Kim Adams

About the Artist

MelbourneKim Adams was born in Edmonton, Alberta (seen here), but during his childhood his family moved often.  Writer Sarah Milroy says, “Adams spent his childhood as a rambler, ricocheting with his family from Edmonton to Melbourne and back again, finally settling in Victoria.  He attended 12 schools in 12 years, as his father followed work opportunities.” (Milroy, 2001)  With a school record like Adams’, it’s no wonder he was tempted to skip classes and became interested in street life and street culture.  At an early age he began cutting things up and reinventing objects, and sometimes these objects became architectural structures or ‘vehicles’ in which the artist could actually live.

Lizard Adams’ early experiences in Australia had a significant impact on his life, helping him to realize early on that the world is a big place with lots of opportunities.  When his family initially moved to Australia, they lived in a tin shack before building a better house, and ideas of home and metal construction figure prominently in Adams’ work today.  As a young child he was given model kits which he assembled himself; this freedom to put parts together using his own creativity has been important to his artistic process.  Nearly everything he creates has wheels and looks like it could possibly be a model kit gone awry.  Another Australian influence for Adams was the two-headed lizard found in that climate (seen here).  The two-headed theme, or going off in two directions at once, is a device he often uses, and is apparent in the Dual Curbing Machine (presented here on the ARTSask website) where the two ends of the structure are similar, with a body in between.

Adams studied with Mowry Baden at the University of Victoria and in 1979 received a Bachelor of Fine Arts.  He has exhibited extensively and received international recognition for his whimsical machines and his miniature industrial sculptural landscapes.  In these works, Adams explores issues related to  consumerismFind out about consumerism at Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumerism  and society, travel and leisure, home and architecture, usefulness and uselessness, industrialization and technology, mobility and escapism, and art and function.

“The rampant cornucopia of consumer culture is his muse,” Milroy says, “Canadian Tire is his Arcadia, and out of it all he has produced a  body of workA collection of artwork by a particular artist, either over a lifetime, or as related to one subject, etc.  that has made him, indisputably, one of Canada’s most significant sculptors.” (Milroy, 2001)

Adams now lives and works in Grand Valley, Ontario.


Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning