Extraordinary Responses

Dates: 11 January, 2020 - 22 February, 2020
Reception: 11 January, 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Location: Project Ability Gallery, 1st Floor, Trongate 103, Glasgow
Admission: Free

Extraordinary Responses

Extraordinary responses exhibition for outsider art

Read some of our blog posts from the research group that has inspired this exhibition.

Exhibiting artists: Richard Anderson, Stuart Low, Morag Macgilchrist, Simon McAuley, Celine Mcilmunn, Sian Mather, Alan Straiton 

Extraordinary Responses is a group exhibition which originated from the idea of researching and responding to Outsider art collections around the UK. With the help of a Heritage Lottery grant, this process started with a visit to Glasgow Museums Resource Centre (GMRC) with viewings of the impressive Outsider Art collection of Joyce Laing. Laing was Scotland’s first art therapist and also an avid collector of art. Her gallery in Pittenweem in Fife was called ‘Art Extraordinary’, which is where the title of this show came from.

Initially, the group of six Project Ability ReConnect artists, along with the ReConnect studio tutor, worked closely with the team at GMRC to curate a selection of artworks for display in an Open Museums case at the Pollok Civic Realm during 2019. A further case will soon be on permanent display in Kelvingrove Art Gallery.
In 2019 the group also visited the Old Crichton Hospital collection of patient art in a library in Dumfries, and then the Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art collection in the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester.

In combination with the artists’ own personal experiences, as well as taking influence and inspiration from the various collections they visited, this exhibition is a presentation of over a year of research and development. Although working as a group, each artist has created works that are personal to their own lives, opinions and circumstances.

The artists, and Project Ability, would like to give a special thanks to just some of the many people who helped to make this entire project a great success; Cheryl McGeachen, Claire Coia, Tony Lewis, Mike Inglis, Eileen Ross, Holly Grange, and Joyce Laing

Download our EXTRAORDINARY RESPONSES catalogue 


above – Morag Macgilchrist ‘I was Set Free’


above – Simon McAuley ‘At the Edge of the Moor’, ‘Gravity Wall’, ‘Label – A brief description’



above ceramic pots by Sian Mather


above – ‘Four Seasons’ by Stuart Low

Wandering lost in the black and white of nothing
I came across the seasons and they made colour.
There was nothing until summer came and went.
As I watched the years go and the people around me
grow older. This is only one year out of many as the
leaves blow and the snow falls and stars shine
Heat goes to cold to heat again and dry to wet and back.
Green to white and blue to yellow, all in this space we call time.
-Stuart Low



above ceramic faces by Richard Anderson – title  ‘Faces’



above 2 of five pieces titled ‘Tender Mercies’ by Celine Mcilmunn


above – ‘Hyper Acuity’ by Richard Anderson


above – ‘Contemporary Scottish Saltire’ by Alan Straiton


above – ‘At the edge of the moor’ by Simon McAuley