Gillian was Popular Patchwork's sub-editor for many years, and has contribututed many features, projects and reviews to the magazine. She now concentrates on her own textile art, you may have seen an earlier incarnation of her Unsung Muses at Festival of Quilts or at Loch Lomond Quilt Show a few years ago, but if not, we'd highly recommend a visit to one of the three venues hosting her work in 2015.

Unsung Muses will be shown at

  • The Scottish Storytelling Centre: 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR. From Friday 30th January to Saturday 21 February. Open daily (excl Sundays) from 10-6.
  • The Howgill Gallery, Farfield Mill, Sedbergh 21 March-10 May.
  • As part of the European Patchwork Meeting, Alsace, France 16-19 September.

Gillian is a Scottish artist passionate about textiles and ancient goddess sculptures. She has combined her enthusiasm for both in her current series of work, Unsung Muses.

Unsung Muses consists of flat and empty figures, left with only traces of past human existence, washed out by the waves of time lapping and crashing over them.

People from the past lose definition and merge together. With the world changing so fast, it is difficult to understand someone from 50 years ago, let alone 4,000, particularly with the changing role of women. However, these people are our past, they are part of us; their lives led the way for us coming into being in our full 21st century understanding.

Inspired by ancient goddess sculptures of simple human form, only just recognisable, obviously precious and old, her figures are many things: an attempt to connect with our history; an exploration of the human shape; a search for the defining elements of being human. Running alongside these thoughts is the idea of time passing, washing away the precision of memories with the waves of time.

Constructed individually, these figures are connected to the past by the recycling of fabric from earlier projects and precious fragments of favourite clothing, imbuing them with hints of unknown memories; joined together by a shared language of shape and symbol. A memorial to those who went before, whom we will never know nor comprehend.

Gillian started her adult life as an accountant before discovering her real passion: textiles. After graduating from Goldsmiths in 2005, she moved to rural Scotland and set up her textile practice. In addition to making her unique textile art, she also works to commission, writes about textiles and runs workshops about textiles and creativity.

www.gilliancooper.co.uk