Residency : Catriona Thomson - June, 2010


With already two weeks under her belt, Catriona Thomson -Project Ability’s artist in residence for the month of June- is handling her residency with confidence: “One of my strengths is I can do a bit of everything”.

Indeed, when Catriona was in her 20s, she completed a HND in stitched textiles and fashion design, which included life drawing, pattern drawing, textiles and embroidery. “It was hard work but I really enjoyed it”. She then went to Edinburgh to do an advanced diploma that she did not complete as she became ill.

Thomson likes mixing different disciplines; painting, collage and printmaking all play a part in her practice. Some of her influences are Andy Warhol, Peter Blake, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Matisse.

As well as regularly taking part in our Connect programme, Catriona works once a week as a volunteer artist in the Arran Centre, a mental health resource centre in the East End of Glasgow. Here, she has been working with a group using collage, still life, t-shirt painting and clay modelling amongst other things. She really enjoys it and finds that “as well as my own art practice influencing what I do with the group, the work we do together also has some bearing on my own practice”.

During her residency Catriona wants to sort out and edit some of the many ideas she has for making work: “I feel the residency will help me focus and carry some of my ideas through to finished works”. She is currently working with images and objects from everyday life and popular culture, making photographs of them and working from these using different methods and mediums.

Catriona is now considering applying for a studio with Wasps, and sees her residency as a positive step towards this. “Not only is it giving me the opportunity to spend more time focusing on making work, but it is also helping me to work in a more disciplined way, formulate structured work plans and manage my time”.

Catriona Thomson’s work will be exhibited in the Project Ability gallery in January 2011, alongside the five other artists participating in the residency programme.

Images: First Ladies of Rock ‘n’ Roll (Grace Slick and Janis Joplin), acrylic on canvas, 2007.
             Catriona Thomson at work in Project Ability
             Paul Weller, acrylic on board - Work in progress.