Local Artist Series // Timothy Birch
Who are you and what do you create?
I’m a designer, photographer, videographer and aspiring artist so I make all sorts of creations. Murals have been my latest jam.
What materials and techniques do you use?
I’m used to working in the digital space but lately I find myself building canvases and using a range of mediums–paints, pastels, pencils. In terms of murals, I’m enjoying using high contrast paints and rollers on poles.
What kind of inspirations go into your work?
I’ve always been pretty inspired by Pop Art and am a huge fan of Andy Warhol – even more so after seeing an exhibit at MOMA in San Francisco last year. I grew up surfing on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and when I wasn’t surfing I was either with my head in a surf magazine or watching a surf movie. The design and imagery in these magazines was a huge inspiration for me and still is.
In what space do you like to create most?
I really like to push myself under the pressure of the public eye–painting murals in open public spaces–it’s fun and challenging at the same time. But a space I like most is one I can put an idea down and evolve it without distractions or judgement. Purely just a space to take something and go to town on it. The learnings that come from a single session like this I have found to be super important to my development.
What has been your favourite or most important work to date?
I convinced my Dad that the Rifle Range he is a member of needed a video about what they do and why the volunteers loved what they did there. It was super challenging to get them on camera but it turned out really well. Plus they obviously loved what they did so I was really pleased putting it together. There was a great deal of satisfaction once it was live. I think this is because of the emotional aspect tied to the project.
A more recent favourite is named ‘Lacuna’ where I built my own canvas and invited a bunch of the local community to contribute to it. The project will roam around our local area for the next 12 months and get totally layered up. The idea behind it is that you don’t need to be an artist to be creative. And to be creative is a great feeling. I saw people who typically wouldn’t paint or draw get totally locked in on it after giving it a go. That is a huge feeling of satisfaction for me seeing this. Especially because I don’t lay down any rules. It’s purely their mind, their ideas and their strokes and totally random.
2019 has been a huge year for you, talk us through some of your most prominent learnings and experiences?
I think the main learning was that there are plenty of opportunities out there, both local and international, for everyone. But with these opportunities comes a relationship. These relationships are at two-way street and you only get out of them what you put in. Once I understood that and realised the importance of communication in building a trusting and influential relationship more and more opportunities started to pop up for me.
Also a huge thing this year for me was getting to know myself. My strengths and weaknesses. Knowing how hard I could push myself, how long I could work for before burning out and knowing how to recover from it.