Fiona Banner was born in Merseyside, North West England. She studied at Kingston University and completed her MA at Goldsmiths College in 1993. The next year she held her first solo exhibition at City Racing.
In 1995, she was included in General Release: Young British Artists held at the XLVI Venice Biennale. She is one of the “key names”, along with Jake and Dinos Chapman, Gary Hume, Sam Taylor-Wood, Tacita Dean and Douglas Gordon, of the Young British Artists.
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 published her own works, such as the Nam, The 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. The prize was won that year by Lancastrian artist Keith Tyson.
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.
Banner’s work includes sculpture, drawing and installation; text is the core of her oeuvre. She has also treated the idea of the classic, art-historical nude, observing a life model and transcribing the pose and form in a similar vein to her earlier transcription of films.