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An Apology To My Art Career.

Updated: Apr 2

I need to apologise to my art career and to the people who have supported and contributed to it so far. On reflection of my last post I decided to flip my attitude and see the positives of what I have actually achieved. I was mainly grumbling about the fact that these events don’t happen frequently enough. I love doing exhibitions; I love talking at them; I love thinking about them; I love researching and making work for them; I love thinking about what to wear at them; and I love the feeling when I sell something. Without further ado, big me up Skully...

  • I had two solo exhibitions in 2019.

  • I received an artists fee for both of them.

  • I curated Together To Grow (the first solo show) myself. It had a playlist accompaniment and an artist in conversation event.

  • Because of the first solo show I got the second solo show along with an interesting brief.

  • The second solo show - I loved making Wholly Expletive for Nomas* Projects, it was a bloody joy from start to finish. There was also an artist’s talk to accompany this exhibition.

  • Both exhibition talks were very well attended. Thank you very much.

  • In the last two years I’ve sold a number of prints and ceramic work through social media and exhibitions.

  • Audiences have had emotional experiences while viewing my work, starting with my degree show in 2003 up to Together To Grow in 2019. Actual tears.

  • I’m a Professional Member of the Society of Scottish Artists, this membership is voted on by members. Being part of this society stands me on the shoulders of some amazing artists including one of my life long favourites, Joan Eardley. This was a big fucking deal to me and 17 year old me feels like a “real” artist.

  • My work has been published in zines, a magazine and a book. Oh and Italian bloody Vogue!

  • My work has been the subject of a students 4th year dissertation.

  • I have an actual Masters in Fine Art that I successfully passed while I was a single parent of a 2 year old. I collaborated on the curation of our final show with classmate Alexandra Ross.

In 2016 I was given substantial funding and mentoring as part of the Fife Visual Artist and Craft Makers Award, Development Programme. Thank you Fife Contemporary. If it hadn’t been for this funding I would never have found my passion for ceramics and I certainly wouldn’t have been on Dundee Ceramics Workshop committee or have a job as their technician. AND I would definitely not be in the process of putting together a business plan for Dundee Sculpture Centre! Bloody hell this chain reaction needs bigger acknowledgment and celebration!
  • I have 2 group exhibitions in the pipeline. (when we’re allowed out).

  • I’m a member of the Spilt Milk Gallery. This gallery has exhibited my work both in physical and digital exhibitions and connected me to artists across the world, including buddying me up with the glorious artist Monika Stockton Maddux.

  • I was shortlisted for the Ceramics Category of the Mother Art Prize.

  • I’ve had some really lovely comments on my art from friends and strangers, but because they weren’t said by a curator at Frieze Art Fair or the Tate they get forgotten. Well no longer!

Here are some delightful comments taken from Instagram and Twitter for me to absorb into my brain.

“My baby was a NICU baby and I love these ceramics so much. Very emotive. The baby with the mittens and hat brings it all back. How the situation is so far from normal then you have a typical little hat and mittens and you wonder how those two worlds can be compatible. But the hat is the first thing and slowly the medical stuff drops away and the normal stuff comes away into you have the magical car seat moment. Then you don't have a ceramic baby, you have a real one. With soft skin and rosy cheeks.” - Nicola Donnelly

“I highly recommend visiting this exhibition. The subject of the work is one that is still very raw for me. @jillskulina did not address the issues for 15 years - until she explored ceramics. Perfect art media for sharing the Neonatal experience.” - Nicolla Donnelly

“Blown away by beautiful artwork of @jillskulina in her latest show for @dundeewomenfest. Motherhood depicted beautifully (and honestly) with all its boobs, pumps, guts and love. And tequila!” - Catriona MacPhee

“Beautiful!!” - Jo MacFadyen. / “Stunning” 👌👌 - Roby Woolston / “Oooooo...Aaaaaaaa” - Mhairi Wild / Oooo!!! 😍😍” Susanne Scott / “Magical ❤️ 🧚‍♀️ xx” - Judy Scott / “Glorious ♥️” - Astrid Leeson / “Lovely 💜” - Lada Wilson / “Brilliant Jill, I love your work 👏👏👏” - Laura Dargie / “We LOVE THIS 🌸👏” mildredandclarence / “Wonderful work” - M Gallagher / “Loooove your work!!! 😍😍😍😍👏👏👏” - Melisa Altamirano Basanta / “Love your work!” - Elsa Maria Melendez / “I love love it xx” - Sarah Wilson / “Ooooh, juicy gorgeousness ❤️” - Ruth Alexander / “Jilllll, it’s beautiful” - Jen Collins / “Omg stunning”- Kerry Castaldo / “Made me cry, pure, raw, mother love.” - Sandy Greene / “These are incredible 😍” - Michelle Watson / “This is so cool 😍” - Samantha Paton / "Love this, all such fab new work 😍” - Chris Hunt / "You’re drawing is brilliant” - Karine Neill / “Absolutely love this! 🙌🙌🙌” - Kazz Hollick / “Love the drawings” - Katy Holbeche / “I adore this piece” - Morag Nowell / “Wow.. such patience, vision and skill. 👏🏻” - Margaret Adams / “This is epic Jill. Your work is looking wonderful as of late!” Jay Frazer / “Fangirling over here. LOVE YOUR WORK” - Lauren Herd / “Oh my god it's amazing 😍” - Ninon Noiret. / “Beautiful work Jill!” - Ewan Taylor / “Fucking love it!” - Sally Sneddon / "So beautiful and heartbreaking babe. Powerful work. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻” - Jennifer Ronson. / “Wow, this is really moving and interesting” - Gillian Gamble / “I love this @jillskulina it’s truly beautiful. X” - Ruth Wilson / “I really love what you do!! Really really!” - Leena Nammari

Alongside all this art I’ve been bringing up a child single handedly for nearly 17 years; I’ve worked in theatre; film; retail; run many many workshops from sewing to ceramics; set up a business partnership; supported other artists and maker’s; kept a roof over our heads; bought food, clothes, paid bills, and the odd treat. And let's not forget the 2 dogs.

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