Twice a finalist in the Sulman Prize Exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW, Dallas’ works have been exhibited in Australia, Hong Kong, China, Fiji, and the USA. She has been a selected finalist in several art prize exhibitions around Australia, including the Fleurieu Art Prize, the Percival Portrait Prize, the Blake Prize Director’s Cut and the ANL Maritime Art Prize amongst others. The Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in Townsville acquired Dallas’ portrait painting of Christine Anu, the singer and actor, for the gallery's permanent collection. Dallas' works are held in corporate and private collections in Australia and internationally, and her paintings have been valued and approved by the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
Dallas’ main works express her deep appreciation of nature. She has always been inspired by the ocean and animals. As a child she would wander the rocks and sand to explore the curiosities of the rockpools, and throughout her life she has continued to immerse herself in a life spent exploring and enjoying the sea. When not in the studio, she can be found exploring on a beach or in the water, studying various animals and wildlife, or with her parrot (many birds and dogs have shared her home), and directing the energy and focus derived from her passions into her works.
The Paradise Wings Series and the Opalescence Series are both a textural expression of the exhilaration she finds in her core love of nature and it’s link to humankind. Her works show luscious use of sweeping impasto paint, sand, resins, pearl pigments, glass and mixed media in layered textural content.
Art has been the heart of Dallas’ life and career. She painted and was trained at the Sydney Institute of Technology Randwick Campus, and later did some further training at the Charlie Sheard Studio School. While continuing to paint, she was an accomplished Art Director and Creative Director at a number of profiled Sydney advertising agencies. She designed, wrote and directed press, print and television, and designed and painted fine art illustrations for packaging and advertising for Faberge perfumes amongst many other clients. From a successful career in Art and Creative Agencies, Dallas chose to follow her heart to paint full time to follow a career in the visual fine arts, and has been represented by galleries since 2000.
From her first exhibitions in Paddington, NSW, Dallas has been represented by Valerie Cohen Fine Art, House of Phillips Fine Art, Rushcutters Bay Gallery and Traffic Jam Gallery in Sydney NSW, The Jackman Gallery and Abstract Australis in Melbourne, and Nissarana Galleries Mornington VIC, Art Galleries Schubert, David Hart Galleries and Nissarana Galleries Noosa in QLD, LK Galleries in Perth WA, The Salamanca Collection in Tasmania, and Bark Modern Art in Hong Kong. Dallas' works have also been exhibited in Shanghai at the Australian Art Pavilion at the Shanghai Art Fair, and in Fiji and New York.
“Dallas Lesley's paintings explode with movement, colour and energy. Her passion for and affiliation with native and exotic birds has led to a hyper-real dance of birds in flight. A timeless journey of tantalising textures" - Grant Wolf – Writer, actor, entertainer
“Imagine free diving down the cliff of an ancient underwater reef surrounded only by silence. Your eyes fill with the vibrant colours of the underwater seascape as your body relaxes into weightlessness. This is exactly the feeling when standing before one of Dallas Lesley’s underwater series…”
Dallas Lesley creates works incorporating the movement of the ocean. They are adorned with precious pieces found washed up on the beaches..... motion and fluidity are present and represent the waves and coastlines where ocean meets land.”
Tracey Whiteford, Seaspray Magazine