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 (around 20 years ago), I changed direction and became involved in public art and public realm design through connections established with Public Arts in Wakefield (now 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 FallaisCurrently I 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.  More recently I have established a close association with Tracy Shaw and Loca Creatives, this connection is based on a positive, long-term history of working together and a shared commitment to working with others who have 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. More recently I have worked within project teams with a role 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 three years on the successful Maine Road Regeneration Area.  When the recession hit and regeneration construction slowed in many areas I found I had more time to take stock and re-think my aims a little. Over the last 12 months, along side public realm commissions, I have been teaching art to adults (in a community education setting, for the first time in years) and rediscovered my passion for it. I’m also painting again. This year I intend to take some time out to travel and to renew the creative batteries.

Working in Fleetwood (for the Marine Observatory Commission in 2012), studying and learning about the coastline and 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 collaboration in 2013 within the design team for Dewsbury Country Park in Kirklees has been another opportunity to focus on nature as an inspiration for design and painting.