Sculptors Laura Aldridge, Nick Evans and James Rigler are widening access to the visual arts through an innovative new project to transform Craigielea House, a disused former social work office in Ferguslie Park in Paisley, into professional artists’ studios and a community workspace called the Sculpture House.
The project is a collaboration with Renfrewshire Council and its Future Paisley programme, which aims to use the power of arts, heritage and culture to effect social and economic change. According to the unique lease agreement between the parties, the artists pay studio rental on an ‘in kind’ basis by offering creative activities to locals and maintaining the building for the community to use.
Chair of Ferguslie Community Council, Terry McTernan, said, ‘Given the impact on mental health during the pandemic, many people are looking for connection, to understand they’re not alone. Therapeutic art seems to be an effective way of addressing this and it’s becoming a recurring theme in our community.’