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"óblow-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.