"I draw and write about human predicaments. I try to be hopeful. My art stands squarely on the shoulders of the marginalized and poor. I hope it inspires people to go on and create their own art & find their own voice. I do not believe in art as a removed or lofty exercise and often work listening to bands such as CRASS, Psychic TV, Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire and X Ray Spex which influence my work." Chris Bird December 2016
Chris's work has been published in The Big Issue, previous
Write-London anthologies & various punk zines.
His art work has been exhibited at several galleries around London, the UK & overseas.
The sequence of numbers and letters provided a shifting reading of every event taking place in the huge city. From the rattling, silver grey tube trains to the chiming of church bells and the stream of radio songs the sequence defined everything without exception. From the silent suburbs came long grey trains snaking into smoky stations. The trains were symbolized by particular codes and signifiers. Trees moving in faint sunlight and shadow were also accounted for by numbers and letters. The city stretched across seven congested hills. Monuments, statues, towers and domes tipped by crystal light formed the centre of the city. This index of alleys and streets were at the heart of the equation. Walking beside the offices and shops young lovers and students smoked and laughed.
Even their gestures and smiles were catalogued by the sequence. The flight of crows and wrens as well as moves made in chess games were also listed. Clouds drifted above the city bridges.
In a room above the streets a girl sat smoking. Around her untidy room cigarette butts lined the floorboards. The girl watched the sequence with closed eyes. She let the sequence move silently along her arms until it reached her wrists. Her lips and strands of dark hair were infested with the sequence. Numbers collided with words and expressions across her black dress and emerald bracelets. The sequence was like a music of fragmented details that the girl moved in and out of. The history of the city also became caught up in the series of images and codes. The girl was apart from the city. She did not move amongst the crowded streets and squares. She watched and waited while all the time the sequence swept onto the windows and ceiling of the room. The sequence was endless. In the back streets shadows and gestures merged with the sound of traffic. As the radio detailed political scandals and criminal events the sequence simply brushed all information aside. Shadows falling from clouds onto the street pavement blurred for a moment. From old metallic radios came a voice that suddenly began to describe the remote essence of the sequence. People stopped work and glanced at each other. There was a gradual, obscure silence moving over the city in which birds circled in the sky. Street cats and foxes looked up at the new sky of movement and release. Commuters and graffiti artists, soldiers and sex workers, painters and waiters, typists and council officials, beggars and burglars, heroin addicts and shop assistants all looked up at the new sky of codes and numbers.
In time the girl herself dissolved into the relentless pattern of codes and numbers. In the empty room spreading along the floorboards random numbers and words filled up cracks and holes. The city was hesitant for a moment. Offices, factories, schools, army barracks, hospitals, hotels, prisons and shopping centres all found expression as numbers and codes. Swirling at the centre of the sequence stood a dense, impenetrable shadow. This shadow defined the absence of hope in the city. The girl reappeared in the corner of a faraway square moving ghost like toward an iron statue. In the city twilight the girl and the statue merged and became one. Now the girl was beyond pain and hurt. She no longer existed in the street of shadows and light and her end was certain
The Witness - Chris Bird
You hear my voice , you hear that sound, relentless and remote.
Cruel asides, voices formed of shadows, declared assertions that I hear and revolve around.
Under the everyday streets come sounds and visions that glimmer in the moonlight.
Words speak for themselves at the edge of the page breaking into silver, into grey shimmering.
Trains rattle into stations as voices call out in streams.
When the night is cloudy the city cannot breathe and when the night is lonely.
The outline of spoken whispers dissolve in suicide notes.
At the centre of the hour there is nothing.
Dark struggling in swaths of sound I call out.
The voices break like waves in between the buildings and streets.
A shadow left the underside of a leaf and fell in my palm.
Codes and signals get caught up in the texture of the day.
Our names are linked like ghost children to countless series of numbers, headlines in newspapers, street names, references on obscure maps, impossible promises and nooses.
Stretched out the rope is inviting and reminds me of the dawn.
Placed around my neck the rope reassures and defines me.
When the midnight is cloudy we descend, we fall.