Sarah Kudirka was in residency with us in February. Read on to hear about her experience:
‘The creative world I encountered at Project Ability is welcoming and industrious. I was made to feel very welcome and quickly found myself becoming industrious too. Each day that the studios are open lots of artists come in and get on with what they want to do, in a wide variety of media. I saw everyone absorbed in what they are making and it was wonderfully infectious. They are absorbed in making things but everyone is also happy to share and talk about what they are doing.
‘I had wondered before starting the residency how I would feel about working without a door to close on my workspace, as I have always worked in isolation. Turns out I liked it a lot. The buzz of voices and other noises that come from a well-used physical production space (as opposed to an office full of people on screens) was kind of wonderful. I liked it when people were passing by and keen for me to go and see what they were making or had questions about what I was up to. It sounds a bit of a daft realisation but it is very different from (and so much better than) sharing my work on social media to have real people ‘liking’ and giving feedback live on what you are doing. I’ll miss that!
I am new to Glasgow having moved here to live and work just last summer, so this residency came at an important time for me. I have made new friends at Project Ability, set off a strong series of work based on exploring my new home city and started to settle in as a professional artist in Scotland.
‘To give some kind of structure to my residency I had set a target of 100 paintings on polaroids (painted and drawn over polaroid snaps of city skylines have been my project for the past 6 years) and also wanted to start some three larger canvases of similar proportions to polaroids too. I hit my 100 pictures target, which gave me a sense of satisfaction but I also took time to have lots of chats with the artists around me, think, walk to bits of the city I’d never seen before, and watch clouds out of the window – it’s all research.
‘Mental health and well-being for creative people are strongly tied to having the space and resources to create, explore and make stuff. We all have what’s in our heads and stuff to deal with in our lives and I’m no stranger to anxiety. My hearing disability has never stopped me from asking questions and striving to understand to what others are saying. Inclusive arts facilities are so important.
I’m really glad to know the brilliant people I’ve met at Project Ability and intend to stay in touch.
I loved going in to the studios every day, got loads done and found it a totally positive experience.’