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Frank Quitely among artists creating special table tennis bats to fundraise for Glasgow club

Frank Quitely's design
Frank Quitely's design

A new exhibition featuring table tennis paddles created by artists, designers and illustrators from across the UK is aiming to raise funds for a Glasgow sports club.

Comic book artist Frank Quitely and Turner Prize winner Martin Boyce are among the artists harnessing the power of ping-pong to help Drumchapel Table Tennis Club (DTTC) continue to play a vital role in the community.

The BACKSP!N exhibition will show off the works from November 26 to December 15, with the paddles up for sale via a silent auction for the first week and then put on general sale.

The exhibition includes a wealth of creative talents from the likes of Quitely, and Boyce to type artist Raissa Pardini, renowned Scottish landscape painter Robert Kelsey, signwriter and lettering artist Rachel E Millar, and digital designer Ione Parsons.

Also contributing are artist Pam Carter, graphic and motion designer Ashleigh Robertson, Terrazo & Titz (who specialises in Jesmonite specific pigments), Scottish based illustrator and visual live drawing media artist Ursula Kam-Ling Cheng, illustrator Agata Pietrusz and visual artist Craig Black.

Some of the designs on display

The exhibition is the creation of Glasgow-based design studio Pim-Pam, who worked closely with Terry McLernon MBE, Chairman at Table Tennis Scotland, to bring the idea to life following the success of their first exhibition in 2019, SP!N.

Pim-Pam Creative Director, Luke McCarthy, said: “Terry and the club have kindly donated 60 paddles and one table for our creative community to get their hands on. We’ve had so much interest in the exhibition with artists all across the UK looking to get involved.

“In a period when there has been lots of uncertainty in the creative arts, it’s great to put on a show with so much talent working together. From graduates to established artists the exhibition is a real collaboration of many different principles, genres and backgrounds.”

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DTTC is one of the biggest clubs in Britain, with more than 300 members aged between eight and 80 actively playing each week. A key driving force in the Drumchapel Community Sports Hub, the club plays a huge part in the development of the sport in Scotland.

McLernon said: “The club is delighted to be collaborating once again with Pim-Pam on the BACKSP!N Exhibition. It will showcase a different side to the table tennis club working with local and national artists.

“Many of the parents and young people who come to the club have a keen interest in the art and creative sector, and it’s brilliant to have them get involved in a project like this. It will show the young people and the local community that the club is not just all about table tennis and are engaging with other activities and looking for young people to get involved.

“We will be bringing a few players to the opening night such as Martin Perry, Lucy Elliott, Aaron Richardson and Paula Callaghan. This will be a great experience for them to showcase their skills in this sport in front of a new audience.”


BACKSP!N, Wasps Studio South Block, Trongate, Glasgow, November 26 – December 15, Mon – Fri 9am to 5pm, Sat 11am – 3pm