Laney Birkhead

Laney Birkhead

Laney is a painter printmaker, whose landscape work often depicts her fascination with land locked water, in the form of small ponds and lakes often tucked away in the corner of a field or in a dip behind an overgrown hedge; developing observational sketches into etchings, collagraphs, carborundum and relief prints.

A reflective still pool of water within the landscape is always a favourite place to sit, draw and think. These recordings of her encounters and experiences whilst out walking capture small memorable glimpses and subtle qualities of light at dawn and dusk.

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Ponds in particular have become a symbol of both her physical and subconscious connection to the natural world, they offer Laney an increasing complexity of experience the longer they are viewed. They act like a lens catching fleeting moments of reflections and weather.

Man made ponds and lakes often provide function and need, for people as well as wildlife, such as the large Mill Pond behind Sunny Bank Mills, which Laney has created a series of prints about. She was inspired by a quote on a small old fragment of paper on the wall of the old 19th century mill now demolished, relating the element of water to living in the present and the passing of time.

Laney also makes artwork and installations around bee decline, and runs an ongoing project called Swarm, which has received arts council funding. She has exhibited regularly as part of North Yorkshire Open Studios, and at the Pushing Print Festival in Margate, and at the Flourish Printmaking Award in Mirfield. She has been shortlisted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and has exhibited at the National Original Print Exhibition in London. In she was also awarded the ‘Harrowells’ Prize for the best original print in the show at the Great North Art Show in Ripon Cathedral.