Artwork of the week - ‘Brexit’ by Alan Straiton


Artwork of the week features this abstract painting by Alan Straiton titled 'Brexit'. 'Brexit' is one of several new paintings on exhibition in Project Ability's Gallery II. The title of this solo exhibition is a modest one, 'Some Pictures'.

Straiton's painting style is varied but often abstract and always thoughtful and filled with intention. Brexit is a hot topic at the moment, with the entire country wondering, will it happen? Who knows.... the artist clearly has it on his mind and with the title of this painting he is looking to open a conversation about the subject. It is an entagled web of facts and fiction, bewilldering politicians and world leaders, leaving the rest of us confused and unsure of the future. This painting portrays mass social confusion and a misplaced sense of British identity.

Straiton's exhibition is definitely worth a look, and at the same time you can check out Lumen Essence, a group show of lumen photgraphic prints. Both shows are up until 11 November, all welcome!

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WalkingGroup - Week 20: the Tenement House

"On Wednesday 11th October, the walking group took a rare morning trip to visit the Tenement House in Garnethill. It was a wet day so we took a brisk walk through George Square before heading to the Garnethill area via Sauchiehall Street. Once there we were given a private tour of the house and museum.

The tenement itself is amazing to see, Miss Toward who lived there with her mother Mrs Toward until her death, had collected and saved everything. The wealth of information about the time period and how Miss Toward lived was vast due to her desire to not waste and throw stuff away.

The house is set to be staged as it would have been in the late 1800’s with the gas lighting restored. The furniture is exquisite with a gorgeous grandfather clock over 200 years old in the hallway.

In the kitchen the original range and Belfast sink are still there and the bathroom has been restored to show what Victorian indoor plumbing was like.

Downstairs there is a museum area with more information about Miss Toward and her mother, and more items of theirs as well as information on life in Glasgow at the time, why tenements were built and how they housed different people."
-Morage McGilchrist

You can find more information on the Tenement House here

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Cameron Morgan & Charlie Hammond residency

Charlie Hammond and Cameron Morgan have started their creative partnership a few weeks ago, and they are already experimenting with ideas and producing some work.

Hammond has a scrapbook showcasing the top of match books, each with its own design and imagery. The artists went on to make a stencil inspired by the match books, which will then be used to produce a print next week. 

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Get your Superheroes calendar now!

Pow! The 2018 calendars are just back from the printers, and this year's theme is: Superheroes! 

With drawings and paintings from last year's 'Superheroes' exhibition, this calendar is bright, fun and full of powerful characters: Superman, Elastigirl, the Human Torch, Wonder Woman and many more!

Only £10, on sale in our gallery shop and online

Artworks by Jack Woodall, Michael McMullen, Edward Henry, Gerard Gallagher, John McCormack, Jonathan McKinstry, Lea Cummings, Lesley Nimmo, Obi Oguguo, Pauline Jackson, Peter Johnston, Ronnie McCulloch and Ruth Mutch.

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Project Ability at Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children

With generous funding and ongoing support from Trefoil, Project Ability have been working in Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children since May.

Part of a diverse and exciting visual arts programme, artist and arts practitioner Iona Grey has been working with a small group of young people on their own creative projects.

Recently, the young artists have been working on graffiti posters using stencils and spray paints, inspired by graffiti artist Banksy.

“First the children draw their chosen images onto card which I carefully cut out. We then take their work outside to the garden to work with spray paints of varying colours and overlapping chosen areas creating more depth” – Iona Grey

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Shop Item of the Week - by Nicole Cheong


Shop item of the week is this hand made coil vase by Nicole Cheong. Measuring 18cm tall with a diameter of about 12cm, this is a quirky and beautiful creation. Priced at £35 we don't think it is going to be around for long. If you're interested you can come by the Project Ability gallery shop at Trongate 103, or head over to our online shop where you can buy it right now.

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Artwork of the week - ‘Garden of Heavenly Delight’ by Rainoir Clark

This week our artwork of the week is this gorgeous lumen print by Rainoir Clark titled 'Garden of Heavenly Delight'. This piece is part of our current show, 'Lumen Essence', which is part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. There are six artists showing lumen prints in the exhibition, and each has discovered their own unique way of working with this fascinating medium. Rainoir Clark, who often works with collage has very successfully transferred those skills over to the lumen prints. Her pieces in the show combine both figurative subjects which have clearly been cut out with a pen knife, and composed them with the organic forms and transparencies of flowers. The result is a sharp, beautiful and slightly surreal composition.

