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Neil Conley – talented and thoughtful. A new designer to look out for.

Neil Conley Snow Globes

We will be bringing you  a series of short blogs on the talent we met at London’s New Designers show – basically an amalgamation of several Graduate shows from across England. But before we even organise ourselves to pick out the best of what we saw we want to show you the work of the talented and thoughtful Neil Conley, a designer from Manchester,who is currently Designer in Residence at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle upon Tyne. He has renewed our faith in young designers to engage with current affairs and global politics.

These are Neil’s Snow Globes. Each one contains a hand carved miniature of a species directly affected by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.  A carved brass Brown Pelican, Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle and  Bottle Nose Dolphin are mounted on a spun copper plinth on a pedestal of marble effect Corian. Conley suggests that they could be a belated Christmas present for the BP bosses, a reminder that our planets resources are for life… and not just for Christmas.

Neil Conley - oil

Oil is also the theme of Conley’s collection of oil drum vases. Each has a volume relative to its oil consumption. That’s USA, China, UK, Iraq and Democrat Republic of Congo. And, yes, population size has an impact but the DRoC uses .05% of the oil of the USA and has a population of around 21% the size. The brilliance of Neil Conley’s work is that it creates conversations.

You can see more of Neil Conley‘s work on his web site. Or, alternatively,  just keep your eyes open. We would be surprised and disappointed,  if we are not all seeing a lot more of his work very soon.


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