ReSearch Residency August 2016 - Jonathan Kirkwood

Jonathan Kirkwood spent the month of August as Artist in Residence at Project Ability. Based in a studio within the main Project Ability workshop, Jonathan spent the month developing new projects. Here, he tells us about his experience:

"Having volunteered at Project Ability for a wee while now and then helping with the summer workshops over the course of July, starting my residency in August seemed like a natural transition from one thing to another.

I had used the summer workshops to try out a few small ideas with the Aspire group, doing little 5 or 10 minute kind of drawing exercises with them and it became really apparent that what really means the most to me is the people that attend Project Ability and the work that they create. So I came into the residency with the idea of bringing cameras loaded with film for everyone to create their own images of what Project Ability means to them.

Having done this a few times while studying at the Glasgow School of Art with my brother, I felt it would be the best way to capture what makes the studio environment so special. Carrying around a large digital camera and photographing those I hadn't fully met or communicated with felt like it would have been too invasive, so releasing my own control and allowing everyone else to create their own photographs seemed like the best choice. I've still to develop the film but I'll keep everyone posted!

As well as this, I began to create a body of work in collaboration with my brother. Jordon has Aspergers and being really close to him means that I have grown up within his magical world and have the amazing opportunity to get a really close and personal look at how he sees the world differently to myself. At least I thought it was different.

The freedom to explore areas of interest that I really haven't had time to do since being a lot younger made me realise just how similar I am to my brother. We share a vast amount of interests, most likely formed together at a young age as we shared a room and most of our things. The energy within the Project Ability studios really rubbed off on me and I soon found myself surrounded by bundles of prints and drawings that were created without too much thought.

I really can't thank everyone at Project Ability enough for the opportunity and being so welcoming. It's an experience that will always bring a smile to my face and one that was invaluable. I'm hoping to keep volunteering for just a little longer, I'm not ready to give up my slice of awesome, creative energy just yet!"

Thank you very much, Jonathan! You can see Jonathan's photo diary on our ReSearch Residency Instagram: @PA_Research_Residency.

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