“When I moved to Glasgow in September to start an MLitt in Curatorial Practice, Project Ability was already on my agenda. I’d previously volunteered at an organisation in Hume, Manchester called Venture Arts and an artist from there, Leslie Thompson, had a solo exhibition in Project Ability’s gallery space, when I first moved up, which was really amazing.
I wanted to volunteer as I really enjoy being around people making, observing different people’s creative process. The Aspire workshops I volunteered with on Wednesday mornings and afternoons and Thursday mornings, are attended by such an amazing range of artists who all have such different approaches to art-making and it is really exciting just to be around that. I also wanted to understand better how I can work as a curator in an inclusive way; supporting artists and audiences often excluded from consideration. This of course going to be a continuing learning process, but I definitely feel that spending time at Project Ability has been a helpful step. It has been really great to spend time in an organisation and with artists that offer an alternative perspective on art and curatorial practice to ones I already access, through the art school or university. Being in a space where studios, offices, gallery are all housed under the one roof, not separated from each other, is so exciting; all parts of cultural and creative production being visible.
Towards the end of the placement I began preparations for an exhibition of work by Project Ability artist James Hardie, that I co-curated with Lizzie Urquhart, a fellow Project Ability volunteer. We showed the exhibition during Disability Awareness Week in Project Ability’s Project Space. As well as wanting to produce a high-quality exhibition of James Hardie’s work that both Project Ability artists and the wider public would enjoy attending we also wanted to, by presenting James’ work, identify him as an artist worthy of exhibition and recognition.
To anyone considering volunteering with Project Ability I would definitely say go for it. It’s such an exciting creative environment to be in, with so many amazing artists approaching their work from completely different angles, and that in itself is incredibly rewarding and creatively stimulating.”
Thank you very much Mattie! If you wantb to volunteer with Project Ability, we are currently accepting applications. Click here for more info.