I trained in Fine Art (painting and printmaking) at Wolverhampton University, after graduating I was appointed as artist in residence at the Kings School in Worcester. I took up opportunities to teach at Worchester College and after two years moved to Manchester to complete a post graduate diploma in Museum Studies (Education).  Through a chance meeting, I changed direction and became involved in public art and public realm design through connections established with Public Arts in Wakefield (renamed BEAM).  At that time Public Arts were involved in a number of neighbourhood regeneration schemes and I won my first commission with them.  Through several projects I forged a strong commitment to creative community engagement, initially within this housing regeneration setting, using a creative dialogue with people as a catalyst for design and the development of site-specific artworks.

Lesley FallaisI continue to work collaboratively with other creatives, including architects, designers and engineers to design public spaces inspired by each unique context.  Meaningful, creative engagement with people is always central to  my work, my aim to ensure genuine involvement and a sense of local ownership, while uncovering and highlighting the story of each site. I have worked on an extensive and diverse range of arts projects within healthcare, urban regeneration and housing renewal contexts. Always in partnership with project teams and local people, always with an equal commitment to forging innovative creative processes and a high quality finished product.  I am committed to working with others who share a passion and understanding for how creativity and the arts can be a powerful force for the sustainable transformation of public spaces.

I’ve been lucky enough to work on a number of remarkable projects in a diverse range of regeneration settings. Often within project teams where my role is to advocate for the inclusion of art, as a tool for community engagement and in developing public spaces which include elements of locally distinct design. I worked with South Manchester Regeneration Team for a number of years on the successful Maine Road Regeneration Area.

Working in Fleetwood (for the Marine Observatory Commission), I was able to study and learn about the coastline. Spending so much time looking at the dynamic action of nature was increadibly inspiring. Since then observation of the natural world is a key focus for making work.  A subseqent collaboration within the design team for Dewsbury Country Park in Kirklees was another opportunity to focus on nature as an inspiration for design and painting.

A change of direction came when the last recession hit and regeneration construction slowed. I found, for the first time in many years,  that I had time to take stock and re-think my aims a little.  I began to teach art to adults, in a community setting and rediscovered my passion for it. I’m also painting again which has become my creative focus and I’m currently taking some time out to travel and to renew the creative batteries.