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Graham Bannister was born in 1954 in Harrow. Although he received no formal art school training he won an Arts Council Award in 1978. He began to paint professionally in 1976 and became the resident artist at the Brillig Art Centre in Bath where he held his first one man show in 1978. Part of the stimulus for the Brillig Art Center came from the West Country Ruralist movement that sprang up in the 1970s and included Peter Blake Jan Howorth David Inshaw and Graham Overnden. A period in Cornwall had a heavy influence on his work and not surprisingly the rugged Cornish landscape and wild sea surrounding his clifftop studio provided much of his inspiration. He exhibited at the North Cornwall Museum in 1979 and 1981. In 1982 Bannister first showed his work at a major London Gallery and the Piccadilly Gallery.