Lesley’s evocative abstract works stem from memories and sketches of Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall and Yorkshire where she currently lives.
Her paintings are a personal response to time and place, imbued with expressive mark-making and colour choices geared to spark off emotion.
Her work is an interpretation of feelings and emotions connected to time & place. Gesture is her language. Calligraphic scribbles and sweeping brush marks flow on paper and canvas straddling the boundary between abstraction and figuration. She derives her inspiration from memories and sketches of time spent in Scotland, Ireland and Cornwall. Lesley Birch is partial to ‘dramatic skies, lilac hills and rugged coasts’ – painting the weather as much as the landscape in expressive brush strokes. A professional musician before she made a career as a painter, Lesley likens the sensation of mark making and colour-combining to ‘that exciting moment when materiality and emotion meet, the same moment as the resolution of a hanging chord.’
Lesley began exploring her interest in printmaking and painting in 2000 whilst teaching English Literature in Cambridge. After moving to Yorkshire, she won a ‘highly commended’ in the Harrogate Open (2007) and held her first solo show, Land & Sky, at the Yorkshire Dales Centre (2008). Her work is also held in the Royal Marsden Hospital Collection.
Lesley has shown in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (2013, shortlisted 2014), the ING Discerning Eye at the Mall Galleries (2016, 2017, 2018). She is a past winner of The UK Artist Magazine Prize (2016) and the Clairefontaine Award. She is also a member of both the Leeds Fine Artists and the Society of Scottish Fine Artists.
Lesley Birch is a founding member of the PICA Studios in York.