Visionary furniture exhibition at Harley

John Makepeace exhibition at the Harley Gallery.
John Makepeace exhibition at the Harley Gallery.

CELEBRATE the cycles of nature and learn about woodlands and traditional woodworking skills this winter.

John Makepeace – Enriching the Language of Furniture is on display now at The Harley Gallery and runs until 24th December,

It is the visionary craftsman’s first exhibition and so it is definitely worth a visit this month.

The exhibition follows Makepeace’s career through from the 1960s when he took inspiration from Dutch designers to recent furniture which considers the environmental issues around forestry.

Makepeace has made new furniture designs especially for this exhibition. Each made in limited editions from a single tree.

Ten elliptical low tables have been created out of one elm tree, while three benches have been made from the creamy white wood of a single sycamore.

Close inspection of the furniture shows Makepeace’s skill and his understanding of the wood.

Pieces are carefully shaped and the wood layered to make the very most of its natural properties.

There is a film playing alongside the exhibition and sample woods that you can touch give you a real feel for Makepeace’s work,

The Harley Gallery is also running workshops with local primary schools based on the John Makepeace exhibition’s exploration of wood and forestry.

These sessions teach the children about the life cycle of a tree with the opportunity to look round the nearby Welbeck Estate Wood Yard.

Activities range from planting their own Christmas Tree seedling to watching a logging machine at work and decorating their own wooden Christmas themed picture frame.

John Makepeace Furniture is based in Beaminster, Dorset.

At the base John teams up with craftsmen who have worked with him for over 30 years.

His design studio accesses nearby indigenous timbers so naturally seasoned, sustainable woods can be used to produce bespoke furniture.

He also undertakes commissions for private, commercial or public projects.

Makespeace’s studio aims to extend the boundaries of function, structure and expression beyond those normally associated with furniture.

Everyone is encouraged to come along this December to discover John Mackepeace’s exceptional furniture and the story of the wood he works with.

The Harley Gallery is dedicated to the display of contemporary visual art and craft and hosts five touring exhibitions each year.

The gallery was built in 1994 on the site of the 19th century gasworks for the Welbeck Estate and it has won numerous awards

It is situated on the A60 between Mansfield and Worksop.

It is free to enter and there is free parking on the site.

The gallery is open Monday to Saturday, 10am – 5pm and Sunday 10am – 4.30pm.