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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Create Summer Workshops

Summer Studios

Project Ability will be holding six supervised studio days for Create participants over 18 years.  Studio days will take place on Friday’s at Project Ability’s workshops:

Time:                    10am-3pm
Dates:                  1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th July and 5th August
Venue:                  Project Ability Studios
Cost:                     £5 per day

Studio days will offer participants who are able to work with a degree of independence, on self-directed projects, the opportunity access studio space, equipment and materials.  The workshops will be supported from 10-11:30am.  Places are limited.  To  secure your place please contact us on 0141 552 2822.

Workshops will be supported by staff from 10-11:30am only, after which time you will be expected to work independently.

Summer on Screen

Aged 12-18 and interested in enhancing your live action film making skills?  Try your hand at some acting and improvisation during our week long summer film School – Summer on Screen.  Work with performance artist Clare Hume and two of Project Ability’s professional film makers to enhance your on screen skills and record your progress over the week, creating a series of fun short films.

Places are limited.  To  secure your place please contact us on 0141 552 2822.

Time:                     10am-2pm
Dates:                   11-15 July or 25-29 July
Venue:                   Project Ability
Cost:                      £15 per week

Please bring a packed lunch.

Merchant City Festival

Shaky Pictures: Saturday 30th July 10-11:30am

Balloon powered classic cars: Saturday 6th August 10-11:30am

PAMIS at Project Ability

2 groups from PAMIS will be supported to create work for exhibition in our studios at T103 and at Glasgow Print Studios.

Time:                     11am-12 noon and 2-3pm
Dates:                   7,14,21,28 July
Venue:                  Project Ability and Glasgow Print Studios
Cost:                     free

Ashcraig Former Pupils Club Workshops

Project Ability will be delivering two visual arts workshops with Ashcraig Former Pupils Club as part of their Summer Programme.

29th and 30th June, 10.15am-12.15pm

Arts Awards

Working with Whizz Kidz and Linn Park Adventure Playground Project Ability will be hosting a series of Arts Award workshops this summer, supporting young people aged 12-25 to achieve their Discover or Explore level Arts Award.

Whizz Kidz Tuesday 5th July – 9th August, 6-8pm
Linn Park Thursdays 7th July – 11th August, 6-8pm
Linn Park Friday 8th July – 12th August, 6-8pm

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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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Walking Group - Week 9: Cuningar Loop

Sunshine, ice cream and a riverside walk in good company. Is there a better way to spend the afternoon?

Our walking group took a walk on the Clyde side last week for an exploration of the Cuningar Woodland Park, also known as the Cuningar Loop, a wonderful new Forestry Commission park in Rutherglen which opened in March.

It was a perfect day for a walk and some of the group took full advantage of the playpark facilities and tried out the zip slides, swings and bouldering rocks.

There is still some work being done on the park so the birdsong was occasionally interrupted by the sound of diggers but apart from that the day was quite idyllic.

You can find out more about the park at

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Meet the Volunteers - Katrina McCann

The sun is shining, our studios are once again buzzing with creativity after the Easter break, and our volunteers are back for another block of workshops! This week, we are delighted to introduce you to the fantastic Katrina McCann, who came to Project Ability via a student placement and has been volunteering in our Create and Aspire workshops.

"I have loved my time at Project Ability and found it to be one of the most welcoming and friendly organisations that I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I worked with both ‘Create’, on a Saturday and ‘Aspire’ on a Monday Morning and although both classes had extremely different environments, what remained the same was the unique, amazing standard of art and a warm welcoming attitude.

I was introduced to Project Ability through my placement at university where I study psychology, and felt my placement reached a personal level, as I have grown extremely fond to the people attending Project Ability, as well as the tutors and other volunteers. I have been inspired by the people who attend Project Ability and their fearless attitudes when approaching large scale pieces, along with their individuality which has created quirky and fun projects I could only imagine of doing.

