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New exhibition at Benmore Botanic Garden, Scotland

30 April 2010
benmoreA new exhibition including the previously unseen seminal first work of one of Scotland’s most enigmatic and eclectic artists, conservationists and philosophers has opened at Benmore Botanic Garden, Dunoon, Scotland.  'With the Grain – The Return Of Tim Stead' marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Scottish Borders-based Stead and includes the first public viewing of a distinctive three legged stool indicative of the early style of tactile work which would win him international acclaim.

Like its 2005 forerunner 'With the Grain - The Life and Legacy Of Tim Stead', the exhibition is a collaboration between Benmore’s parent organisation, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, and Stead’s widow, Maggy, who continues to run the family’s well-established workshop near Lauder.

Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to interact with the majority of the items on display, allowing them to discover for themselves how Stead’s work blurred the lines between furniture design and sculpture, business and conservation, poetry and teaching.

wood chair wooden books“It is delightful to see Tim’s work at Benmore after a break of five years and I hope visitors will enjoy this new selection of pieces in a setting that is both beautiful and so important to conservation,” commented Maggy Stead. “I do hope people of all ages will enjoy seating themselves in the different styles of chairs, sitting at the tables and trying their hands at the enigmatic Layers pieces on display."

Her sentiments were echoed by curator Peter Baxter who added: “The exhibition five years ago was so well received by our visitors that it made absolute sense to grasp the opportunity to continue the partnership with Maggy 10 years after Tim’s death. This exhibition is a remarkable tribute to a man whose philosophy and passion for the natural world was so integral to our strategies as a botanic garden. It is also one which can be enjoyed at so many different levels and cannot fail to capture the imagination of everyone who interacts with it”.

'With the Grain – The Return Of Tim Stead' runs at Benmore Botanic Garden until Sunday, July 25th.  A book of the same name has been edited by Giles Sutherland, a freelance writer and art critic and is forwarded by HRH The Prince of Wales.
Benmore Botanic Garden, Dunoon, is part of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, along with Logan Botanic Garden, Wigtownshire and Dawyck Botanic Garden, Peeblesshire. Its mission is exploring and explaining the world of plants for a better future. Primarily, the organisation is a scientific research institution with a world-wide reputation for its expertise in the study of plants and their diversity. It operates field stations throughout the world and has specialists working in more than 40 countries.

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