Artist bio & CV

Adam works to unpick the discordant images, ideas and perceptions of the rural from the sub-urban/urban perspective in relation to the realities of modern British agriculture. Growing up between suburbia and a dairy farm, Adam positions himself in conversations that intersect the boundaries of rural and urban. It is this juxtaposition of worlds that fascinates Adam to open up dialogues to understand the relationships of people, places, processes and animals that are often intentionally masked from the urban. The core of his practice is rooted in the exploration of reclaimed materials, often sourced from dairy farms. Adam’s sculptural installations have made use of faecal strewn steel, bale twine and cattle mattresses carefully assorted with consumable products such as cattle marking paints. In the careful curation of these materials and objects, the work begins to explore the exchanges that take place in the rural through the performed language sets of stock judging. The Stock judging lexicons have become of significant interest to Adam in developing recent work sculptural installations.

In addition to the core of his practice, Adam regularly undertakes collaborative enquires to contextualise and reflect on his practice. This has taken form in experimental conference papers, community based multi-sensory projects, public engagement/outreach work and artists residencies. Adam has worked with a number of key stake holders to undertake collaborative work including The British Council, independent arts centres, institutions and museums such as the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) and with academic experts in their field including Ciara Healy and a newly developed partnership with Dr Orla Shortall.

Group Shows

  • PLACEing Objects, 2020, spudWORKS, Sway, Hampshire
  • The Sand Box – Coding with Clay collaboration with Jon Lockhart (April – June 2018), Museum of English Rural Life, Reading
  • Alumni Day, University of Reading
  • Cross Multi Inter Trans: Biennial Conference of ASLE-UKI with Land2 (September 2017), Conference and arts exhibition – film exhibited ‘Hold. Test. Empty. Remove. Repeat.’ collaboration with Ciara Healy, Sheffield Hallam University.
  • ELIA Online 2017 Festival, ELIA Creatives
  • System Sliced (August-September 2017), Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot
  • SPOIL HEAP (July-September 2017), Wiltshire Museum, Devizes
  • SPOIL HEAP – Film screening (July & Sep 2017) Wiltshire Museum, Devizes
  • SEVEN HOUR RENDER (June 2017), Thames Tower, Reading
  • Condensed Milk (June 2017), Degree Show, University of Reading
  • MFA Interim (March 2017), University of Reading
  • CLUB COLLECTIVUM (February 2017), Copeland Gallery, London
  • Being In Place (November 2016), WASPS Studio, Dundee, Scotland
  • No Connection (November 2016), University of Reading
  • Times. Common. Future. (October 2016), Wuhan New World Times Art Centre, Wuhan, China
  • Food in the Frame (Sep 2016), Institute of Education, University of Reading
  • Dusk Degree Show (June 2016), University of Reading
  • MFA Interim Show (March 2016), University of Reading
  • Destination Nature (October 2015), University of Reading
  • Interim and Degree Show (Mar/May 2015), University of Reading
  • 24hrs Under The Arch (Jan 2014 & 2015), Beaconsfield, London
  • Mid term undergrad shows: ceramics, casting and fabrication (Nov 2013), University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA

Collaborations / Conferences / Special Projects

  • Creative Partnership with Dr Orla Shortall, British Academy Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, James Hutton Institute Aberdeen (2019 – present)
  • The Passage of Transferance: Economies of Agri-language paper presented at Symposium PLACEing Objects: Day of Dialogue & Dialectics, SPUDWorks, Sway (Feb 2020)
  • VR Quad Bike – Project commissioned by PurpleStars for The MERL (Jan 2018 – September 2019)
  • NSEAD Conference, collaborative workshop with Jon Lockhart, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (June 2018)
  • Reading Assembly, ArtLab @ Tate Exchange, Tate Modern (Jan 2018 and Feb 2019). Led and assisted visiting schools workshops
  • ArtLab @ Marden Henge UoR Field School (July 2017)
  • ArtLab @ Wiltshire Museum (July 2017) primary schools workshop, Devizes
  • Unnaturally Occurring Compliance (June 2017), paper: Agri-Language: Dairy, presented at Thames Tower, University of Reading PhD Symposium.
  • ArtLab @ Big Band Big Lunch (June 2017) Exhibition event, University of Reading
  • Digital Takeover: A MERL Late for Museums at Night (May 2017), paper: In the Flesh: 3D Scanning and Printing, presented at Museum of English Rural Life in collaboration with Dominique Green.
  • Being In Place: The Highs and Lows of Sited Practice (November 2016), paper: Already the World: A Post-Humanist Dialogue, presented at University of Dundee in collaboration with Ciara Healy.
  • UoRtWuhan (May – October 2016) University of Reading and University of Wuhan, China (British Council Funded)
  • AlterRurality3: Field Work Letterfrack (June 2016), paper: Already the World: A Post-Humanist Dialogue, presented at GMIT Letterfrack, Ireland in collaboration with Ciara Healy.


  • BOVINE THE DAIRY LEXICON, 2017, Adam Stead


  • The Friends of the University of Reading – Funding award July 2016
  • Carter Memorial Degree Show Prize – Awarded June 2015, University of Reading


  • UoR Field School Artist in Residence (July 2016) Marden Henge, Wiltshire


  • MFA, University of Reading, 2017, Incl. exchange to Wuhan University, Hubei, China
  • BA Fine Art, University of Reading, 2015, Incl. term abroad at University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA