Apparently I’d made it just in time – this was Gary’s last lab. But I am so so glad that I did and was not at all disappointed. 


It was really relaxed, unpretentious and just a group of people exploring some ideas that were never going to be made into great pieces of work. It was really refreshing to get out of my head, away from my notebook and onto my feet.


It brought back so many memories of ways that I used to work. Exploring ideas in groups without fear – something that i think being in an art college took away for a while. I miss group workshops and never took to an artists studio properly. No body was judging anyone and no-one had anything to prove.


Admittedly, working in a group of strangers bring challenges with it. Learning how to communicate with each other, differences of opinions etc. But i really enjoyed those problems.


We showed mini performances that we worked on in the morning of the second day. That morning was stressful in a way. Nothing stuck with my group. Nothing gelled at all. We’d try something and seemed to have an inability to stick with it. We’d change tact and not be able to bring anything to a conclusion. In the end we decided to stop being so serious and do any idea that anyone came up with and just see where it went. 


We decided that we would start in a neutral manner and begin to ‘learn’ behaviour, gesture and sound/speech from the audience. We copied their sitting actions whilst standing (so obviously accuracy was unachievable). We copied sounds, pitch, gesture and repeated and repeated it as if we were artificial intelligence.


The other group then gave feed back, and redirected us. We then re-performed the piece taking on board what had been said. 


The ‘artist’s talk’ was Gary – which was very fitting for his last lab. I always love hearing other people talk about their work as it gives a real insight into process and thought patterns. 


We of course ended the workshop with a drink in the pub! Naturally.