Reason For Being: Gareth Neal

Gareth Neal

As a Londoner, the silence and stillness of the capital has been the best part of lockdown for me: the lack of aeroplanes, white vans thrashing across town, night time revellers joyously making their way home, the shouting and yelling of those that have overdone it, and the absence of carnage left from their takeaways and carefree approach to life.

At first we celebrated this silent space as we battened down the hatches to stop the dreaded COVID getting through our door. I even found time to design and make a dining table for home, to one day again entertain family and friends. As the weeks evaporated we saw nature through a new lens: we watched tadpoles grow legs and spring reach its full stride.

It was as if a nation had finally discovered mindfulness. I reflected on the sounds of craftsmanship and how my design ethos had always tried to capture a little of this magic; to take you to an imaginary place. People would email me saying how wonderful it must be to have time to be creative. However, time for my work had evaporated along with my studio manager being furloughed; opportunities and commissions being cancelled; and exhibitions postponed - the workshop had fallen silent.

Deep down we all know the hard bit is still to come as we all try to rise from the ashes. So let’s get on our doorsteps and start to scream for what’s important in, and for, life. I can live without silence, it’s the noise of life that I love.

Gareth Neal, Furniture Designer
East London, 14 June 2020
Reason for Being

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