Project Ability Gallery

Project Ability Gallery 1
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Project Ability is a developmental visual arts organisation that grew out of a yearlong project to mark the International Year of Disabled People in 1981. Since then we have been promoting equality of access to the arts by supporting people of all ages and abilities to take part in artistic projects, exhibitions and events.

Each week we provide artistic support, training and access to professional resources to around three hundred people. We work with children and adults with learning or developmental disabilities, people with mental ill health, and others who find it difficult to access mainstream activities.

Project Ability is based in Trongate 103, and has a fully accessible gallery and workshop spaces in Glasgow’s city centre. Our workshops take place both in Trongate 103, and in our extensive outreach programme in schools and community venues throughout Glasgow and the surrounding local authorities.

Venue Type:

Gallery, Association or society

Opening hours

Tues - Sat, 10.00-17.00

Closed: Mondays and Sundays

Admission charges

Free entry

Project Ability runs an exhibition programme that showcases work created in our projects as well as the work of local, national and international disabled artists and arts organisations.

We also run exhibitions in other organisations and offices.

Collection details

Fine Art, Decorative and Applied Art

Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Painting 'Contemporary Couple'

Some Pictures

  • 6 October — 11 November 2017 *on now

Project Ability is pleased to present ‘Some Pictures’ by Alan Straiton, as part of the 20I7 Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival.

Alan Straiton was born in August 1962, in Hamilton Lanarkshire. In his early teens he received a Kodak Compact and with this camera he took great delight in recording his sister’s wedding. Later he purchased for himself a Pentax K1000, a manual ‘student camera’, and still uses it to the present day. Photography and film opened a doorway into the arts which would later be viewed by the artist as a saviour, helping to keep his mind active and healthy.

By the end of the 90’s, Straiton had discovered painting. It was also around this time that he suffered a substantial mental health crisis which left him homeless. Straiton found himself in a state of mental instability and uncertainty and was admitted into hospital. Shortly after his admittance the Consultant Psychiatrist recognised Straiton’s artistic tendencies and referred him to an art therapist.

“Wow, what a thing the Art Room became. The art facilitator was nervy at that time, as I had a thing about banging paintings off the table. Looking back I realise how unwell I was then.”

Leaving hospital in ’98, after a long intensive visit, Straiton found himself living in a new flat and decided to have some professional art tutelage. He attended the University of Strathclyde’s Adult and Continuing Education Department where he did many different courses (with a focus on life drawing) and received a Certificate In Applied Art.

“From 2000 to 2010 I became a revolving door patient (in and out of hospital). The Community Psychiatric Nurse at this time asked if I would like a referral to an arts organisation, Project Ability. I said I sure would. And I found myself one fortunate man, to become an artist within the studios of Project Ability’s ReConnect programme - A life saver”

Project Ability is proud to support Straiton and his artistic talent. He has shown great determination and strength in the development of his artistic practice, despite many life challenges and periods of mental instability. Straiton still focuses mainly on painting but regularly explores photography, collage and print-making, as well as some writing. He is an active member of the studios, taking part in various workshops as well as our fortnightly Walking Group. His thoughtfully composed, often abstract paintings evidence the intellect, understanding and respect Alan has for the contemporary art world.

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 ‘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.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Lumen print of a fern

Lumen Essence

  • 6 October — 11 November 2017 *on now

Lumen Essence is an exhibition of lumen prints made by a group of artists working in ReConnect, Project Ability’s mental health programme. Lumen printing is a camera-less method of making photographic images and was first used by botanists in the early 1800s. Objects are placed on photographic paper which is then exposed to sunlight. This can take several hours or even several days depending on the weather so in Scotland it can be a fairly lengthy process!

The project came about when ReConnect tutor Celine Mcilmunn rediscovered a roll of out of date photographic paper that had be gathering dust on in the back of a cupboard for almost two decades. She wondered if it could be put to good use and a web search led to the discovery of lumen printing and a series of workshops with the other artists in the group.

Each of the artists has taken a different approach to making their images with subject matter ranging from objects found by chance to deeply personal childhood memories to the pure materiality of the effects of light and time on the exposed paper.
The resulting images are wonderfully subtle with the normally black and white darkroom paper revealing a sometimes surprising variety of colours.

Exhibiting artists:
Rainoir Clark, Lea Cummings, Jonny Kirkwood, Esme Macleod, Simon McAuley & Celine Mcilmunn

Lumen Essence is part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival

Suitable for

  • Any age


Project Ability Gallery
Project Ability
Trongate 103
G1 5HD




0141 552 2822


0141 552 3490

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.