Our volunteers play a big part in our workshops, and we always love reading about their experience with us. Today, we bring you Caitlin O’Connell’s story in ‘Meet the Volunteers’.
“I am in my final year at The Glasgow School of Art studying Communication Design, specialising in Illustration. It is a broad and varied course which has provided me with exciting opportunities to challenge myself. My own practice has so far consisted of drawing, printmaking, moving image, film photography, sculpture, installation and ceramics. I am often veering into fine art and I am keen to continue to expand and diversify my practice as much as I can in my final year at art school.
My work is informed by people and the social fabric of life; observing, celebrating and critiquing what I see. I have been living in Glasgow for just over 3 years now and I love it. The arts scene is so vibrant and diverse. I think Project Ability contributes massively to this and it has been a joy to be part of it for a short time. I believe in inclusive and accessible art and love working with people who share my interest and enthusiasm, i.e. everyone at Project Ability. I have always wanted to work directly with people, actively engaging with a community, this is one of the reasons I was attracted to the volunteers opportunity.
Project Ability’s exhibitions in the space at Trongate 103 and elsewhere are really exciting. I think Project Ability’s visibility in the community is important, celebrating the hard work and creativity of all the artists. I particularly enjoy working with children, to be part of their development is a really fortunate position to be in, seeing them change and grow in ability and confidence is incredibly fulfilling. A child’s point of view is always a refreshing look at art and, the very often too serious, art world. I relish the chance to get a new angle on things. I am soaking up influences all the time, for this reason I was excited at the prospect of being in the Project Ability studio environment with lots of new people making new things.
My experience over the past few months has been amazing. I have been volunteering at Create on a Saturday afternoon with the older children and young people. Each Saturday I leave feeling really positive, having just had a great afternoon talking and making in a friendly, relaxed and productive environment. I have really enjoyed helping people with their printmaking as it is something I myself have a strong interest in. I have also worked with people making Godzilla costumes and ceramic dinosaurs! The variation of work is impressive, showing the incredible imagination of the makers and the range of great facilities.
I’ve learnt loads from all the children and young people about themselves, their ideas and their working processes. All of which are invaluable to me. The artists working at Project Ability facilitating everyone’s individual artistic vision create a wonderful atmosphere in the studio. I have enjoyed meeting my fellow volunteers, we all come from different creative backgrounds, which has proved fascinating and provided us with lots to discuss, share and learn. I have gained a huge amount of experience at Project Ability, hopefully readying me slightly more for leaving university. I am very grateful for the opportunity.”