Laney Birkhead, printmaker

Laney Birkhead is a printmaker and gave a talk about her recent work.
She described how, as a beekeeper, she became interested in the problems facing bees and decided to create an artwork to highlight their plight. After finding references to the 50,000 bees needed for a thriving hive and the 50,000 miles flying to create a pound of honey she decided to aim for an artwork of 50,000 bee images.


The project involved more work than was first thought. Many groups were involved, both adult and children. Images taken from film by Paul Harris.

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The bees were printed onto hexagonal sections for sewing together by volunteers. The project inspired local interest in the community and involvement of children and schools.


The results displayed in the format of honey frames and exhibited at St Roberts School and Sunny Bank Mills, Farsley, a section shown below.

St Roberts Catholic School Installation with artist, Laney Birkhead

A short film by Paul Harris was shown of the inspiration and process of the project. This can be viewed at

Laney showed us her printing plates and described the different print processes she uses, including collagraph & carborundum printing, etching onto metal plates, and monoprinting.

Various Printing Plates

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The plates are used to produce prints.

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Laney runs print workshops, see details  > Printmaking Workshops


Alex Purves talk on “Artists and their habitats”

Alex gave a really interesting talk about artists and their habitats, which varied from immaculately tidy to chaotic! Here are a few.

Studio of Georges Braque


L S Lowry at work


Stanley Spencer at work


John Piper in his studio


The question arose ‘Are painters influenced by their surroundings when working (for example highly organized Ken Howard) , or does the work of the Artists create their surroundings (for example Frank Auerbach’s studio covered in thick paint)?
The conclusion was that it is a bit of both!