Introducing Take 5 by Erin Bird and her five highlights from the upcoming

Prints & Multiples auction taking place on Tuesday 5 March


Surrey-based contemporary artist @erinbird captivates audiences with her innovative, poetic visual language. Drawing inspiration from memory and transformation, her signature style features abstract shapes, bold colours, and fluid lines reminiscent of flowing silk, garnering recognition from critics and peers. Bird's talent shines through prestigious shortlistings for the Lumen Prize and the Gilchrist-Fisher Award, while her work graces collections worldwide, including Related Companies, VyStar Credit Union, and private collectors.

She holds an MA from the Royal College of Art, London (Print, 2010). Her next exhibition 'Inner Rhythm' opens in London at APT Gallery, 25 April, 2024.


Lot 217: Harland Miller, Hell....Don't make me go down there.


This hand-finished giclée print on card in colours is a really striking example of Harland Miller’s humour and synthesis of fine art with ‘low’ culture. I’m particularly drawn to the way the graphic elements contrast with the textured paint. I think it creates an interesting tension between the pictorial and typographical. The combination of playful words and visuals in the artwork could be interpreted as humorous on the surface, but implies a hidden layer of social commentary or a touch of irony.

I’d also say that the mixture of graphic design and raw texture feels very contemporary, and I think it would be a really lively piece to hang in a modern family home.


Lot 259: Louise Bourgeois, Be Calm, 2005


I’m unfamiliar with Bourgeois using words in her art so this really caught my attention. Her formal inventiveness and her exploration of materiality really resonates with my own practice, and I admire the way she’s captured a feeling of vulnerability and femininity in the egg, while creating a sense of ominousness with the blood red text.

The soft pink form and surprising mix of materials feels both dreamlike and slightly unsettling at the same time. There's an inviting, almost intimate feeling about the way it looks, and the fact that it’s a tea towel creates a fascinating contrast between the domestic and the familiar, and the surreal.

The texture of the embroidery is so beautifully delicate and I think this would be a really thought-provoking work for a collector to acquire.


Lot 37: Jacques Villon, Vers la Chimère; Les Bucoliques

The colour palette is what first grabbed me looking at these lithographs; I love the interplay of all the cool, luminous tones and the impression of lightness he gives to rigid forms through loose stippling. The title 'Vers la Chimère' (meaning 'Towards the Chimera') adds a sense of mystery. The way the colours blend and shift as you look at the artwork makes it feel dreamlike and unreal. It feels somehow calming and invigorating at the same time.

Despite its subtlety, this abstract piece is full of complexity and keeps me looking closer. I would love to see these works in a room filled with light, as I think it would enhance the viewing experience and really hone in on the compositional elements of the different forms.


Lot 25: John Nash CBE RA, Sea Poppy


I’m always impressed by technical mastery in perspective, and this woodcut is exquisite! The darkened garden with those mysterious figures makes me create my own stories about the scene. I wonder where the beam of light emanating from the upper corner leads. Is it a bolt of lightning, or something supernatural? The roiling storm clouds also give the work an intriguing sense of movement.

The nighttime atmosphere is slightly eerie, but it's also oddly inviting. I think the overall mood is appropriate for a woodcut of a beautiful but poisonous plant. I often explore the idea of gardens and flowers in my own work, drawing inspiration from my garden in Surrey, as well as the idea of the prelapsarian Eden. I think the symbolic potential of the flower is endless and it’s a pleasure to see John Nash’s meditation on the subject.


Lot 61: Salvador Dalí, Meeting of the Two Groups of Lechers


The final lot I’ve selected is a mature work of Dalí’s. I was completely caught off-guard by this looser, gestural style, and find it a testament to his ability to render the ethereal into visual form. The brushstrokes feel so rhythmic and dynamic - every time I look at it I see another angelic figure emerge, or a sunburst in the clouds. I also think it’s a marvellous technical feat transforming a watercolour into a wood engraving!

Even in this different style, the piece still captures that dreamlike quality that I associate with Dalí. There’s a celestial beauty and a lightness to it, and the gilded frame really enhances its glowing quality. This is Dalí at the height of his technical and imaginative prowess.


To find more about Erin Bird's art work visit @erinbird or her website