Each artist in Lumen Essence has created brilliant work for this show, and it is well worth a look. It will be up in our gallery until 11 November. Alongside 'Lumen Essence' we also have a solo show of new work by Alan Straiton in our Gallery II. Titled 'Some Pictures', Straiton's show is also part of SMHAFF. 


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Artist in residence: James Sayer

James Sayer was our first artist in residence this year, when he spent the month of September in our studios, interacting with our artists and finding inspiration in their work. Here is what he had to say about his time at Project Ability:

"I've developed new ways of drawing for my armoury, directly based on diving into the blue boxes of Project Ability artists’ reference materials in the Aspire workshop.  A series of works in pen on paper resulted from this, which were developed further into expanding the ways in which I draw by drawing with paint, combining images and using my own source material.

Looking at the artists in the studios and the way they draw got me trying to be (even) freer with my approach. Not worry that something is exact, not necessarily worry about what it is about but accept (and hope) that the works construe an idea, an element, or a something else that can be identified.  It will take many moons to digest my experience of being in the Project Ability studios, seeing the work here, and the way my work has developed.

I have observed and admired the many varied ways the artists approach their work. The Aspire artist who painted the two tigers. Andrew Boyle, who painted the Train over the Glenfinnan viaduct, Doreen Kay and her yacht and castle Landscape. John Cocozza and his Bruce Forsyth paintings have been great to look at. So much so that I had to have a go at drawing ol' Brucie myself.

I've also seen works by artists I already admire, like Scott Smith, Terry Kerr, Michael McMullen and Cameron Morgan, the latter whom I have had the pleasure to chat to about his work on a couple of occasions.
I also had some brief but frank conversations with Paul and Alan which will stick in my memory. Alan's procrastination helped allay my fear of procrastination and Paul's enthusiasm for working is infectious!

All the tutors have been great too, and I have enjoyed my conversations with them."

It was a pleasure to have James work in our studios for a month. He will be back for a talk about his work in the coming months.

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Shop Item of the Week - Christmas Cards!!!



It's that time of year again! We have a selection of three different holiday cards by Andy Adams, Edward Henry and Ruth Mutch. You can find all three in our gallery shop and also our online shop. The inside message on all three reads 'Seasons Greetings'. They are being sold in packs of ten for £5. Follow the image links below for each of the three different cards:

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Artwork of the week - ‘Contemporary Couple’ by Alan Straiton

'Contemporary Couple' is our chosen artwork of the week. This figurative painting is in our current exhibition, which opens this evening titled 'Some Pictures'. This is a solo show by Alan Straiton in our Gallery II. 

We are proud to be exhibiting this new selection of work by Straiton as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. His work investigates topical issues, seen in the title of his painting ‘Brexit’, and also the integration of technologies into domestic and intimate settings, as is portrayed in our artwork of the week, ‘Contemporary Couple’. His paintings embody and embrace paint. Straiton uses his artistic practice as a medium to keep him grounded whilst allowing him to express his concerns and appreciation of the complexities - and mysteries- of the human psyche.

At the same time as 'Some Pictures' is showing in our Gallery II, we also have a group show of lumen prints in our main gallery. 'Lumen Essence' is also part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival. Both shows are up until 11 November. All welcome!

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Ceramics Workshop with Tracy!

Earlier this week, Volunteers Coordinator and ceramics whiz Tracy Gorman hosted a special ceramics workshop, with participants focusing on creating multiple, beautiful pieces to soon grace the Project Ability shop.

Many great looking items were started, and we look forward to seeing the finished results!


Check back soon to see the finished pieces. 

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Walking Group - Week 19: GSA

Last Wednesday the walking group had the pleasure of again visiting the Glasgow School of Art. We walked leisurely through the city center, enjoying the good weather before arriving and seeing the first exhibition.

This was a fabulous event hosting work by Friday's Aspire group and organized by volunteer Jonny Kirkwood. It featured beautiful work displayed over two rooms and we were fortunate to have two of the artists, Cameron Morgan and Doreen Kay in attendance with us.

We then went into the Vic Cafe to see Jonathan McKinstry's mural Not The Last Supper. As I remember being a huge fan of the original painting it was amazing to see it so large and perfectly recreated on the wall.

We then returned to the Reid Gallery to see SoFA Presents: East and West Walk Forward School of Fine Art. A fabulous exhibition with paintings, prints and sculptures from China. The exhibion runs until October 29th. We also were able to see an exhibit of post war print design for fabric which is in the main corridor outside the Reid Gallery.
-Morag McGilchrist

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Christmas cards for sale!

