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Gillian Cooper

Gillian Cooper
  • Work
  • Biography
One footstep, one pencil mark, one stitch. On their own just a single mark. Accumulated and repeated they turn into something more meaningful with a larger world view. My recent work involves looking at the links between walking, drawing and stitching and the role of repetition and rhythm in them. To explore this, I have been repeatedly walking the same route, recording it in different ways (drawing, drawing whilst moving, sound, photography, video etc) and then being led by these into further layered drawings and responses in fabric.

This work follows an ongoing interest in the everyday and finding beauty in the mundane, including the hidden histories of our locations, such as the former mill on my walk route or the Victorian pipes under the Trossachs still carrying Glasgow’s water supply today.

Following an initial career as an accountant, I saw the light when I discovered textile art. Within months, I had left the ‘proper’ job and applied to art school. Since then, my work has developed into a holistic practice involving my love of landscape and history, with drawing and fabric.
Solo Exhibitions
2021 A Walk in the Woods, Woodland Gallery, Tir-na-nOg, Drymen (outside)
2017 Unsung Muses, Galerie de la Place, Auxerre, France
2015 Unsung Muses, Farfield Mill, Sedbergh, Cumbria
2015 Unsung Muses, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh
2010 the 37 steps, The Changing Room, Stirling

Selected Group Exhibitions
2024 Step by Step, joint exhibition with Kay Leech, Farfield Mill, Sedbergh, Cumbria
2022 Presence: A Sense of Time and Place, joint exhibition with Samantha Townsend, Dundas Street Gallery, Edinburgh
2019 Made in Europe, a SAQA European region touring exhibition
2018 Creative Reactions, a science and art collaboration, Glasgow
2015 Unsung Muses, European Patchwork Meeting, France
2014 Redirecting the Ordinary, a SAQA touring exhibition, starting at the International Quilt Festival, Houston, USA
2012 International Textile Triennale, Szombathelyi Képtár, Hungary
2011 Unsung Muses, Festival of Quilts, NEC Birmingham
2010 Innovation and Creative Development in Craft, University of Dundee, Dundee. Part of Craft Festival Scotland
2009 Threads of Gold, invited group exhibition, Pittenweem Arts Festival
2009 Interventions, David Marshall Lodge (outdoors), Aberfoyle
2007 The Cutting Edge, National Museum of Scotland then touring, a National Museums of Scotland and Scottish Arts Council exhibition
2006 Structure, Craft Town, West Kilbride
2006 Up Your Street, Dick Institute, Kilmarnock

2024 MA Contemporary Art and Archaeology, Orkney College, UHI
2005 BA (Hons) Textiles, Goldsmiths College
2001 BTEC in Art & Design, Central School of Speech & Drama
2001 City & Guilds Embroidery Part I, Opus School of Textile Art

2014 The Ultimate Art Quilt Book, Linda Seward
2014 Redirecting the Ordinary, SAQA
2014 Disclocation, Contemporary Quilt Group
2012 CQ@10, Contemporary Quilt Group
2008 Contemporary Textiles Janis Jeffries and Bradley Quinn, Black Dog Publishing
2007 The Cutting Edge Catriona Baird and Rose Watban (eds), NMS
Walk | Draw | Stitch II (detail)
  • Gillian Cooper
  • Walk | Draw | Stitch II (detail)
  • Mixed Media
Walk | Words (detail)
  • Gillian Cooper
  • Walk | Words (detail)
  • Stitched
One Small Step
  • Gillian Cooper
  • One Small Step
  • Stitched