Stephen G Bird is a visual storyteller; he tells stories through the pictures he makes. He draws from life and from landscape, but many of his works are narrative in nature. In his paintings a mermaid rides her Lambretta through the docklands; Salome dances in a downtown bar; archangels walk the city streets and Jonah meets Leviathan in the Thames. In many of his works there are references to the early saints and parables, Classical myths and legends – many set in pre-boom London including Deptford pubs, rooms in Lambeth, red pillar boxes, Routemaster buses, bicycles and scooters. Other paintings are set in the rugged coastline of north Devon, or a Scottish island – places Stephen returns to every year. They are not illustrations as such, though some of the pictures relate more clearly than others to a familiar narrative. Others invite viewers to invent their own story in response to the image.
Stephen G Bird studied fine art at Chelsea College of Art and then Goldsmiths in London from the mid-1970s to the early 80s. When Stephen lived in London he returned again and again to the British Museum, drawing Classical and Oriental sculptures. He also spent many hours in the Drawing and Print Room making close studies of Renaissance master prints and drawings. He continues to draw every day and these daily studies into the language of drawing have formed the bedrock of his narrative pictures. Website.