Reminiscent of watching my gran painting her oil paintings there was something about Lucy Payne’s exhibition, Drawing People Drawing, in Project Ability in 103 Trongate, which made it almost impossible to not be affected. Given a prime spot in the space, it was somewhat enjoyable to meander around these illustrations almost voyeuristically inhaling what these people are getting from the experience of life drawing. On the other hand, Daniel Donnelly’s Gravitational Geometry exhibition seemed to sit awkwardly outside of the main exhibition space, making it a little bit more difficult to engage. However, the skills are there.
Drawing People Drawing is a colourful exhibition authenticating the studios of Project Ability, and the artists that make the studio environment come to life. Project Ability commissioned Lucy Payne after seeing her degree show work for the Glasgow School of Art and she has captured the creativity and life that makes up the workshops here on the third floor of the building.
A selection of ten studies depicting the people who use the studios at Project Ability, these illustrations developed into an intimate representation of artists captivated within the act of creating. A sound, evocative effort.
Gravitational Geometry; the Method of Movement and Attraction is an exhibition that merges two distinct styles of painting; portraiture and geometric abstraction, for reasons which I am struggling to see. This integration happens both physically in the space and metaphorically in the mind of the artist. It is a unique way of working and thinking about art. Gravitational Geometry has been at the foundation of Daniel Donnelly’s practice over the past few years, a fascinating body of work.
These forms began to compare with the portraits Donnelly intended to paint; portraits of the people he was grateful to have learned about. He began to refer to them as ‘colour to portrait’ and ‘colour to character’- for example the red coloured pattern was chosen to go with Freud to represent his erotic ideas, and so on with each character’s famous idiom. The exhibition title aims to be an explanation of movement; the movement between art and time periods is the gravitation, and the patterns within the geometric abstract works used to depict geometric art of the last few decades.
An interesting space with two interesting exhibitions that conclude on 27th May it is unfortunate that Project Ability don’t have a similar space for Donnelly, as they have for Payne. However, Payne’s work does have that empathetic and social touch, which makes you want to engage with it all the more.
Both exhibitions are open to the public until 27th May in Project Ability in Trongate 103, Glasgow.