It's October, and that can only mean one thing: the new Christmas cards have arrived from the printers! 

This year, we have three beautiful designs, 'Reindeers' by Edward Henry, 'Penguins in a row' by Ruth Mutch and 'Christmas Tree' by Andy Adams.

Get yours now, only £5 for a pack of ten, and help support our amazing artists!

Cards are available in our gallery shop and soon to be online. 

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Well done Team Jacobs!

Congratulations! After months of preparation, the runners of team Jacobs have done it: they have run the Great Scottish Run in Glasgow yesterday! Despite the weather conditions, 17 runners took part in the race, and all made it to the finish line.

Everybody at Project Ability would like to say a very, very big thank you to them all, and to everybody who donated to their Local Giving page. The team raised a fantastic £3520 - just over £4000 with Gift Aid. 

The money will be put to good use in our visual arts workshops! Thank you team Jacobs!

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2017 Project Ability Quiz Night!

The Project Ability Quiz Night was a great success yet again, with much fun had by all.  We’d like to thank everyone for attending, and helping raise a fantastic sum of £590! Can't wait until the next one!

The winners on the night!

The now famous Quiz Night trophy is collected! See you all next year!

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Collaborative partnership: Cameron Morgan & Charlie Hammond

Cameron Morgan has started his new residency this week: a collaborative partnership with Glasgow-based artist Charlie Hammond, spanning twelve weeks.

Both artists will meet once a week in Hammond's studio and will discuss, experiment and create new work together. Their practices include a wide range of medium, in particular painting, printing and ceramics, and it will be very interesting to see what they produce during this partnership. We will post photos regularly during the residency, and you can also see their progress on Charlie's Instagram

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Shop Item of the Week - Various Ceramics by SooJa Massey

Shop Item of the Week time again, and this week we bring you some more superbly crafted ceramics by SooJa Massey.  SooJa’s ceramics are incredibly popular in our shop, so thankfully she is rather prolific at expertly hand crafting these delightful little pieces! These won’t last long, so be sure to pop into our gallery shop and have a look.

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Meet the Volunteers - Cathy Dowling

Most of the fantastic people who volunteer at Project Ability are artists, graduates and undergraduates who help our tutors during our arts workshops. Most, but not all, as this week's volunteer Cathy Dowling shows. Cathy has had a long career in external relations at Scottish universities, at Stirling Management Centre, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow University and latterly at Glasgow School of Art.

She hopes to add her experience of building partnerships with companies and drawing down funding to Project Ability’s fundraising strategy. She had been lending her skills to our charity one afternoon a week for the last year, and is a great addition to the team!

"I know there are bighearted organisations and individuals in Glasgow and beyond who’d be entranced by the talent, creativity and wonderful work that happens here. I hope I can help with outreach. Times are tough in fundraising and we need to tell compelling stories to bring those key donors on board".

Thank you Cathy!

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Walking Group - Week 18: Panopticon & Holmwood House

Last week the walking group went to two venues that couldn't be more different. Firstly we went just two doors down and around the corner to the Britannia Panopticon, the oldest surviving music hall in the world.

Inside is a small museum of the history of the venue, featuring posters, programmes, costumes and props. The music hall, in its day, hosted a variety of shows, from comedy to drama and musicals, with many famous acts passing through, notably Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.

Currently they screen films and host variety shows and music nights as well as being open in the afternoon for free viewings of the displays. The venue features a bar and has merchandise for sale. It is an amazing place simply oozing history, some less savory than wholesome but all interesting and worth a second visit. Find out more at

We then took a bus through the south side of the city to visit Holmwood House. Built in the late 1850's by Alexander 'Greek' Thompson for James Couper and his wife, the house is now owned by the National Trust but has been many families homes before becoming a nunnery.

The Couper family made their money in paper and founded the Couper Institute. The detail in the house is exquisite and no section was build and decorated with less than the main house, meaning the servants quarters, kitchen and coach house are all as fabulous as the main home.

There is a stunning garden and vegetable area. I personally found the serving area in the dining room to be the most stunning feature and was interested to hear that the nuns had used it as their altar during their time at Holmwood. More about the property can be found at
-Morag McGilchrist

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Team Jacobs: Just under £300 to go to reach £2500

The Jacobs Finance team is getting ready for the Great Scottish Run in a couple of weeks, and including gift aid they have almost reached an amazing £2250 in donations for Project Ability! They have been a fantastic support in the last few months, and their effort is having a very positive impact on the team members' fitness as well!

