Gareth Neal Photo:Geraint Davies
Gareth Neal will be in the gallery on Thursday 19th March 1pm Ė 2pm
This exhibition is entirely devoted to Nealís recent work, beginning with the Anne table. The entire surface is striated with saw cuts of varying depths, and from certain angles the elegant profile of a Queen Anne-style console appears, complete with cabriole legs, as if hidden within the timber. The console was followed by a chest of drawers, called George III. New additions to this family of objects, made especially for this exhibition, include the Anne chair, and a series of classical vessel forms.
Nealís willingness to embrace new technologies to complement traditional hand skills gives character to his furniture. The surfaces of the furniture were cut by a saw blade mounted on a CNC routing machine, enabling complex saw cuts Ė up to 800 for the George III chest of drawers.
A highlight of the exhibition will be the presence of Gareth Neal himself, transported from his workshop to the gallery to assemble a chest of drawers under the publicís gaze. As the title of his exhibition may suggest, Gareth wants to introduce a performative aspect to the show enabling him to engage personally with his audience: he may even ask visitors to assist him. A time-lapse animation of his time in the gallery will take his place later in the exhibition.
The performance encapsulates the interesting and sometimes contradictory space where Neal now finds himself. On one hand he resists the confines and isolation of craft, and wants to make this a less conventional exhibition of handmade furniture. On the other, he feels bound to champion craft, and the performance situates hand-making at the centre of his activity. He is a designer and maker in tune with the history of his craft who also seeks a new, contemporary expression for it.
Royal College of Art
Gareth's work was shown as part of the urban FIELD project in 2007 and the exhibition develops the urban FIELD partnership between the Crafts Study Centre and Contemporary Applied Arts.
Neil Bottle, Textiles
Matthew Chambers, Ceramics
Carina Ciscato, Ceramics
Catherine Hough, Glass
'Anne' Table Photo: Damien Chapman
'Block' Bench Photo: James Champion
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