Jan Kilpatrick was born in Glasgow in 1963 and graduated from the University of Glasgow with a degree in English and History. She has explored a variety of roles in her working life, including teaching English in schools and running her own upholstery business, whilst living in such remote locations as Achiltibuie, rural Perthshire and the East Sutherland fishing village of Helmsdale. The diverse experiences and skills she has acquired along this journey have found expression in the artwork she produces today. She works in both two and three-dimensions, concentrating on embroidered textiles, book art and mosaic. Much of the work centres on the fragility of domestic life as lived on the edge of a wilderness landscape and is often developed from the themes and motifs to be found in her own poetry.
"My work is both an exploration and celebration of the intrinsic beauty and potential of everyday rituals and of the wild yet familiar environment that enfolds my life. I work with recycled, found and natural materials, each with their own history and patina, and these give fresh life to each work whilst retaining a resonance with the past. Recently I have become interested in illuminating lyrical text, giving expression to the links, both ordinary and sacred, between the human experience and the natural world within which we dwell."
Jan now lives in Elphin, a crofting township in Assynt, Sutherland, 15 miles north of Ullapool. She combines working to commission and for exhibition with teaching embroidered textiles, creative book-making and mosaic. The exploration of her relationship with the Sutherland wilderness has led to her using colours and images more muted and rooted in the land. To see some early textile work created in response to this theme, have a look at the Biography of the Earth page.
Recently, Jan produced a series of large-format textile wall-hangings, which were exhibited at The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool, in September 2015, under the title of Assynt Sutras. She returned to that venue in the autumn of 2016 when she showed a body of work entitled Marine. This was a joint exhibition with Glagow mural artist and illustrator Chelsea Frew. She intends to spend 2017 in further developing her work in relation to the land, in paticular using natural materials as a medium for print-making. Invitations from organisations interested in exhibiting this work in 2018 are welcome.
Open Studio 2017
Jan's Studio in Elphin is open to visitors between 11.00 am and 5.00 pm on the following days:
Spring: 13th to 28th April
Summer: July 14th to 27th July and every day during August
Jan holds a collection of her larger works at her Studio. To arrange a private viewing please email Jan or telephone 01854 666279 to arrange a time.
Visit the Open Studio / Location page for more details.