Passion for wood shines through in new retrospective of Tim Stead

Tim Stead
Tim Stead
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TIM Stead may have passed away more than a decade ago, but the work he produced from his Blainslie workshop continues to inspire and enthral to this day.

And it is the skill of this unique Borders wood craftsman and sculptor, who died in 2000, which is the subject of the first exhibition at the recently-refurbished Gunsgreen House in Eyemouth.

Chess piece, Tim Stead exhibition.

Chess piece, Tim Stead exhibition.

Running until July 2, With the Grain – A Celebration of the Life & Work of Tim Stead, is a unique re-presentation of the retrospective 2005 festival exhibition of Tim’s work at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh (RBGE).

Tim had forged a close relationship with the RBGE during the years preceding his untimely passing.

Alan Bennell, head of interpretation at RBGE, knew the sculptor well and worked with both him and his widow, Maggy, on exhibitions over a number of years. Together with Maggy, he is a co-curator of “With the Grain” and says Gunsgreen has provided a fitting and poignant setting for such an important retrospective of the craftsman’s work, as the house was the destination of Tim and his wife’s last day out before he passed away.

“Gunsgreen House is a wonderful setting for this exhibition of work by the uniquely dynamic Tim Stead,” he commented ahead of the exhibition opening.

Derek Janes (left) examines part of Excavations,, while Alan Bennell admires Mask, sitting at the Burr Elm Dining Table in John Nibet's Blue parlour

Derek Janes (left) examines part of Excavations,, while Alan Bennell admires Mask, sitting at the Burr Elm Dining Table in John Nibet's Blue parlour

“Tim was a woodsman through and through. His work respects the wood, the timber and the trees from which it came, and manages to make that wood feel as if it is still a living thing.

“People are drawn to Tim’s work – his furniture is something you cannot help but want to touch and feel for yourself, and visitors to this exhibition are actually invited to touch some of the exhibits and Tim would have loved that.

“There are now people throughout Britain and the rest of Europe who own examples of Tim’s work, or items from his workshop, which is still producing. Gunsgreen is an iconic venue and I think this is a lovely collaboration.”

Gunsgreen House manager Derek Janes says the historic period rooms of the property lend themselves perfectly to the display of contemporary crafts.

Gunsgreen House, Eyemouth.

Gunsgreen House, Eyemouth.

“This is a good, strong, local exhibition. It’s something a bit different. We don’t have the wall space to hang lots of paintings, so Tim’s furniture is ideal and sits really well in various places throughout the house.”