Meet the Volunteers - Jen Bradley

The year is at close for all who attend Project Ability, and the last Meet the Volunteers blog of 2014 is upon us. Jen Bradley has been volunteering with our Aspire programme for the past months, and she has been an excellent addition to the team.

"Graduating in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in Painting from Grays School of Art, I was delighted to have been supported by the Smart Gallery, Aberdeen, in being awarded the New Art Look to the North Award.

As part of the Graduate Residency (2013) at Hospitalfield House, Arbroath, I was able to utilise valuable research time to work towards my first solo show at the Smart Gallery.  Hospitalfield House was a remarkable environment to be an artist in residence, and a great chance to engage with artists who were also recent graduates from Scottish art schools.

In February 2014 I was awarded the Aberdeen City Council Visual Artist Award, which enabled me to partake in the Emerging Artist Residency at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Lumsden.  The residency was workshop based and an incredible opportunity to share technical processes.  The casting techniques I learnt at SSW were invaluable and pivotal to the realisation of my most recent body of work.

In my studio practice I borrow the methods of the archivist and archaeologist when attempting to decipher, categorize and evaluate found material; remnants of a fleeting existence or of a life once lived.

I recently lead an Introduction to Casting and Mould-Making workshop at Cardonald College whereby I was able to share the skills I had learnt on residency at SSW with students in the process of building portfolios for entry to art school.  Through residencies, volunteering and mentoring I find it important, and extremely beneficial to my practice, to share with others the processes I have learned.

For the past year I have worked as an Art Rooms Cover Artist for the Grampian Hospitals Art Trust, Aberdeen, who I coincidently exhibited with at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary in September of this year.  Art Rooms is an inspirational project whereby artists create a studio-type environment within the hospital to encourage patients discover or build upon their creativity.  As artistic facilitators, we provide patients with the tools, materials and encouragement to enable them to create.  Through participating in the Art Room, patients can feel immensely exhilarated and it is a thoroughly positive experience, thus aiding the recovery process.

Recently returning to Glasgow, now based at Crownpoint Studios, I was delighted to be able to pursue work within the area of art and healthcare by volunteering at Project Ability.  I’m so grateful to have been welcomed in to this warm and inspiring community of creative individuals. It has been an absolute honour and a very insightful experience to work with the artists who have attended the art sessions for 16 weeks.

I find that volunteering at Project Ability is a positive and very cyclical experience in that I return from each session feeling so immensely inspired and in awe of the work produced, I’m constantly encouraged to make more work.  I find it quite a liberating and rewarding experience to watch people create marks in such a free manner.  Working with everyone at Project Ability keeps my enthusiasm for fine art alive and I am so grateful to be part of this lovely community."

Thank you Jen!

Click here if you would like to know more about volunteering at Project Ability. We are currently accepting applications until Friday 9th January 2015.

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