Born in Melbourne in 1961, Birch exhibited widely throughout Australia and New Zealand over the past two decades. He gained a Bachelor of Art and Design from Prahran College, graduating in 1983 and an MFA from the College of Fine Arts (COFA), University of New South Wales. He received many grants but in 2006 he was awarded a New Work grant from the Australia Council which enabled him to create a new body of installation and video work for an exhibition held at the MCA in 2007. Looking Out My Back Door was his first solo museum show and featured large-scale installations from the last decade of his art practice. His installation The Trip (2005) was also acquired for the MCA Collection the following year in 2008.