Fiona Banner

Fiona Banner was born in Merseyside, North West England. She studied at Kingston University and completed her MA at Goldsmiths College in 1993.

Crucial to Banner’s artistic practice is language and her work includes drawing, sculpture, installation, print, painting, film, and text. Her early work took the form of “wordscapes” or “still films”—blow-by-blow accounts written in her own words of feature films including Point Break (1991) and The Desert (1994). Her work took the form of solid single blocks of text, often the same shape and size as a cinema screen. In 1997, she founded The Vanity Press, through which she publishes her own works, such as the NamThe Bastard Word and All The World’s Fighter Planes.

Following her shows at the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein and Dundee Contemporary Arts, Banner was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2002. The wall of her show in the Turner Prize exhibition was dominated by a 6 x 4-metre advertising billboard, titled Arsewoman in Wonderland. The billboard presented a written description of a pornographic film.

Subsequent shows have included The Power Plant, Toronto, and Live/Work, at MOMA, New York. In 2010, she was selected to create the 10th Duveen Hall commission at Tate Britain for which she transformed and displayed two decommissioned Royal Air Force fighter jets.

In Beagle Punctuation (2011) the image of Snoopy, the star character in Charles M Schulz’s comic strip Peanuts, teeters on the edge of abstraction.  Two neon question marks and a full stop conjure his unmistakable face. The neon pieces have been hand-blown by Banner herself, giving the glass a wobbly, imperfect finish not normally seen in traditional neon signage.