Karl Bird

Posted on

During the residency I plan to further investigate my painting practice. I am currently interested in perceived realities and invisible forces. I want to contemplate forces and energies that are constantly at work, but yet are not registered through human senses. I usually approach a piece in a spontaneous, impulsive manner, trying to form the artwork as quickly as possible, for the fear of too much procrastination and hesitation. I would like to focus this body of work on preparation and planning. I want to design and make all of my own materials, from the type of colour, paint, ink, medium that i use, to the method of application such as homemade brushes, pens, rollers, stamps. I want to try to translate the nature of the invisible forces and energies that are at work to a visual language. Vibrations, frequencies, instinct, friction, and gravity will be represented through painting. I hope to make new discoveries of various characteristics and possibilities that paint can offer.


I create abstract works which are inspired by elements, nature, landscapes and my environment. I work by building up contrasting layers of colour, techniques, and media, moving with impulse and instinct to allow for happy accidents and expressionism. I then set about redefining areas of interest and painting over or erasing other areas to try to reach a harmony or balance. I like to juxtapose rigid structures and natural forms and blur the lines between where one object meets another which creates pathways to lead the viewer’s eye through the piece. My paintings are intentionally ambiguous, I often imply the notion of something familiar, although it is very important to me that nothing becomes too defined.

I consider each work to be a journey of sorts. To see a work in progress is almost to look out of the window of a moving vehicle. The final destination is not a place, but a painting. I wish for the viewer to relive part of this journey though deciphering the processes used to reach the final effect, and also utilizing the imagery as stimulus to imagine beyond our own lucid reality.

Cloud Composition

I graduated from Birmingham School of Art in 2009, and then in 2011 I decided to make the move to Bergen, Norway. I think it has been this transition of environment which has greatly influenced my practice. I have further explored the idea of my work being a product of my environment by undertaking a residency in Auroville, India. This challenged me in ways I did not anticipate but I have chosen to embrace the limitations of an environment, and enjoy the framework that restrictions can create. The past three years I have also been working as a DJ in an electronic music collective, where we throw parties and festivals across Norway.

Away With Me