I hope to do a post grad in art therapy at the end of my psychology course, and have found this experience to be both fitting to my degree and instrumental in learning the amazing effect art can have on people, outwith the workshop. Project Ability not only offers the development of skills, but also the chance to socialise and connect with a range of amazing people, which generates a positive energy that is contagious to everyone who attends.  You are offered the experience to not only assist the development of artistic ability, but also to see a person grow in confidence, and light up every time they enter the studio.
I would encourage anyone looking for a volunteering position to consider Project Ability, as the experience has been invaluable, and I would love to have the opportunity to return in the future."

Many thanks Katrina!

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ReSearch Residency - April: David Roeder

David Roeder spent the month of April in residency at Project Ability, working on his own practice and interacting with our artists. Here he tells us more about his experience.

"Doing the residency at Project Ability was such a rewarding experience on so many levels. I met so many interesting and highly creative characters and I loved working alongside them for a while.

I saw some exceptional pieces being made and I had great conversations, but most of all it was the relaxed and inclusive vibe that I enjoyed, which suggested a more than valid alternative to the capital-driven and elitist forces that are so strongly at work within the sphere of so-called "fine art".

I have read and written extensively about problems of evaluation in regards to creative expression (with a focus on non-academic art), so the residency felt like a natural, hands-on extension of that field of my research. I was amazed by the high quality of what I saw being made in the workshops, pieces that in my eyes (and without hyperbole) can easily raise the bar to almost any museum collection or contemporary art show.

I also loved the feedback I got from some of the artists in the workshop - although at times very critical, it was always rewarding and made me question my work outside the parameters as suggested by most contemporary art education/writing. What more can I say? A great experience, I wish I could have stayed another four weeks (or more)!"

Many thanks David! You can see his photo diary on our ReSearch Residency Instagram: @PA_Research_Residency

1: Cameron and Celine at the Cosima V. Bonin show at the Goma
2: A cat painting I loved but whose author I couldn't find
3: John Cocozza working on his sculpture
4: One of the paintings I did myself: "Stuff washed up on the shore"

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CATS - a series of workshops with Joanna Peace and Luke Shaw

Join Joanna Peace and Luke Shaw for creative writing, image-making, and publication-creating workshops. Those who don’t like cats are just as welcome as cat lovers!

CATS’ will be launched alongside the exhibition of the same name in the Project Ability gallery in July 2016. Just turn up to one of the following workshops if you'd like to take part in the making of the publication:

Sat 14th May CREATE  1pm – 4pm
Tue 17 May RECONNECT 1pm – 3pm
Thu 26 May RECONNECT 10am – 12pm
Wed 1st June ASPIRE  1pm – 3pm
Fri 3rd June RECONNECT  1pm – 3pm

For more information, please contact

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Project Ability Super 8 Campaign

During the months of July and August, some Project Ability artists will be experimenting with Super 8 filmmaking with artist and curator Alexander Storey Gordon. This work will result in an exhibition during October as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.

Do you have any Super 8 film equipment we can use? We are looking for cameras and projectors, and would need them as soon as possible in order to get the project started.

If you think you can help, please get in touch at or 0141 552 2822. Thank you!

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Walking Group - Week 8: Hunterian Museum of Zoology and Anatomy

It seems that the weather is a bit confused at the moment about what season it currently is. Last Wednesday, for our walking group, there was a mix of streaming sunshine one minute and snow and hailstones the next.

Their outing was also a mix, starting off with a walk through Kelvingrove to Glasgow University in search of the Museum of Zoology. This was the first time any of the group had visited this museum and it was full of interesting things to look at.

This was followed by a short walk across the campus to the Anatomy Museum. There was a large group of art students making drawings on the upper level so the group stayed downstairs where there was plenty to look at before going outside again and across to the Hunterian Gallery for a short look at one of the exhibitions there: 'William Hunter to Damien Hirst: The Dead Teach the Living', a show which spans the centuries with very recent works shown alongside some from several hundred years ago.

