Gareth Neal’s furniture design practice was established in 2002 and is currently located in the creative heart of North East London. Neal specialises in the production of unique pieces, which are designed exclusively for individual clients and companies. His practice seeks a reconsideration of furniture design and our perceptions of the contemporary, by questioning history and processes, in relation to people and place. The work is positioned at an intersecting point between design and craft, evading any simple categorization into a specific discipline. This innovative approach provides a critical framework for his ideas as the designs develop into new and diverse territory. His work has received critical acclaim and has featured in numerous publications and exhibitions, both in the UK and internationally.

This new exhibition by Gareth Neal brings together a number of existing works to explore and draw out the connections that each piece makes to process, place and people.

The show includes Gareth’s recent project In pursuit of carbon neutral, as much a research project as an experimental endeavour. In the winter of 2012 two Ash trees were felled in a woodland in Herefordshire. Gareth cycled to the woodland from London and lived a lowimpact Carbon lifestyle for several weeks by eating local produce, sleeping outdoors and not using any electricity, with the aim of demonstrating the potential for carbon negative furniture production in the 21st century.

Also on show, The Orkney Chair, is a collaboration between Gareth and traditional Orkney chair maker Kevin Gauld. This beautifully crafted chair is the result of a process concerned with sharing and securing unique skills and techniques, celebrating traditions located to a specific place and supporting the growth and potential rebirth of a dying industry.

The exhibition coincides with the College’s biennial conference, Making Futures that investigates contemporary craft as a ‘change agent’ within 21st century society. Gareth’s significant contribution to investigating, protecting, celebrating and practicing sustainable production - as much to do with people as with outcome – is showcased and explored in this new exhibition at The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art.

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