We visited Alan Birch in Prospect Studios again this morning. Alan has continued to proof nearly 60 of Dave Pearson's etching and drypoint plates. So Ella and I have been able to go through the whole selection and decide which ones for Alan to take to the next stage.
The prints fall into two series. First steel plate etchings, nearly all of which are from the early 1970s series of Calendar Customs, that explore British traditional customs and place them in a formalised landscape setting. These are large (mostly about 70cms x 45cms), really attractive and highly detailed. We've asked Alan to take 15 of these and print up top copies.
The other main group, of which we've chosen 11 for Alan to print, is a looser, more expressionist set. Still fairly large, these are drypoint from the later 1970s, hand etched onto a soft metal (aluminium) plate. Many of them are a development in terms of subject matter from the 'Calendar Customs' series - still relating to traditional customs, though with a few interiors of his studio, and one simply of trees:
Our hope is that Alan will finish the next set, which will be printed on top quality paper with a good border all around, next month. I'll then start looking for interested galleries for an exhibition of the work. The Whitaker in Rawtenstall has already expressed an interest, and the whole process of rediscovering these plates should make for a very interesting exhibition, especially for anyone interested in printmaking.