John Bram Leigh


Born Toronto, Canada

(Parents emigrated from Bonny Scotland)


  • Move back to Scotland then London (5 yrs old)
  • Brought up London. (5 - 11yrs)
  • Epsom College of Art and Design. Figurative painting (17 yrs)
  • Continued to paint  and work (18-27yrs)
  • Work in theatres, Bristol Old Vic as Scenic Artisit and then performance work, Initiated Theatre Dance Group 'Performance 6' we won the very first South West Choreographic Award 1983. Worked with Ian Spink, 'Second Stride'!
  • Various experimental pieces performed at Dartington and other Dance Festivals
  • Back to university 37 yrs old! (1st Class Honours) Bachelor of Arts.Performance and painting and Film.
  • Various work,  Art and Performance Projects in and including, Yugoslavia, Italy, France, Germany , Switzerland and Luxembourg.
  • Bristol University,MA in Social Work course (Diploma) 46 yrs old. Real work followed..
  • 10 years Social Worker, Narrative Therapy and Art Works
  • Presently Painting in Vierlande, Germany:
  • Bergedorfer Schloss Kunstschau April 2012
  • Vierlande Arts und Atelier 2012
  • Wentorfer Kunstschau mit  Angelo De Martin und Lars Ulrich 2012
  • Curslacker Kunsthaus, Praxis Dr Harte 2012
  • Gemeindenhaus, Curslack, St Martins Tag Fries
  • Gallery, Cafe La Petite Rue, Hamburg 2013
  • Bergerdorfer Schloss Kunstshau 2014
  • Open Studio, Vierlande Arts 2014 (HumanKreatures, a study of Intimacy)
  • Gallery 364 , Marktstrasse 102, 2015
  • Open Studio, Vierlande Arts 2015
  • Arts meets Refugees Project , Hamburg 2015 and 2016


  • Epsom College of Art and Design - 1973
  • Bath College of Further Education - 1992
  • 1 St Class BA 'Hons Degree, Fine Art and Social Context,-University West England, Bristol -1995 
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Writing and  Performance University West of England, Bristol -1997
  • PG in MA, Social Work Diploma, Bristol University - 2000
  • Narrative Therapy Practice, Michael White - 2004



  • 1st Class Hons, Bachelor of Arts Degree-93
  • The National Review of Live Art, Glasgow, Scotland-94
  • European Arts Project, Luxembourg, European Funding, Commet-93
  • Choreographic Award South West Arts, England-83
  • South West Arts Funding, Writing and Poetry, Bristol, England-94
  • BP Research Funding, Innovative Therapeutic Practices, Toronto, Canada-87



I inherited my parents love of theatre at an early age. Painting and miming animals were my passion but I quit the animals by the time I was 11.

It wasn't until an introduction to oil painting (at the age of 13 yrs) by my uncle John Evans, a Liverpudlian Artist and Socialist, that I really felt inspired again!

I went straight from school to Art College.

After Epsom College of Art and Design (See Cecely Brown), where I studied painting, I worked hard believing in the Tolstoy ethic of working with the 'workers'. I painted at night. Then came various jobs in the theatre including work as a Scenic Artist.@ Bristol Old Vic where Dan Day Lewis was studying as an actor. In the 90's I chose a Performance route aswell as teaching Art and Mural painting for the Luxembourg Youth Ministry. There then followed Arts Projects in other countries.


From Art to Social Work: In 2000 I became a Social Worker and trained as a Narrative Therapist in Plymouth and London. 


THEATRE WORK AND PERFORMANCE: I worked with with Mike Criddle (Dancer) who pointed me in the direction of The Bristol School of Contemporary Dance run my Sarah Rubidge. Mike went on to train at London School of Contemporary Dance and I, not a true dancer, founded the dance/theatre group called 'Performance 6' . In 1983 we won the first South West Choreographic Award in England.The group worked with Ian Spink of Second Stride creating 'New Piece' with music by David Owen of 'Lost Jockey' as well as many of our own works. We worked 'Collectively' on the Choreography.


Other pieces were completed and performed by us and then later as a single performer I devised and wrote further theatre works including 'Tea Dance', 'Unwelcome Visitor' (with Andy Joyce) and 'A House Painted Blue', 'In Memory of The Mouth', 'My Feet Remembered' and 'Red' performed at Art Centres including The Arnolfini in Bristol. This experience got me passionate about writing. I began writing a series of vicarious stories (prose) inspired by other peoples peculiar and Gothic true stories , 'Monster Monologues'.


ART COLLEGE in the 90's, University West of England, I created a number of short films and performance works. I was awarded:

European Arts Funding, 'Konscht Dialogue', Teaching Arts Practice in Luxembourg and South West Arts Funding to perform at: The National Review of Live Art, Glasgow, 1994.


CITY OF LUXEMBOURG WORK included a Landscape Architecture Project with the sculptor, Debbie Jones and an urban mural, 1995.

I left UWE with a 1st Class Hons Degree and studied for a further two years gaining a Post Graduate Award in Media Studies and Performanc


WITH FURTHER TEACHING work in Luxembourg and Arts Projects in England I chose to train as a Social Worker at Bristol University, MA in Social Work.

During my time as a Social Worker in the last ten years I have continued to integrate my Arts practice into my work with young people in foster care and therapy work. As a Therapeutic Social Worker I initiated a number of Arts and Theatre Projects both in Bristol and Plymouth and studied and practiced 'Narrative Therapy' after initial training with Michael White, Founder of NT at 'Lavender House', Devon.


NOW returned to painting.

I am currently taking extended leave from work and every day life.

My first exhibition, 'Colours of Fortune' in Marktstrasse, Hamburg worked out very well and now I have followed this with more exhibitions. See "works"! Further works are entitled, 'River, Leaf, Sky', 'Art Primitivo', 'Federman', 'Wasserland', 'Animals and other friends'. I have aquired a New and large Atelier in Vierlander (Thanks to Frau and Herr Grundman) so that I can continue to focus on this area for my inspiration.


I have also finally finished my first draft of 'Your Memories Are Not Invited'', an illustrated collection of  True and strangely obsessive stories from friends, family, people I have met while travelling,


NEW WORKS have emerged from sharing ideas and actions with two new friends, two Artists, Lars Ulrich and Angelo De Martin and my intimate, Conny. In the recent kitaj exhibition i read : 'I is someone else', Arthur Rimbaund, excellent material to bare in mind when making art, i try to put my self to one side when i paint,with a small i!



"I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart's affections and the Truth of the Imagination" - John Keats


Ich Liebe :

Conny, My family, My friends, Wild Life, Painting, Writing, Van Gogh, Cecily Brown, Ensor, Ben Okri (Author),Sebastian Barry (Authoer)Oscar Kokoshka, Emil Nolde, Edvard Munch, Rohtloff, Ivon Hitchens, Freddy Gore, Kitaj, Mary Cassatt, Victor Hume Moody (And he was), David Hockney's 'Just Nature', Otto Modersohn, Kitaj, Luis Vidal (Mallorca) (Painters), Sundays, Germany, duck and red cabbage with red wine and Boskop Kartoffein-mmm delicious! Keith Jarrett to The Sex Pistols, Me, Dad, Mum, Louise, Sandy, Isla and Mum 2 Anna!