Gareth Neal

Gareth Neal’s furniture design practice was established in 2002 and is currently located in the creative heart of East London. Neal specialises in the production of unique pieces, which are exclusively designed for individual clients and companies. His practice combines the technical modes of 3D computer drawing and CNC processes, with the intricacy of professional craftsmanship.

When describing his inspiration and thought process behind his George Chest Neal states: Contained within the contemporary rectilinear oak chest of drawers, is the ghost of its past, a 1780’s George III commode. Through a series of rectilinear cuts the commode is hidden within as though, through the erosion of time, the fossil of its past, begins to be revealed. The design has a rugged sophistication only visible in certain lights and at various angles which reveal that the commode is cut throughout the block… The design was achieved through the combination of a computer-controlled routing machine, hand-carving techniques which see history, traditional craft, and contemporary design merge.

Gareth’s practice seeks a reconsideration of contemporary furniture design, questioning our perceptions of history and the contemporary, the material and immaterial. The work is positioned at an intersecting point between art, design and craft, evading any simple categorisation into a specific discipline. This innovative approach provides a critical framework for his ideas as the designs develop into new and diverse territory.

Neal graduated from Buckinghamshire University in 1996 with a BA Honours in Furniture Design and Craftsmanship. His work has received critical acclaim and has featured in numerous publications and exhibitions, both in the UK and internationally. Neal’s work is in the prestigious public collections of the Crafts Council, UK, and Manchester Metropolitan, UK. The artist’s selected exhibitions include, ‘Against the Grain’ at The Museum of Art and Design, New York; ‘Telling Tales’ & ‘Power of Making’ at Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and ‘The State of Things’ at The Design Museum, Holon, Israel. Neal’s work has also been exhibited in Design Miami, Basel; Pavilion of Art and Design, Paris; COLLECT at the Saatchi Gallery, London; S.O.F.A. Chicago, USA; and the Mint Museum, North Carolina, USA.