Residency : Gary Turner - August, 2010



Gary Turner, our artist in residence for the month of August, is busy putting fake fur on a big cartoonish-looking wolf head, making the Aspire workshop look like a theatrical dressing room!

Though Gary only started his residency a couple of weeks ago, he is a regular at Project Ability, and has been coming to the Aspire workshops for about 6 years. “When I heard about the residency, I thought it sounded like a great idea, that it would give me a chance to spend more time on my work.” Usually, the 31 year-old comes to Project Ability two days a week, and works from home the rest of the time.

Turner is a big animation fan, in particular Manga, and is very inspired by comic books and films. “I must have over 400 films at home!” He started drawing by copying characters and reproducing images from his books, and as his skills developed “it became less about copying, I created my own characters, I put my stamp on it”.

Last January, Gary visited the Glasgow Museum Resource Centre, and was really inspired by some tribal masks. ‘I have been making masks since. I researched how to make masks on youtube, and came across these big animal masks and suits, known as ‘Furries’. I made up my own characters, and even gave them names: Patch and Goof-Woof.”

When asked if he had a specific goal for his residency, Turner said: “I’m doing my masks and then I’ll see what happens. I was trying to make up my own comic-book, but I got a bit stuck, so for now I am doing lots of masks drawings, and I’ll see where it goes from there. This is the first time I have had so much focus, I am learning lots of skills and am really enjoying it. I think I would like to try and build a whole suit -or ‘Fursuit’- to go with the heads.”

His residency is not even at the halfway point yet, so we can safely say that we will soon see more new characters appearing in that corner of the Aspire workshop!

The artwork produced during his residency will be exhibited in January 2011, alongside the five other artists participating in the residency programme.