The Museums of Zoology and Anatomy are open to the public. Further information can be found at:

'William Hunter to Damien Hirst: The Dead Teach the Living' continues until 5 March 2017

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On the Road: Parklea

Our On the Road workshops are proving more popular than ever! Recently tutor Susan Bryson and artist Steven Reilly went to Parklea for a concertina book workshop.

"The bookmaking workshop at Parklea branching out in Port Glasgow was a successful and productive outing in an inspirational venue.  A garden centre tucked away from the main stretch of road and situated at the river was a welcoming setting for the workshop.

The bookmaking took place in the designated art room, which was a small well-equipped room in which groups explore different visual art activities. There were four participants that took part in the workshop along with the
Co-ordinator. The theme of the books was garden plants and birds.

The concertina handmade artist books were transformed through applying paper and fabric collage along with drawing. Images of plants and birds were cut and pasted alongside intricate pen and pastel drawings. The end results were a selection of personal responses to the theme.

After the workshop the group gave us a tour of the venue and a background of what they do.  This was a great way to end the sunny afternoon at Parklea."

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Meet the Volunteers - Florence Dwyer

Another week, another 'Meet the Volunteers'! As usual, we are more than pleased to introduce you to one of our amazing volunteers - this time, the brilliant Florence Dwyer, who has been both part of our Art Matters team and also undertook a ReSearch Residency.

'I've had a great time volunteering at Project Ability so far. Helping out in Art Matters on a Saturday afternoon, I was welcomed by a group of people, each unique and united in their dedication and enthusiasm towards their art. I straight away picked up on such a calm and relaxed atmosphere, and it was noticeable how everyone felt so comfortable in this environment. I was quickly integrated into this feeling and soon started to have good conversations with people about what they were working on.

The work that is created in these sessions is full of energy. I feel so lucky to have had an insight into this and have been amazed at how quickly people produce incredible things. People seem fearless of scale, making decisions impulsively allowing them to express themselves in non-restricting ways.
I've learnt from how the tutors work alongside everyone in a way that allows people autonomy, freedom to paint/ draw/ sculpt, and feels completely non-hierarchical. Both tutors provided such good energy and enthusiasm to the space which created such a trusting environment.

The positive energy and focus generated in these sessions is definitely something that's contagious. I feel uplifted leaving the project ability studios at the end of the workshop which is something that's had a good impact on my own work. My practice as an artist is predominantly sculptural, it mainly involves ceramics, casting, drawing and photography. I am interested in autonomy in spatial environments, and how physical infrastructures and furniture/objects can effect this. My time at project ability has definitely given me a lot to think about in relation to this and has also made me feel a lot less precious about the way I make work.

I would love to continue my experience in working in this kind of environment and am excited about starting the next block of workshops with everybody.'
-Florence Dwyer

Many thanks Florence!

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Meet the Volunteers - Lucy Payne

We love reading about how volunteering with us impacts our volunteers' practice and outlook! This week, please read about the amazing Lucy Payne, who has been a great addition to our Aspire team.

"I am currently in my final year at The Glasgow School of Art, specialising in Illustration on the Communication Design course. I enjoy working across a range of mediums including ceramics, printmaking, animation and drawing. I am very much interested in the process of making not just the final outcome and seeing the work of those in my Aspire class has confirmed the importance of the process of making for me. Prior to this I had never worked in any sort of workshop context but had always wished to. After art school I hope to continue working with others in the realm of community art.

I volunteer on the Tuesday morning Aspire classes. It was amazing to see the range of materials on offer such as ceramics, printmaking, painting, glass, knit and batik. Members of the class could choose from week to week what they wished to create, this range of materials and resources allowed for their ideas to be fluidly translated through different mediums. It was also refreshing to see the speed at which people worked, being free to create as much as they desired in our 2 hour slot. On the other hand it was great to see the patience and determination of others involved in long, painstaking projects, of which you could really get under the skin of. It has also been great getting to know the different personalities of the class, all of which welcomed me wholeheartedly on the first week, casting aside any feelings of nervousness I may have had. Some of the artists I worked with more closely which allowed me to get to know what makes them tick and why they are drawn to their chosen subject matter. We also made great use on Project Ability’s library, using their wide range of artist and general interest books to draw reference from.

