Urban Picnic pop-up in East London

Urban Picnic pop-up in East London

The Vauxhall Collective – known for supporting new creative talent in the UK – has invited furniture designer Gareth Neal to create a new artwork based on the collective’s theme this year, The Great British Weekend.

The Urban Picnic project – appearing in neglected areas of London’s East End over the August Bank Holiday weekend – was inspired by Neal’s childhood. He wanted to bring the spirit of summer in the country to the heart of the city for Londoners to enjoy.

“For Gareth, the Great British Weekend evokes memories of picnicking with family and friends, in the sun, enjoying long hazy days and playing games that, as a child growing up in the UK one is born knowing.” Cathy Stafford, Project Manger at Vauxhall Collective, told prokokos.com.

Neal has created a set of objects that, to him, are representative of that memory of picnicking. His designs, although completely unique and painstakingly crafted with excellent precision, are evocative of those summers spent in parks, where fallen logs became impromptu seating areas. Neal has reinterpreted humble items, including a fallen log bench, bat and ball set, and a picnic table, and created stylised contemporary design objects.

“Mass-produced hula-hoops in candy-coloured striped plastic are another staple at an outdoor party,” says Stafford, “Gareth has decided to create a set in steam-bent greenwood using the traditional craft skills that are practiced by craftspeople working in the British countryside.”

“East London has a long history of furniture manufacture so it made sense to honour the area by creating contemporary furniture that references and utilises time-honoured processes and situate it in the very place that inspired it.”

Londoners will be encouraged to interact with objects at this event – joining in with egg and spoon races and games of ping pong – and to use the picnic as a place to met people and talk about design, London, and the Great British Weekend.

The Urban Picnic runs on 28th August at a secret location, and on 29th August at the Truman Brewery, for more information visit www.vauxhallcollective.co.uk

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