Leslie Thompson (b.1970)


Leslie Thompson has a highly developed drawing style, drawing both from memory and through live observational drawings.

Artist Biography

Leslie has been a regular practising artist at Venture Arts studios for over twenty years. He has a highly developed drawing style, drawing both from memory and through live observational drawings. Leslie depicts scenes from popular culture from 1970 -1990 and his drawings are often punctuated with memories from film, music and TV.


He has gained a reputation as a fantastic mural artist, creating bespoke murals in the head offices of LADbible and Sheila Bird Group in Manchester. He also specialises in capturing events through live drawing and has worked with DadaFest, Creative Ninds North, Hubbub Theatre and regular events for Venture Arts such as Making the Case Symposium.


Leslie found success when he sold all of his vitrine series on the opening day at the OutsiderXchanges project booth at The Manchester Contemporary, 2016. He has also exhibited as a part of OutsiderXchanges (a Venture Arts project) at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Whitworth Lates Art Party event and documented events through live drawing such as DaDaFest and Creative Minds North.


Exhibitions and Commissions


In the Detail, Project Ability, Glasgow International Festival 2020 (postponed)


Thumbs Up, Castelfield Gallery, January 2020


Environments, Outside In, National Open Art Exhibition, London, October 2019


Venture Arts at The Manchester Contemporary, Manchester Central, 11- 13 October 2019


Manifest Arts Festival, Hulme, Manchester, July 2019


Grow, Group ceramics exhibition as part of Hey Clay! Crafts Council, Venture Arts, Manchester, May 2019


Social Works?:Live (Live drawing), Axisweb and Manchester Metropolitan University, May 2019


Age of Creativity Conference, Voluntary Arts, The Whitworth, May 2019


Springfest, Victoria Baths, Manchester, April 2019


ParaArt TOKYO, International exhibition promoting the art and culture of people with learning disabilities in Japan and the world, Japan, February 2019


PERSPECTIVES, Manchester and Salford, October 2018 – February 2019


Spilling Out, Joint presentation with Castlefield Gallery and Venture Arts, The Manchester Contemporary, Manchester Central, Manchester 2018


Site Specific Mural commission, The LADbible HQ, Manchester, 2018


Site Specific Mural Commission, The Sheila Bird Group Head Office, Manchester, 2017


Dadafest, Live Drawing, Liverpool, 2017


Creative Minds North, Live drawing, HOME, Manchester, June 2017


Leslie Thompson, the Superstar Artist Drawer, Project Ability, Glasgow, August- September 2017


OutsiderXchanges Exhibition, Quay Gallery, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art 2016


OutsiderXchanges, The Manchester Contemporary, Old Granada Studios 2016


It Is Now, International Summit for Learning Disabled Artists, Glasgow 2015


MADE, Venture Arts Studio Show, People’s History Museum, Manchester 2015


The Art of Nature, Venture Arts Studio Show, The Lowry, Salford Quays 2014


Articulate, Venture Arts Studio Show, The Lowry , Salford Quays 2013