The workshop tutors were particularly helpful in showing me the ropes. Their love of the job is evident and they create a relaxed, trusting environment to work in. They gave me lots of advice when working with certain methods and materials which has broadened my knowledge and practice. Everyone I have met who works at Project Ability has been open and kind and I love the studio atmosphere where everyone you pass says hello. The studios are wonderful to work in due to their huge windows and the open plan nature of the space, allowing you to mingle with different people. Volunteering alongside my university work has been great for me as it creates a break in routine and allows me to see how other artists work, drawing influence from them.

Volunteering here has introduced me to working with artists in a supportive capacity, which I have found completely engaging and fulfilling. The artists in my class have definitely influenced my own practice, inspiring me to be less precious about the work I make. It also has confirmed for me the cathartic nature of making and creating and showed me the level of engagement making art can bring. Project Ability has provided me with a wealth of experience of working with others, equipping me with the skills I will need when finishing university. I am greatly looking forward to seeing all the faces I have gotten to know in the next block of classes.

Thanks for this great experience!"
Lucy Payne

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Multi–sensory, drama and storytelling workshops for people with learning disabilities

TV Classics Part 1 is an exhibition by artist Cameron Morgan. It is a celebration of the culture and history of television throughout the decades. Each painting marks an era, a style and a classic television programme. 

Tina Vision (aka drama artist Clare Hume) invites you to join her in her living room, in front of the television.  She's made a pot of tea and buttered toast, during the commercial break, and is looking for a chat on the sofa.

Prepare for a multi-sensory, TV Classics, trip down memory lane. Slippers are optional.

Where: Project Ability, Trongate 103, Glasgow, G1 5HD
When: Tuesday 12th, Wednesday 13th, Thursday 14th April and Tuesday 19th, Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21th April.
Time: 10 – 11.30am

Workshops are free of charge and suitable for people with learning disabilities, communication and sensory impairment.

Group bookings are welcome, just pick one of the dates and contact us on 0141 552 2822 or

There is a maximum of 8 people per workshop including support staff.


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Meet the Volunteers - Sarah-Kate Goodwin

The first block of workshops this year is almost over, and our volunteers have been settling in brilliantly! They will all be back for the next block, and we're delighted to share their experience with you via this blog. For this year's first Meet the Volunteers, let us introduce you to Sarah-Kate Goodwin, who has been a fantastic addition to our Create team.

"With an education in the fine Arts and an interest in the relationship between human interaction and creative exploration I was very excited to be given the opportunity to volunteer with Project Ability. Feeling a bit nervous about how helpful I could be I was quickly put at ease by the children and young adults taking part in the Create workshops.

From sharing my own passion, skills and experience of art practices I have been rewarded with much more than I could have hoped for. Every week I learn something new from the experienced tutors and the many talented artists within the group. The enthusiasm and creativity present in the workshops are invigorating and not long after I had walked through the door did I find myself feeling like part of the furniture.  I have met so many interesting, unique and talented individuals who continue to inspire me every week and encourage me to experiment, play and explore my own art practice more honestly and freely.

Project Ability is a safe haven and a creative hub which provides a glorious space for individuals to come together and express themselves through many art resources.
I will be sad when my time comes to an end but it will always remain as one of my greatest experiences and I hope to continue working in this field in the future.

Thank you to everyone involved, I am having so much fun,


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Research Residency February 2016 - Joanna Peace

Project A – warm. Full.

I had been trying to find a way back to Project Ability since finishing a six-month project with them in May 2015. Returning to the ReConnect studio as an artist rather than a tutor has been a happy challenge. A colourful puzzle. What is the magic that happens daily in those studios? I began by opening myself to the currents of the studio, how it works as a shared and individualised mesh of negotiated spaces and rhythms, and what my place within it, though temporary, might be.

