Review of Survey show, by Inga Walton, Ceramic Review, May-June 2017, Issue 285
Toying with convention
Bastard Son of Royal Doulton is a touring exhibition of Stephen Bird’s evocative work. Inga Walton reviews the launch of the show in Australia before it heads to the UK.
Bringing together 84 works, including 54 ceramic pieces, items on paper, mixed media constructions,and an animated film spanning the period 1992-2014, the touring exhibition Bastard Son of Royal Doulton represents the wry, irreverent and sometimes pugnacious output of Stephen Bird. The title alludes to his reputation for subverting the tropes of traditional English ceramic ware, while maintaining the greatest respect for its artistry and the vital role it has played in the development of local industries. More broadly, it also acknowledges those famous potteries associated with Bird’s birthplace of Stoke-on-Trent, and the path by which he came to find
his artistic métier.