The Tim Stead Trust

The Tim Stead Trust has sought to save the home, ‘The Steading’ in The Scottish Borders, of the eminent sculptor and artist Tim Stead (1952– 2000). Established in 2015, it's aim is to raise enough funding to purchase The Steading, and the Tim Stead Archive, and then to safeguard its future for the nation as an influential and internationally significant example of Scottish craftsmanship and environmental philosophy, all for the benefit of local, national and international communities.

Tim Stead, MBE, was a sculptor, wood artist, furniture designer and maker, photographer, poet, environmentalist, and out-of-the-box thinker. Tragically, he died in 2000 aged only 48. In his all-too-short life, he made furniture for galleries, castles, cathedrals and even for Pope John Paul II for his visit to the UK, yet it was the intuitive, untutored response of ordinary people that most excited Tim. People delighted in his work’s warm honesty and they wanted to live with it. Amongst his most well-loved public works are the interior of Café Gandolfi in Glasgow, the Millennium Clock in Edinburgh and the Oil Industry Memorial Chapel in Aberdeen. Born in Helsby, Cheshire, the youngest of four brothers, Stead was a natural anarchist and a sociable loner. Though rebellious at boarding school, The Leys in Cambridge, he achieved first-class honours in fine art at Trent Polytechnic through a clarity of vision and a passionate dedication to unfashionably palpable, narrative work. There Stead discovered wood with the unstinting support of technician Frank Lindlay. In 1975, Stead did postgraduate work at the School of Art in Glasgow, where he met his life partner, Maggy Lenert, a student from Luxembourg, the day before she was about to leave Scotland.

The Trust wants to use the unique asset of The Steading and its collections as the hub for a Centre for Wood Culture that will build on Tim’s vision and offer the real potential for a sustainable future to support the buildings, the collection, and community-facing activities in the longer-term. The aims of the Tim Stead Trust are to make The Steading and its contents, including the archive works of Tim Stead, accessible to the public and researchers. To provide educational activities that will interpret Tim Stead’s furniture, sculpture, philosophy and poetry. To provide an environment that will encourage wood working skills and enable other artists to flourish. And, to organize workshops that encourage environmental awareness and the artistic use of wood in all its guises. The Trust has generously lent us the King Chair to exhibit as part of our In the Grain exhibition. To find out more about The Tim Stead Trust please join our online events programme this April.

The Tim Stead Trust is part of our current group exhibition, In the Grain, which runs until 24th April at The Scottish Gallery.


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