I had been lonely working at home. The days of January felt especially short with few human faces to fill them. The best thing about my cubby hole at the edge of the ReConnect studio was the empty chair that fellow artists would fill and offer stories, and advice, and recommendations for TV shows and books, and ask “just what is it you’re doing?”. Another best thing were the white walls onto which I could stick emergency yellow, baby blue and apple green post-it notes of thoughts lest they fly away and experiments in type and collage. Another best thing was entering the studios and having smiles met with smiles met with generous expanses of colour and line.

Gifts I received – Cathedral, a book of short stories by Raymond Carver. Yellow-topped mountains painted calmly into a Canadian lake. A raspberry ink box and a slice of spongy carrot cake.

Mostly it was words I worked with during this residency. Words heard and read and conjured then scattered to walls, to notebooks, to the floor, out of mouths and into the bin. With a big box of old Letraset I could stretch and repeat words into time as I rubbed them on to sheets of coloured sugar paper where they could then take up physical space (the further from my laptop the better). These words placed map-like across the wall formed patterns of meaning and attempts at order - a studio cosmos. “The cosmos … is a tingling in the spine, a memory of falling from a great height” – from Cosmos, written and presented by Carl Sagan.


Trust the triangle. Three points of contact was the genesis of a collaboration with Simon McAuley, ReConnect artist, photographer and friend. Simon used the climbing analogy of three points of contact to describe how he navigates the daunting task of a drawing. We decided to spend five days finding points of contact and passing, repetition and routine within the studios, and through writing exercises the architecture and objects we studied took on distinctive gestures, sounds and personalities.

‘That’s a funny story, Rita says, but I can see she doesn’t know what to make of it. I feel depressed. But I won’t go into it with her. I’ve already told her too much. She sits there waiting, her dainty fingers poking her hair. Waiting for what? I’d like to know. It is August. My life is going to change. I feel it.’  - from Fat by Raymond Carver. 

Murmer…crescendo…murmer. Rumours of cats are flying around the studio these days. Over the next few months I will be working with Luke Shaw and Project Ability artists on a publication of their writing and image-making. The launch of this will coincide with the opening of ‘Cats’, a group show in the Project Ability gallery.
-Joanna Peace

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Walking Group - Week 3: Tramway

Spring is in the air, and an ideal place to witness its approach is the Hidden Gardens at Tramway. Snowdrops and crocuses are beginning to bloom in these tranquil surroundings, and our walking group spent some time exploring the nooks and crannies and discovering some of the half-hidden gems that are to be found there.

The starting point for the outing was the Richard Slee exhibition which can currently be found in gallery 5 at the front of the building; a beautifully presented show of colourful and amusing sculptures.

Then it was an exploration of some of the rest of the building before a visit to the gardens at the rear.

Across the road from Tramway, on the site of some demolished buildings, a group called Playhouse have begun to create a series of buildings and walkways with a view to creating areas for social and artistic activity.

The group had a chat with the people working there before having a look around the site and then walking back into the city centre.

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Artwork of the week - ‘Conor by Craig’


Artwork of the week features one of the many superb portraits being created in our gallery. Acclaimed portrait artist Tanya Raabe-Webber has been giving master classes in portraiture to young people every day this week, with tomorrow being the final day. 'Conor by Craig' was painted today and definitely has the school feeling. In a white shirt and tie, Conor is stood in front of his own canvas, painting Craig. All of the portraits created this week under the skillful expertise and teaching of Tanya will be on exhibit in our main gallery at Project Ability from March 10 - 24. Whilst these master classes are going on, the gallery is still open as usual! Come by to see our current exhibition, #SummitPortrayed, and check out the young artists at work. More news on this to follow! 

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Steven Reilly’s story - Donate now

Aspire artist Steven Reilly has accessed Project Ability to develop his artistic practice since 1991.

