10 Years In The Baking – ProjectAbility


16th March – 20th April, 2024

Project Ability, 103 Trongate, Glasgow, G1 5HD

(Opening hours are 11am – 5pm,  (Wednesdays – Saturdays, closed Easter Friday).)

The Joint Creativity “10 Years in the Baking” exhibition, hosted by the charities Versus Arthritis and Project Ability, is set to open in Glasgow and will display artwork created by young people living with arthritis.

word logo

The exhibition will open to the public on Saturday 16th March and marks this year’s annual World Young Rheumatic Diseases (WORD) Day, on Monday 18th March. The theme for ‘10 years in the baking’ incorporates spoon theory, a way of explaining how people live with chronic illnesses like arthritis.

Joint Creativity began 10 years ago and is an art project run by Versus Arthritis. It is hosted as a part of residential trips and creative workshops which give young people with arthritis the opportunity to come together, get creative and learn more about their condition and self-management techniques.

17-year-old Sarah Aitken, from Glasgow, was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis four years ago and has been involved with Joint Creativity since 2021. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a type of autoimmune inflammatory arthritis that occurs in people under the age of 16. An estimated 12,000 children have JIA in the UK.

versus arthritis

Sarah said: “‘When my symptoms began, I had to stop doing lots of things that I use to enjoy. It sometimes feels like my arthritis is taking over, but the Joint Creativity programme helps me to see what’s important to me aside from my arthritis, and that’s been really helpful for me

Speaking about the project, Sarah said it “has definitely made me feel a lot less alone. I’ve learnt a lot more about my condition because of the art activities that we do. They are all based around our conditions and how it affects us. It’s also really helped me to think about how I’m more than my condition, and it doesn’t define who I am. It’s a big part of my life but I try as much as possible to not let it stop me doing what I want to, which can be very difficult at times”.

To celebrate Joint Creativity’s 10th year and to mark WORD Day 2024, Versus Arthritis hosted a ‘Spoon Theory’ project across the UK. Spoon theory is a metaphor often used to describe the mental or physical energy someone has for tasks, and this baking-themed project explores energy use and pacing whilst also offering an opportunity to get creative with wooden spoons.

Over 70 spoons were created at Versus Arthritis Scotland’s art camp in November 2023, and this year young people in Northern Ireland, England and Wales were invited to join the project. All the spoons created by young people living with JIA and related conditions across the UK will be displayed at Versus Arthritis’ “10 Years in the Baking” exhibition.

WORD Day helps to raise awareness and increase knowledge of rheumatic diseases in young people. By speeding up diagnosis, young people can access the treatment they need to manage their condition as quickly as possible.

Versus Arthritis and its Young People and Families team work closely with children and young people living with JIA across the UK, hosting regular events and residential weekends, as well as offering support and advice to young people and their families. These events provide the chance to connect with others in similar situations, whist getting involved with a variety of fun, discussion-based activities, often helping young people with JIA to feel less isolated.

Klaire Connor, Young People and Families manager at Scotland Versus Arthritis said:  

We are thrilled to be running the Joint Creativity project for the 10th year and exhibiting so many pieces of art created by young people with musculoskeletal conditions across the UK.  

 “This year we are working with Project Ability to showcase a year’s worth of art created at residential weekends and workshops, which have brought art and self-management techniques together to depict the young people’s experiences of living with arthritis and related conditions.  

“We are excited for the public to see the artwork, the techniques the young people have learnt over the years, and how they have helped develop and shape Joint Creativity throughout the last decade”.



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