© 2014 Richard & Barbara Keal


 

 

Words

We watch our children play, like little gods, they take out their toys and create a universe as they want it to be. We too like to play, we gather materials, arrange and combine them, we too have ideas and ideals. The objects and garments that we make are intended to transport and transform their users, simple natural materials connect us with our origins as creatures of the earth.

For eleven years we have been making our work alongside each other. Although Richard works mainly in wood and Barbara has mostly made live work and has become a feltmaker, we have a shared vision and often show our work together.

Thoughts about making:

Richard: To me making is a conversation between material and myself. I am open to the use of any material that seems appropriate to the situation; the material is not my starting point. However I am in the process of a long relationship with wood and one that at this moment in time seems to be of endless possibility. Sometimes my starting point is simply to make a chair - a piece of furniture that is in itself profound; a resting place for thought.  

Barbara: On my way to the workshop I was gathering leaves and grasses, I suddenly felt giddy, overwhelmed by the strength of the force of life – these delicate grasses pushing up through heavy clotted earth – the endless death and rotting of living matter which only results in further abundance of life in the future, and me here filled with the electricity of every time I've felt most alive. Here, not at the centre but just a tiny part of natures endless churning. When I arrived at the workshop I got down to making a hat fast and furiously, handfuls of alpaca hair and sheep's wool, grasses, leaves; arranging, wetting, soaping, rubbing, rolling, wringing out, stretching, hanging out to dry -how can I make a work wild and vigorous enough for you to catch that feeling?

We are both happy to work to commission, enquiries welcome. If you would like to be informed of upcoming shows and exhibitions please let us know - e-mail barbara@kealwork.co.uk or richard@kealwork.co.uk.