"I have never been into fitness as such, although I’m quite an active person and never sit still for more than 10 minutes, I just have never been one to go to the gym or participate in any sport. I basically didn’t participate in anything that included breaking a sweat. In March this year, I decided to be a team player and take part in the 10k organised by Jacobs Finance team in order to raise funds for such a great charity. Having just returned to work from maternity leave, I also thought it was a great way to get back into some sort of shape and socialise with colleagues.

Having never ran in my life, I decided that I would aim to at least be able to run the whole way without stopping, which seemed a really hard task at that time. ESPECIALLY following my first run at the beginning of April where I only managed to run 2k and I had to stop 3 times!!!! Needless to say, at that time, I really thought I would never achieve my goal and started having second thoughts about wat I had signed myself up for! But, being the competitive person that I am, and knowing that I had publicly signed up to this race, I thought I best stick at it and see how I got on… I started to run 2-3 times a week, building up the distance I could run, and 4 weeks later I managed to run my first full straight 10k with no stops and within the hour (58minutes and 45seconds to be exact!!). As you can imagine, I had well and truly caught the ‘bug’ by this time. I have been running 3-4 times a week ever since.

On the day of the race, I would love to achieve a time of 48 minutes. My personal best is currently 47 minutes and 36 seconds, but I’ve only managed this once!! For me though, regardless of how well (or not) I do on the day, the decision to sign up to support this great charity has been life changing. I’m fitter now than I have ever been, I feel great, I have more energy, and I have found a hobby that I love and can de-stress with after a hard day."
-Karen Hamilton

Thank you all! You can support Team Jacobs by donating via our secure Local Giving Page. 

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Shop Item of the Week - Hand Painted Canvas Bag by Doreen Kay

Another delightful creation by Aspire artist Doreen Kay has been chosen as our Shop Item of the Week. Doreen has made a number of bags which have found their way in to the Project Ability shop, and they do not last long! Get yours now for just for just £20. 

Availible here

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Artwork of the Week - ‘Bruce Forsyth’ by John Cocozza

This week we bring you John Cocozza’s excellent portrait of the late Bruce Forsyth as our Artwork of the Week.  John loves making portraits, and we think this joyful representation of the much loved all-round entertainer does his vibrant character justice.  Didn’t he do well?

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A mural and a live portrait session - Project Ability at GSA

This week, the Glasgow School of Arts welcomes its new students, and Project Ability was there to mark the occasion! Thanks to volunteer and art student Jonathan Kirkwood, three of our artists were involved in the event: on Monday, Jonathan McKinstry took over a wall of the famous Vic cafe, where he painted a mural of his 2015 artwork 'Not the Last Supper'. The result is absolutely fantastic, and the feedback from the students has been great.

On Tuesday, John Cocozza and Steven Reilly spent the day doing live portraits of students and visitors, something that always proves very popular. Models were encourage to give a little donation in exchange of their portrait, and the crew came back with a fantastic £110!

Jonathan Kirkwood said: "I am so happy to have been given the opportunity to take Jonathan, Steven and John up to the art school and given them the chance to show how fun, energetic and exciting their work is. It's been an overall really positive experience and one that I hope leads to more opportunities being created for collaborations between the two organisations. Everyone who I spoke to over the course of the two days was really enthusiastic and simply overwhelmed with the work that the guys generated, and all seemed really interested in what goes on at Project Ability! As always it was a massive pleasure working alongside the three gents and I want to thank them all for coming along and making all this possible."

Thank you all, and well done!

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Meet the Maker – Mhari McMullan

We had an inspiring Meet the Maker session with textile designer Mhari McMullan. Mhari studied Textile Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. She moved to Glasgow in 2007 and in 2009 opened Welcome Home, a creative retail space representing craft, design and illustration now based in Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts. Mhari also works as a freelance designer, educator and consultant for other projects in art, design and retail.

Mhari joined us for the afternoon at Project Ability where she ran an excellent workshop introducing the group to a heat transfer textile printing process. Using collage and cut out processes participants built up images and designs in a range coloured papers. These designs were then placed inside the heat press for 45 seconds, and when they came out they had miraculously printed and fixed onto the fabric generating some fantastic results.

Everyone taking part in the workshop took to the process instantly, bringing their individual styles and ways of working to this technique and in the space of a short afternoon’s workshop produced a range of vibrant new works.

This fast and fun process really had the group hooked, so don’t be surprised if you see us producing some more works this way soon!

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Target reached for Team Jacobs!

The wonderful running group at Jacobs has reached its £2000 fundraising target for the Great Scottish Run! There are almost three weeks left before the event, will they make it to £2500?

