Leslie Thompson has a highly developed drawing style, drawing both from memory and through live observational drawings.
Leslie has been attending 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, mostly from the seventies and eighties, and his drawings are often punctuated with memories from film, music and TV. More recently animals have been a major inspiration to him.
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 Minds North, Hubbub Theatre as well as illustrating many Venture Arts events.
Leslie found success when he sold a whole body of work on the opening day of the OutsiderXchanges project booth at The Manchester Contemporary, 2016. He has exhibited his work widely across the UK including a major solo exhibition at Project Ability, Glasgow in 2017. In 2019 he exhibited internationally for the first time as part of a group exhibition in Tokyo.
In 2021 Leslie’s intricate piece, ‘Animals from Memory’ was acquired by the Government Art Collection – as part of their Art X-UK acquisitions. Over the year, the Government Art Collection collaborated with contemporary art networks to collect new works by 45 visual artists from across the UK, celebrating and supporting the diversity of creativity across the Union. ‘Animals from Memory’ will now be on display in Government offices around the world.
“My art is about cartoon strips, buildings, people and other things. I’m the best at drawing animals, I see them at the safari park. I’m proud of myself, I’m a superstar. My art is of all history of god’s world we live in.” – Leslie Thompson
In the Detail, Project Ability, Glasgow International Festival 2020 (postponed until 2021)
Thumbs Up, Castlefield 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
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, Venture Arts, various venues in Manchester and Salford, October 2018 – February 2019
Spilling Out, Joint presentation with Castlefield Gallery and Venture Arts, The Manchester Contemporary, Manchester Central, Manchester 2018
Leslie Thompson, the Superstar Artist Drawer, Project Ability, Glasgow, August- September 2017
OutsiderXchanges, 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
Social Works?:Live, Axisweb and Manchester Metropolitan University, May 2019
Age of Creativity Conference, The Whitworth, May 2019
Creative Minds North, HOME, Manchester, June 2017
Dadafest, Live Drawing, Liverpool, 2017
Site Specific Mural commissions:
The LADbible HQ, Manchester, 2018
The Sheila Bird Group Head Office, Manchester, 2017