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Ex-farmer’s true wood passion now Unfolding
Picture: David Bailey Neil Turner

A former wheat and sheep farmer who left the land three years ago has turned a passion for working with wood into a 16-piece exhibition which he hopes will challenge the way people think about wood and furniture.

Neil Turner has been chosen to present his work as part of Bunbury Regional Art Galleries’ South West Showcase, an annual exhibition featuring the work of an outstanding South West artist.

Unfolding is Mr Turner’s first solo exhibition and features turned and carved items alongside sculptural pieces and art furniture.

It is all functional and all made of WA timbers such as tuart and jarrah.

Having only graduated from the Australian School of Wood at Dwellingup with a Diploma of Fine Furniture last year, Mr Turner said he thought the galleries were taking a risk by choosing him.

‘‘This is my first effort at furniture, I have only just come out of the school of wood so I would like to thank the galleries for taking a chance,’’ he said.

One of the pieces featured is called Bound Spirit, which represents the journey Mr Turner has taken from farmer to artist.

‘‘It is about what I used to do and what I do now — the piece of steel represents where I was and how I felt constrained by farming,’’ he said.

Mr Turner said he hoped people would be challenged by his work and would think twice about how furniture should look.

Unfolding runs from tomorrow to December 9 at Bunbury Regional Art Galleries, with a special opening function from 7pm on Friday night.

All pieces are for sale.

Bunbury Regional Art Galleries is open from 10am-4pm every day and entry is free.