The team's support has been fantastic, and it seems that it has been very positive for the team members too:

"I thought that this was a great cause and a good way for us to work as a team and in the process get fitter and bond more with work colleagues. We all support each other and make it fun as well as challenging - while raising money for such a good charity.

I have only recently started keeping fit. To begin with I could only manage short bursts of energy. But training for this run has made me fitter and got me out of the office at lunch time. It’s so nice to see everyone in the office helping us reach our target. The Fundraising day was amazing and the support from everyone was fantastic. The people do make Glasgow and the staff do make Jacobs.

I hope to keep up the running after the 10k and hope to try and get as near the 1 hour as possible. I've gone from running like an elephant to running like a greyhound - well almost. Team Jacobs!!!!!!!!!!!!"
-Margaret Newman

If you would like to support Team Jacobs and Project Ability, you can donate securely on our Local Giving Page. 

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Shop Item of the Week - ‘Cleopatra’ by Ronald McCulloch

Shop Item of the Week is 'Cleopatra' by Ronald McCulloch. This is an amazing painting with so much going on. The composition is inspired from a photo shoot of Marilyn Monroe posing as actress Theda Bara from the silent film Cleopatra, taken by photographer Richard Avedon.

We love this painting and after being out and about as part of a few exhibitions in the last year, it has now arrived in our gallery shop! Measuring 90 x 120 cm, this acrylic canvas is stretched and ready to hang. You can find it in our online shop for £120. Below is an image of the photograph McCulloch used as a reference to make this wild painting!!





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Artwork of the week - ‘70’s Afro Hair Lady’ by Leslie Thompson

This week we are featuring this beautiful textile piece by Leslie Thompson, the Superstar Artist Drawer! '70's Afro Hair Lady' is one of two gorgeous hand stitched pieces that Thompson has in his current exhibtion with us. Don't miss the show, it's up until September 23rd.

Tonight, we are very pleased to welcome back our late night Thursdays. Please join us for a glass of wine or some juice from 6-8pm, plenty of time to check out both of our current exhibitions, and have a look around our gift shop too. All welcome!

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£2000 target within reach for Team Jacobs!

About a year ago a group of Jacobs team members in the finance department started running once a week during lunch time. Soon after they decided to set a target to participate in the 2017 Great Scottish Run. Some of them had done the race before, some were experienced runners and some had literally never thought about running 10k before. They now have a few different groups from beginners to experienced runners getting together each week during lunch or after working hours.

"In combination with the running we have also held a weight loss competition in the office promoting healthy eating and regular exercise, this has made everyone aware of the importance of getting away from the desk, even if it’s just for a short walk round the block. For the finance department as a whole, participating in the Great Scottish Run in support of the great work done by Project Ability is truly a win-win!"

We will bring you some of the team's success stories in the coming week, but in the meantime, we would like to say a huge thank you to all of them for their support. They have already raised £1793 out of their £2000 target! If you would like to support them, please visit our Local Giving Page, where you can donate securely.

Thank you Team Jacobs!

(Photo: Mark Anderson via Daily Record)

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The Friday Group goes to Dunoon

Last week, the Aspire Friday Group took a trip to Dunoon with tutor Valerie O'Regan. They enjoyed a beautiful sunny day in the town, sketching in the harbour and taking in the views.

The group also spent some time in the Burgh Hall, where they were greated by Jenny Hunter, the Programmes Coordinator, who showed them around their Artist Rooms Andy Warhol exhibition. A great occasion for more sketching!

The group had a fantastic time and will be looking forward to coming back to Dunoon in the future.

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Walking Group - Week 17: GMRC

On Wednesday 30th August the walking group went by train to Nitshill to visit the Glasgow Museums Resource Center. The center houses artworks and artifacts that are currently not on display in museums within the city.

It was opened in the early 2000's and expanded when the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum was being refitted to accommodate more pieces, it currently homes over one million paintings and artifacts and it is simply not possible to see everything in one go.

On this visit we got to see items of social history including home appliances and ceramics. Fascinating were the early TV's, washing machines and even a circular dishwasher. We saw a scale model of Glasgow made post world war two that was to help plan and design the reconstruction of the city after the blitz.

Upstairs we saw ceramics and glassware both functional and decorative from a variety of time periods and places throughout Europe. Personally I enjoyed seeing some of the Glasgow factory tea sets that were familiar to me. More can be found out about the center at Visits can be arranged and also they do tours at set times, but you are not able to just drop in like the cities other museums.
-Morag McGilchrist

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