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Welcome to my blog


I am a visual artist based in Edinburgh, Scotland. I incorporate my own poetry into my artwork, sometimes collaging it into pieces, sometimes writing about paintings and sometimes inspiring paintings.

By jillashforth, Sep 30 2019 03:07PM

Some months ago I created pieces at a workshop which were inspired by The Sea Symphony by Vaughan Williams. The leader of the workshop wondered if I had made images that represented something I needed. Later, I made them into triptychs which I called Serenity I and II. This was at a time when my elderly mother was ill in hospital. Perhaps I had indeed needed some seas of serentiy.

I have planned some themes around which I'd like to create some abstract images punctuated with words. They are the colours of balance, of life and love, of birth, of betrayal, of grief, and of parting and death.

I have been reading a book called Snow by Marcus Sedgwick. A section on art described snow as a metaphor for isolation and death. It made me compare my art when I was ill with other periods. When I was depressed it was very pale with lots of white added to the few colours I used. More recently I have used silver which is for me the colour of hope in the same way that once I mixed every colour with white. I think of that time when I was ill as one of isolation and loneliness. Today even when I am alone, my partner is with me in my heart. I am never alone because his love holds me. I made an image recently at my counsellor of a sea of blue. This is the middle ground for me where I am neither depressed or manic. I feel I'm ready to paint my seas of blue tranquility with silver mists of hope. At last, thanks to love, acceptance and understanding.

My new work is going to be landscapes of emotions depicted with colour and line, making marks that tell a story full of feeling and punctuated with words. It's a theme I've returned to several times since art college days: words and images.

By jillashforth, Feb 28 2019 01:15PM

In the summer of 2018 I attended a concert of Vaughan Willams Sea Symphony at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. It was mesmerising. I realised then that I wanted my next series of paintings to be inspired by this piece of music and poetry. My next subject would be the sea.

Here are my first attempts, Serenity 1 and 2. These triptychs represent what I needed at a difficult time in my life as my elderly mother lay seriously ill in hospital.

By jillashforth, Aug 13 2018 11:29PM

For the first time I recited some of my own poetry in public at the private view of my exhibition, Reflections. It was a great night with a good turn out for the opening and I was excited to be making my new video public with a live performance of the piece.

The text is made up of the words from two of my poems, Dawn and Dusk. The words appear in white, ephemeral on the screen, and disappear into the cloud quickly. One stares at the clouds and then, just as fast as the letters form, they vanish into the light sky.

The poem Dawn was inspired by a memory of watching the dawn unfold in the bay window of my flat one summer morning. I had stood with my face pressed against the pane, watching the sky change for over an hour. It had been mesmerising. The poem Dusk was inspired by a walk in Inverleith Park along an avenue of trees just as the light was failing one winter day. The two poems represent polar opposites, which fascinate me. They are about beginnings and endings, something which my life has been full of recently.

By jillashforth, Jun 14 2018 06:36PM

I will be exhibiting alongside local artist Wendy Baillie this summer. The works, comprising watercolours, mixed media, photographs and video poems, capture moments in time. The landscapes by myself have an ethereal, hazy sense of fleeting beauty whilst Wendy's still lifes and landscapes are full of soft, warm yet delicate tones and have a gentle stillness about them.

My video poem, Dawn and Dusk, is about beginnings and endings and will premiere at the exhibition with a live performance of the piece by myself on the opening night.

A lovely, contemplative show full of beauty - not to be missed at Dundas Street Gallery, Edinburgh, 27-29 July, 11am-6pm daily.

By jillashforth, Dec 30 2017 02:25PM

I have entered the Button Poetry Competition, 2018 - largely inspired by meeting Neil Hilborn in the summer who is one of Button Poetry's poets. He was an amazing performer at the Edinburgh Fringe and I felt as though I had shaken hands with someone great.

My entry consists of 30 poems, written over the last three years about loss and love. It is entitled Out of the Darkness...

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