Magical Constructions Art Exhibition, Larnaca
The exhibition is open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4pm, call 2425 4042 for more information and read Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts Michael Paraskos' review of Bird's work below.
To call Peter Bird a “naive artist” is to do him an injustice.
Technically that is what he is, as the term simply means an artist who has not been trained at art school. But as anyone who has seen Bird's work will agree, his art is anything but naive.
Bird makes sculptural constructions. These are relatively small in scale, and often hang on the wall. But what marks his work out is his skill in turning his basic materials, which include discarded CDs, found feathers, bottle tops, transistors from obsolete computers and other assorted junk, into objects of beauty.
The transformation is astonishing, to the point where people often refuse to believe his work is made from these things. But all art is about transformation, from the painter who transforms coloured mud wood and cloth into an image of another world, to someone like Bird, who can turn other people’s scrap into works of art. In fact it is not an exaggeration to describe Bird's sculptures as a lesson in what found object art should really be about.
The transformation is achieved partly by Bird deconstructing the original objects and then reassembling them in new ways. But he also paints them, creating intricate patterns with richly coloured enamel paints. The result might remind some people of the arts of India and east Asia, but there is also a northern European quality to Bird’s sculptures.
The filling in of space with patterns, which is often discouraged in formal art training, belongs to a northern gothic tradition that started in the illuminated manuscripts of mediaeval Europe. Looking at Bird’s sculptures it is even possible to see them as three dimensional versions of gothic illuminations, particularly in the rich colours and repeated patterns.
Over thirty of Bird’s sculptures and wall reliefs are on show at the Cornaro Institute, 23 Mehmet Ali Street, Larnaca, from 1 November until 25 November, open weekdays, 9.30am to 4pm.
For information on other Cornaro Institute events visit www.cornaroinstitute.org
To post comments and become a full member of your news community, click here.