100 Portraits - a living archive of learning disability today

100 Portraits - a living archive of learning disability today

Artwork of head and shoulders of a person in a blue jacket
Detail of artwork by Cameron Morgan

Heritage Grants

Anderston/City/Yorkhill
Project Ability
£10000
Artists used portraiture to capture a snapshot of the learning disabled community in Scotland during the pandemic.
Drawn double portrait
Detail of artwork by Judith Abubakar

Our 100 Portraits was led by Project Ability, a Glasgow-based visual arts organisation. The project aimed to identify the people who are important to Project Ability’s learning disabled artists, telling these stories through the power of portraiture.

Participant artists explored the genre through socially distanced sketches, Zoom sittings and photographs of loved ones.

Working with a social geographer, the artists gained insight into the history and development of portraiture. They looked at why portraits were painted, how to ‘read’ portraits and how to interact with their subjects, leading to producing their own portraits of their peers. 

Portraiture…is no longer a marker of status, but a way of exploring another person’s life and their unique story and how they matter and make a difference.
Valerie O’Regan, Project Ability tutor

Valerie O’Regan, a Project Ability tutor, said:
“The result is an emotive, quirky, and wonderful collection of our present time, and of the people that we cherish, admire and love; the people that have shared this year with us, some from afar, others through live Zoom sketches, photographs, and memories. 

In more recent history, portraiture comes in unlimited forms, and it is no longer a marker of status, but a way of exploring another person’s life and their unique story and how they matter and make a difference.”