About the Artist

Lesley Banks graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Fine Art from the Drawing and Painting Department in 1984.Banks' early work began with a focus on figurative interiors, using her friends and family as models, inspired by her tenement flat and the Victorian Arlington Baths Club where she was a member. Her painting 'The 39th Week ' from this period can be seen in Kelvingrove Art Gallery .As her career evolved and on the strength of a number of travel scholarships she spent time in Italy painting the inhabitants and countryside around San Gimignano in Tuscany and the people and canals of Venice. Banks works thematically and has undertaken several residencies including Artist in residence at Edinburgh Zoo and more recently as Scottish Canals first ever Artist in Residence. Banks walked the entire 137 miles of the Scottish Canal network; the resulting work has been exhibited in galleries close to the five Scottish Canals in Glasgow, Falkirk, Inverness, Lochgilphead, Edinburgh and Linlithgow. As part of Visit Scotland's Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 celebrations, she exhibited a body of work entitled 'Landscapes of Water' at Summerlee Industrial Heritage Museum. The coastal work in this exhibition expanded on her previous, Creative Scotland, funded Canal Residency - Gongoozler. As canals begin and end their journey into the gateway of the sea, she broadened her perspective to include some Scottish coastlines. In contrast to the calm surface water of canals these vast coastal vistas offer a different challenge. Dramatic rocky jagged outcrops stretch out to the sea at Castle Lachlan in Argyll. The rhythmic sound of the waves, a constant background hum to the seagull screams. The colours of the surface shifting constantly with the subtle play of light and motion. Banks works mainly in oils on canvas, but has recently been experimenting with mixed media on paper and painting on different surfaces, including wood. She generally begins by giving the canvas a wash of colour, as she prefers not to work on a white background. She also works thematically, focusing on a body of work, and she rarely works on just one painting: preferring to have multiple works in progress, so that each painting informs the other.
Aberdeen Art Gallery
Motherwell District Libraries
Leicestershire Schools Collection
East Dunbartonshire Council
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Falkirk Council Collection
Perth Museum and Art Gallery
Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum
University of Strathclyde

Open Project Funding Award - Creative Scotland
Teachers Whisky Travelling Scholarship
Royal Overseas League Scottish Prize
Hope Scott Trust Award
Leverhulm Trust Research Award
Winner of the Britannia Life Lord Provost Prize 

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