Icon News: Urban Picnic by Gareth Neal

It’s a bit like a Battenberg cake, in the sense that you get lots of different pieces of timber of varying colours and shapes, glue them all together and then slice them horizontally,” says British designer Gareth Neal, describing the internal marquetry on his bench for the Urban Picnic range – created for the Vauxhall Collective’s Great British Weekend events.

The “stringing lines” are traditionally used in English antique furniture, but on the outside in bands along the edges. “I’ve reversed this so that all the intrigue and excitement is within the log itself,” says Neal.

The range, which also includes ping pong bats, wooden eggs and spoons, a picnic table and bench and cricket bats all covered in the same patterning, will be on show in two east London locations over August bank holiday weekend, at the Truman Brewery and in Hackney Wick, overlooking the Olympic site.

If it rains, we’ve printed a load of umbrellas with the stringing line patterns on them,” says Neal. “An urban picnic is such a strange concept, trying to convert these quite down-and-out spaces into something that looks really special and magical. Hopefully the objects will do that.”

The Vauxhall Collective urban picnics in London are happening on 28 and 29 August in east London. For more information go to: www.vauxhallcollective.co.uk

This article was published by Icon magazine in August 2010. To view it in context visit http://www.tinyurls.co.uk/F13255 or www.iconeye.com