Born in Stoke On Trent, England in 1964, in Australia since 1999.
Bird trained at The Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, Scotland, where he majored in painting. Making his home and a significant international reputation from Sydney, he remains aloof from any artist pigeon-hole. He works with both paint and clay and has also undertaken a number of site-specific sculpture commissions. Bird’s work is exhibited both nationally and internationally including The 9th Gyeonggi Biennale, South Korea, 2017, More Love Hours, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2015, Horizon – Landscapes, Ceramics and Print, The National Museum of Norway, Oslo, 2013 and Peripheral Visions: Contemporary Art from Australia, Garis+Hahn, New York, 2013. His works are held in the many public collections including the National Museum of Scotland, The National Gallery of Australia, the National Museums of Northern Ireland and The Art Gallery of South Australia.
Stephen has been awarded many prizes and was the winner of The Gold Coast International Ceramic Award, 2016 and the Deacon University Contemporary Small Sculpture Award, 2011. He has received professional development award from both the Australia Council for the Arts and the Scottish Art Council. He lectures at the National Art School, Sydney
His interests include comic books, English figure and slipware traditions as well as paintings and folk artefacts culled from his extensive travels through Europe, India, Asia and Australia. 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.
"In many respects my work exemplifies the confusion of categories that now pervades the creative industries: in production, process and materiality they belong to the domain of craft, while the subversive content keeps this category at arm’s length. I use relationships of surface, form, colour, line and mark making, (the mainstays of the painter’s vocabulary) to create narratives which explore transgressive themes such as cruelty, war, natural disasters, unnatural affections and violent deaths. Using visual metaphors, scale, random inclusions and simultaneous juxtapositions, I reinterpret old myths and appropriate iconography from established English pottery traditions; a stiff pastoral scene from Spode, a decorative Royal Doulton tile, or the cabbage leaf from a Wedgewood Whieldon teapot. 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."