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During February half term, artists Eduardo Padilha and Michael Schwab worked together to deliver a series of family workshops at Gasworks as part of their collaborative project Full Circle.

Over the course of four days, over 40 grandparents, parents, carers and children took part in a variety of activities exploring patterns in our everyday surroundings. Sessions responded largely to Padhila and Schwab’s own practices, but also introduced and discussed the work of artists such as Marta Marce and Matthew Darbyshire, making strong links with Gasworks’ exhibitions and studio programming.

Families engaged with a wide range of media, from drawing, collage and painting to wire sculpture, printmaking and installation. All sessions involved a collaborative elements through which people of all ages were able to contribute and take part.

Tuesday 19 February 2008
During the first day, the artists introduced how to depart from representational photography into abstract painting using techniques in projection and montage. Families took their own digital photographs within the installation Blades House by Matthew Darbyshire, and together created a large painting derived from the patterns and repetitions in their photography.

Wednesday 20 February 2008
The second day introduced looking at every day objects through shapes and forms. Starting with magazines as source material, families created symmetrical patterns by lifting a repeated shape out of various magazine pages, resulting in some magical kaleidoscopic effects! Families then continued searching for forms through constructing 3D skeletons of found objects using modelling wire. The challenges in making these sculptures self-supporting brought about some genuine collaborative working towards a problem solving exercise.

Thursday 21 February 2008
On the third day the focus of the session was around mapping, using bus and tube maps as the main starting point. Through a series of drawing games where decisions were determined by chance, families worked together to construct abstract line drawings following the colour scheme of the London Underground map. The main activity involved a playful exercise stretching wool across the space to join up to stations invented by the families. The result was a striking site specific installation of which families got to frame and take home their own Polaroid photographs.

Friday 22nd February 2008
The final day introduced stencils as a way of creating repeat patterns. Searching for unremarkable shapes around the gallery, the workshop encouraged the families to make ‘something out of nothing’ by turning that shape into a printing stamp which became their contribution to a large scale collaborative print work.

Full Circle is a joint project of new works by Padhila and Schwab, which started as an exhibition at Huis Rechts Project Space in Amsterdam, 2007, and ended with an exhibition at Studio 1.1 Gallery, London. A catalogue of the project was produced in collaboration with students at the Royal College of Art, London.

Full Circle ran as part of Even Better Together, Gasworks’ 3 year programme of family workshops funded by the BIG Lottery Fund.