Grants & residencies: Stephen Bird - Art Collector

Issue 63, January - March 2013

This profile appeared in the Grants & residencies feature, part of the annual special issue 50 Things Collectors Need to Know 2013.

Stephen Bird, Statement, 2010. Clay, pigment & glaze, 40 x 33cm. Courtesy: the artist and Gould Galleries, Melbourne

Grant: $20,000 New Work grant, Australia Council

Stephen Bird’s creative versatility belies the familiarity of his ceramic medium. His work is a hybrid of historical convention, such as traditional toby jugs and commemoration memorabilia, mixed with experimental cross-disciplinary transformations. Re-interpretation of traditional ceramics and his sabotage of staid concepts of the ornamental or mass produced are his main focuses.

Bird received a 2012 new work grant of $20,000 from the Australia Council. This upholds the institution’s determination to support craft artists. Bird will use his grant “to create a new body of work to show at The Scottish Gallery during the Edinburgh International Festival in 2013. I will create an installation of experimental film, ceramics and paintings which explore family histories of migration and attempts to make some kind of frozen poetic rationale out of the myriad of domestic myths.”

He adds: “In 2014 I am having a survey show at Wollongong Regional Gallery. I am excited about this show as, in Australia, I am known for my ceramics whereas back in the United Kingdom my ceramics are seen within the context of my repertoire of combining sculpture and painting.”

Prue Gibson

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