberdeenshire and nationally.

The project will enable people with learning disabilities who had lived at Ladysbridge Hospital in Banff, research the history of the hospital and the social history of people with learning disabilities and changing social conditions. Working with professional artists and supported by social care staff, the NHS Grampian Archivist and leading learning disability advocacy services, people with learning disabilities will share their stories in words and pictures to build a unique archive.

Ladysbridge Hospital was opened in 1865 and closed in 2003 and as many ex-patients had connections to the local area they remain to this day in and around Aberdeen having for the most part moved into their own accommodation. These people are now in their fifties, sixties and older and they want their stories to be documented and shared with their community. The project launch is on Tuesday 16th May, at Aberdeen Arts Centre and Theatre and is taking place to mark Learning Disability Week 2017. It is an opportunity to reflect on how the lives of people with learning disabilities in Scotland changed and how we can learn lessons from the past.

Commenting on the award, Elisabeth Gibson, Executive Director, Project Ability said: “We are delighted to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. The story of how people with learning disabilities were treated in the not too distant past is a timely reminder of how much society has changed and how people with learning disabilities contribute to our communities.”
Sheryl Walker, PR & Projects Development Manager, C-Change said “We are thrilled that the Heritage Lottery has provided the opportunity for C-Change and Project Ability to collaborate on a 2nd social history project. Ladysbridge Hospital is key part of Aberdeenshire's history and this project will help to raise awareness of how learning disability perception and policy has evolved over the years. It will be a privilege working with some of the ex-residents of Ladysbridge to share their personal memories of their experience of life in the hospital.”

Lucy Casot, Head of HLF Scotland, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, HLF is able to help communities learn about and take pride in their local heritage as well as training in new skills. Learning about history can be rewarding, fascinating and fun, and the story of Ladysbridge Hospital, Banff is no exception.”

(Images from the Lennox Castle Project)

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Found Impressions

Found Impressions is a new film from Project Ability! The film was recently shown as part of Found Impressions..., an exhibition of work created by children and young people with profound and multiple disabilities, delivered by Project Ability in partnership with Glasgow Print Studio, PAMIS, The DASH Club and The Anchor Centre.

The film captures the making process and and offers an opportunity to hear parents, tutors and staff speak about their experiences.

Click here to see photos from Found Impressions..., the exhibition, and look out for a forthcoming publication, coming very soon!

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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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Printmaking Workshops at the Hidden Gardens, Tramway

Project Ability was invited to work with a group that meets regularly at the Hidden Gardens. The group is a collective of individuals that access the gardens and participate in workshops exploring horticulture, gardening, cookery and art. The medium of choice for the workshops that took place over two afternoons in August was printmaking. In particular cyanotype printing, which is a photo based process that involves coating a surface (in this case paper and canvas bags) with chemicals that are then left to dry in the dark and become sensitive to UV light... as in sunshine!

Week 1. The sky was overcast with a persistent drizzle of rain and not ideal conditions conducive for working with cyanotype which is a process that needs sunlight! Instead of printing the group prepared the surfaces and painted silhouettes upon which could be placed objects found in the garden, like leaves, ferns, feathers, flowers etc. These objects foraged from the garden would then make shadows that would form a cyanotype print.

Week 2. Heatwave! One week later and a cloudless blue sky. The group spent the afternoon creating collages and montages to arrange on their papers and canvases and expose in sunlight.

You may be familiar with the expression ‘to have the blue print’,.. as in the original, well that is the essence of this process, a form of photo copying that dates back to 1842. A relatively simple process, but one that can produce stunning images... weather permitting!

- Meredith Crone, tutor

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On the Road: Milltown

On the 18th August artists Cameron Morgan and Jason Davis travelled to the North East to meet people at Milltown Day Workshop in Arbuthnott.

Milltown is an integrated community with adults with learning disabilities and part of the Camphill movement. 

The community has a day workshop, residential houses, gardens and animals and is set in beautiful countryside in South Aberdeenshire. Inspired by the gardens and the sunny weather, the group went into the grounds and made artworks using the natural materials which were all around with flowers and petals featuring highly.

“It has really made us look at what’s around us differently”

"I notice the colours in plants more”

 

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Project Ability with Capability Scotland

Over the past school term, Project Ability have been working with Capability Scotland in their Stanmore House School in Lanark and Corseford School in Renfrewshire.  Artist Tracy Gorman has worked with all of the children, from primary up to senior phase, who attend both schools, exploring a wide variety of art materials and techniques. 

‘Over the weeks it has been fantastic to really get to know all of the children, seeing what materials they like to work with best and learning all of their favourite colours and personal interests.  We have all very much enjoyed exploring new mediums together and have made some fantastic pieces of art along the way. The ceramic birds and vases that everyone made were particularly successful.  Each one bold and unique to the maker. 

It has been a great experience working with everyone at both of the schools, both pupils and staff.’

- Tracy Gorman, tutor

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On the Road: Forres and Elgin

Project Ability’s ‘On the Road’ project recently travelled to the Northeast of Scotland to deliver workshops in Forres and Elgin.

Groups created textile bags using collaged fabric that was applied using heat bond paper and an iron. The themes of birds, flowers and boats were the inspiration for the designs.

The workshops were carried out over two days, the first of which took place in a day centre in Forres with two small groups of participants and staff. The groups engaged extremely well with the project, responding well to ideas and technical help. The end results were a fabulous collection of designs that explored colour and shape.

The bag making sessions in Elgin took place in a purpose built day centre, again with two groups of around six participants as well as a staff member to help out.  The group worked extremely well with support and there was a strong social element within the groups.

The end results were again simple, bold fabric cut outs that explored the different themes with an individual approach. Staff members in Elgin also expressed an interest continuing to create bags with the participants in the future to raise money for projects at the centre.

The workshops in both venues were a positive and welcoming experience. The participants along with all the staff that we met were extremely enthusiastic and eager to be involved. The creative and social aspects of the workshops contributed to the overall enjoyment of the sessions.

- Susan Bryson, tutor

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A Summer of Art Workshops in Kirkintilloch

Over the summer our arts team has been working in Kirkintilloch providing visual art opportunities for people with learning disabilities.  Workshops have taken place in Hillhead Community Centre and the Barony Chambers at the Auld Kirk Museum.

The team has introduced a wide range of art materials and processes including print making and ceramics and have been meet with enthusiasm and good humour.

Thank you Kirkintilloch!  We plan to be back in October.

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Summer on Screen: Week 1

Last week saw the first of two weeks of ‘Summer on Screen’ workshops! A group of young Project Ability artists and filmmakers attended the week long film school to try their hands at some acting and improvisation.

The group worked with two of Project Ability’s professional filmmakers as well as performance artist Clare Hume throughout the week to make a series of fun, short live action films.

To end the week, there was a screening of short films made by the group. By all accounts, everyone had a fantastic week!

A second week of ‘Summer on Screen’ workshops will take place next week, 25-29 July. If you are aged 12-18 and interested in enhancing your live action film making skills, why not come along. We have a couple of spaces left! Call 0141 552 2822 to book or click here for more details.

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