Alan Birch is an artist working out of Prospect Studios in Waterfoot, Lancashire. He works predominantly in print, but has worked with a variety of other media including drawing, metal and digital images. His work is imbued with his own unique sense of humour, offering a personal view on the contemporary world. Birch is also a committed educator, running regular print workshops in his studio, in schools and galleries.
He offers a programme of workshops for all year groups from primary to secondary and has also worked with AS and A Level students. He has also ran in-service training days for teachers in Manchester, Salford and Liverpool.
The workshops using specialist water-based printing inks and a portable printing press provide participants with the opportunity to generate drawings, explore the printmaking process, create their own plates and print their final piece. The sessions can be tailored to suit particular themes and can explore dry point printing, relief, collograph and mono printing. Sessions can also be linked to his personal work or can be used to explore school based themes as part of coursework.
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Recent projects since Easter, have included a project with Bishop Billsborrow School in Moss Side, in conjunction with Creative Partnerships which involved working with all staff and pupils at the school, to create four volumes of prints to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the school prior to their move to a new site in Moss Side. Pupils illustrated both their and past memories of the school and the books included their works and poetry. Prints were also produced in conjunction with the Start 09 exhibition of pupils work at Mid Pennine in Burnley. Alan Birch worked with around 600 children in 7 schools in the Burnley region, working on relief and intaglio prints.
“ Students ( and Staff! ) were totally engaged, enthralled even. Gradually, beautiful pictures emerged, as if by magic, each one unique and special. What a sense of achievement they all experienced and shared! There was a real “community” feel to the workshops. Alan was great with all the students, seeming to tune into their individual needs while still offering them a creative and technical challenge, students responded to him with trust and a willingness to work just outside their comfort zone.” Margaret Meredith, art teacher Chatsworth School, Salford.
For the past fifteen years, Alan Birch has introduced students and pupils alike to the creative potential of print. He has worked in schools around the North West of England and regularly runs workshops in a variety of print media at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Touchstones, Blackpool Art Gallery and Mid Pennine, Burnley.
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