‘I work with both paint and clay to make multidimensional imagery which reflects on the global, transcultural nature of myths and ceramic archetypes.’ Stephen Bird
Stephen Bird was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1964 and has lived in Australia since 1999 after graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee. Making his home and a significant international reputation from New South Wales, Australia, he works with both paint and clay. His work is exhibited both nationally and internationally and he has won both The Gold Coast International Ceramic Award and the Deacon University Small Sculpture Award. His use of words, collage and found objects as part of the final work, results in powerful multi-dimensional imagery which reflect on the global, transcultural nature of myths and ceramic archetypes.
I believe visual art is all about humanity’s relationship to objects and I wish above all to invoke the emotional connections which are felt towards things that have been made by hand with love. I create narratives which explore hybrid identities and transgressive themes such as taboos, cruelty, war, natural disasters, unnatural affections and violent deaths. My works are located in the extremes of the tragicomic tradition. I reinterpret old stories both remembered and imagined and appropriate iconography from established pottery traditions; a decorative Royal Doulton tile, or the cabbage leaf from a Wedgwood Whieldon teapot. I am particularly interested in Staffordshire ceramic figure groups from the 18th century which contain implicit meanings and I often try to decipher their hidden meanings and reimagine these in explicit ways. Stephen Bird
Public collections include:
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh; National Museums Northern Ireland; The McManus Art Gallery & Museum, Dundee