He is a talented painter, has a vivid imagination and particularly enjoys painting sports people and monsters, and especially likes to produce work on a gargantuan scale. He is funny, kind and usually at the centre of the joke!

Steven loves to travel and is a regular contributor to exhibitions, workshops and conferences in the UK and overseas: he has been to Ireland, Sweden, Holland, Norway, Russia and Germany and the Czech Republic. He readily offers to give a hand and enjoys assisting the tutors deliver art workshops out and about to lots of different groups across the country.

He is a trusted volunteer and you will find him invigilating in the gallery every Thursday afternoon.

Your donations help us keep the studio open and deliver a programme of creative activity for Steven and his friends.  Thank you.

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Launch of the ReSearch Residency programme

At the end of 2015, we advertised for a new opportunity for Glasgow-based artists: our ReSearch Residency programme, and are now delighted to announce that we have picked seven talented artists for the first half of 2016.

Artists in residence will have access to our accessible studio and fantastic workshop facilities Monday to Friday, 9 – 5pm for a calendar month; ceramic studio, glass studio, print studio, wood shop and digital studio and the opportunity to work alongside artists who attend Project Ability’s studio programme for people with learning disabilities, people with lived experience of mental ill health and children and young people with disabilities while gaining knowledge of workshop delivery from our team of highly experienced tutors. 

The residency is an opportunity to cultivate new ideas through research and production and to access and explore an inclusive arts environment.

The first artist in residence, Joanna Peace, started on February 1st. Each artist will document their work and their experience in our studios via a newly launched instagram account: @PA_Research_Residency.

The following artists taking part in the residency programme will be:

Jen Bradley - March
David Roeder - April
Florence Dwyer - May
Scott Lang - May
Shireen Taylor - June
Ailsa Sutcliffe - July

We very much look forward to seeing what these residencies will produce! We will be advertising for the next series of residencies in the summer.

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On the Road: Perth

On January 27th the ‘No. 3’ One Stop Shop in Perth invited PA artist Jonathan McKinstry and I to deliver clay modelling workshops to some of their service users who had braved the stormy weather to attend the Centre that day.

We proposed to make clay heads with the group and started off with quite a formulaic approach. A cylinder of clay was rolled for a neck, then tapered into a cone and sliced on the diagonal so that an oval head shape could perch on top. Eye sockets were scooped out with wire tools, then eye balls were rolled and inserted back into the hollows... and so it went on.

What started out as very general shapes soon became quite specific and unique forms. It was great to see some people, who at the outset were not convinced they could really achieve much with this medium, become so engrossed in their work and produce pieces so full of character. Even Jonathan, who has recently been more at home with large expressive painterly canvases, was finding this a great channel for his interest in homespun cartoon characters.

By the end of the sessions we had an array of clay heads all projecting very different personalities including a jazzy looking dude with a goaty beard, ladies with amazing bone structure and pony tails and curly frizzy locks of hair, a Mohican with pointed Vulcan ears, an orang-utang-like fellow with top hat and rudely protruding tongue and even a true to life portrait study of a member of staff from the One Stop Shop.

Thankfully all the artworks survived the long journey back to Project Ability in Glasgow where they are now awaiting firing. I look forward to reuniting the artists with their finished artworks when we meet next month to explore a different medium.
-Meredith Crone, tutor

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Walking Group Week 1 - the murals trail

Last Wednesday was the first outing of 2016 for our walking group. The rain was lashing down all morning but when the time approached to go out the clouds parted and the sun poured through.

The walk was part of the Glasgow city centre mural trail, and visited about half of the murals that are listed as part of the route which can be found at


There is also a colour booklet with maps and photographs available from Glasgow City Council.

Along the way the group popped into the Gallery of Modern Art to have a look at 'Devil's in the Making: Glasgow School of Art and the Collection'; the current show in the main exhibition area.

If you don't feel like doing the walk yourself you can have a whirlwind tour of many of the murals and meet some of the artists at

More photos on our Facebook Page. 

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