Stephen Bird at Melbourne art Fair 2012
Last Sunday was perfect weather for a stroll up to the Carlton Gardens, so we bundled up the Little Lumps and took them to the Melbourne Art Fair. Entering the building we were filled with enthusiasm, expectation and the mantra that hits like a lightning bolt as soon as you enter an event like this with kids. “Please don’t touch anything. Please don’t touch anything. Please don’t touch anything”.
We found the modelling room on the upper floor laden with coloured plasticine for adults and children alike and Chris and I tag teamed it from there. The ground floor was not quite as civilised as our plasticine village. But towards the end of our visit we found Stephen Bird represented by Gould Galleries. Stephen’s ceramic sculptures, in a mad flood of memories, bought back to me the years I spent as a painter in a team of people repairing porcelain antiques. Staffordshire cats and dogs, primates, trees and figures disproportioned and odd in scale and all chopped up and piled on one another. Beautifully painted with imperfect and kind of creepy faces they stand tall as new objects. It is refreshingly obvious where Stephen draws his inspiration. Originally from Stoke on Trent, a city in Staffordshire England he takes the fundamentals from a strong ceramic authority and uses them to tell a new story.
With Stephen Bird, our expectations of the morning were met and walking home we were pleased to have completed a year’s worth of gallery hopping all inside a couple of hours. AND with nothing to report broken or covered in little finger prints.