Independents Biennial: Six Rooms Gallery, Birkenhead (until 27.11.10).
featuring a rare showing of paintings by Stephen Guyon Bird. Review © Gayna Rose Madder, November 2010.
Set in a large Georgian House near one corner of the beautiful architecture of Birkenhead’s Hamilton Square is an unusual venue. The Six Rooms Gallery, part of the Independents Biennial, has already shown 2 exhibitions by leading Wirral Artists and their guests. The third, showing now, runs until 27th November 2010.
The exhibition features many local artists and includes colourful and imaginative installations by Julie Dodd which are based on repetition and inspired by patterns and shapes found in nature. Julie has said that her work mimics life, growth and regeneration, and is influenced by concerns about human impact on the natural environment.
The three-dimensional aspect of this show also features ceramic works by Sarah Jerath which appear as though they are carved from stone, giving the work a contemporary edge which also hints at a cool and distant nod to something quite ancient and timeless.
Bright colours are another feature of the work in this exhibition. Helen Chatterton shows cushions as well as handmade scarves and stoles in luxurious fabrics: velvets, rayons and silks in rich, decidedly decadent tones.
And one of the top floor rooms in the house is shaken into the 21st century by the almost psychedelic, heady and translucent paintings of Christine O’Reilly Wilson; the sheer scale of some is daunting to view.
Stephen G. Bird shows humorous works which are both illustrative and classical in style. These narrative paintings, which demonstrate an incisive eye for detail, have been developed over the last 25 years
The paintings take a wry look at themes internecine to the life of an artist, including themes, subjects and methods, and then places them out of context.. Among the highlights are ‘Bath Painter’, featuring a scene familiar to artists who work directly from life; and ‘Vespa’ which features a mermaid, originally from an ancient church in Cornwall, on a Lambretta scooter in a South London street. ‘Bath Time’ and ‘Mermaid Tavern’ illustrate further aspects of the cyclical nature of the artists’ work, and his studies of the work of Renaissance masters.
Stephen is only just beginning to exhibit his substantial body of works again after a break of 25 years.
The exhibition also features the work of seven other artists with Wirral connections.
Exhibition runs until Saturday 27th November 2010.
The Six Rooms Gallery is a temporary exhibition space for the duration of the Independents Biennial Festival.
26 Argyle Street, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 6AE Email: email@example.com
Independents Biennial Festival website: www.independentsbiennial.org