Meet the Volunteers: Jade Sturrock

Today, please meet Jade Sturrock, one of our wonderful volunteers who has been supporting our Aspire artists on Tuesdays. 

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 artist currently living and working in Glasgow. I studied painting and printmaking at GSA and graduated in 2016. My practice  primarily consists of a combination of painting and collage. I enjoy combining natural, organic forms and painterly mark making with found imagery, often taken from mass media to creative emotive juxtapositions, which all mostly revolve around the female body. I aim to re-configure ways in which the female form can be depicted and viewed, blurring the line between abstraction and representation. Bold colour or forms tend to draw in the viewer, before the fragmented nature of the image exposes a more ambiguous intention. Drawing upon female subjectivity, representation and sexuality, I enjoy re-coding conditions which are typically restrictive of women’s self expression and the unregulated body.

In what workshop did you volunteer?
I volunteered in the Aspire workshop on tuesday mornings.

Why did you apply to volunteer at Project Ability?
I applied to volunteer initially because I have always had a strong interest in the therapeutic benefits of making art. I enjoy being around people and sharing ideas about thought processes whilst observing the enjoyment  it brings. I also wanted to gain insight into what it was like for people to be creative in an open workshop setting where they can interact with one another and the sense of community it generates. Making art alone can often feel very self-serving so I was keen to support others to realise their creativity whilst opening my own mind up to different ways of doing things.
I also felt disheartened by art world politics and the lack of connection I was able to have with other creatives in my everyday life. Being slightly isolated from a wider artistic community since leaving art school, I  wanted to be back in a creative environment. I was also aware of many of the constraints faced by artists such as funding, exposure and opportunities and admired the fact that Project ability Provided a safe space for people from all different backgrounds to make work.

Did your experience live up to your expectations?
The experience exceeded my expectations because I have been able to witness first hand how important the work and ethos of Project Ability really is in practice. I was a little nervous about not knowing how to help, or what I could do to best support the staff and the artists but everyone was super friendly, welcoming and supportive. It has been a real confidence booster to know that not only do I enjoy this kind of work, but that I am actually well suited to it and would be capable of continuing to do it in the future. I can’t describe how heartwarming it has been to observe the sense of achievement experienced by everyone involved in the workshops.

What have you learned from your experience with us?
I have learned that the rules, boundaries and limitations that might exist in everyday life or in art world politics do not exist within the Aspire workshops. Creative processes are impulsive and immediate, and do not always need explanation or justification, which I have found completely fascinating and liberating to observe as an artist. In the past I have found that it is all too easy to get caught up in the rights and wrongs and fiddly details when making or perceiving things. Attending the Aspire workshops has opened my mind up to whole new ways of using materials and the importance of not getting too hung up the final outcome, but rather valuing the making as a cathartic process in its own right.

Do you have a favourite Project Ability artist or art work that has stood out for you?
I have been working a lot with Martin on a one to one basis, and he really stands out because his work is so expressive. He really enjoys being bold with his use of materials and the types of imagery he is inspired by. I have found it really rewarding to work with him because through sharing his ideas and running with them together I think he feels more confident about making things. He made a wonderful sculpture of an turtle called Sam out of clay which I think he was really proud of and I thought it was absolutely amazing.
I also really enjoyed the two exhibitions held in the Project Ability gallery back in March called ‘The Queen Mothers’ and ‘Kay, Sharif and Smyth’. I thought the expression and imagery were absolutely brilliant and they did a great job of bringing to light the viewpoints and expression of young female artists with disabilities. They were so strong and made an impact which will stick with me for a long time!

Would you recommend others to volunteer with us?
Absolutely. It pushes you out of your comfort zone but is such a rewarding experience and permanently alters how you perceive art making for the better. You really feel welcomed in to the Project Ability community.

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