Janette Kerr is a painter deeply embedded in place. She works at the interface between land, sea and historical experience. Drawn to the perimeters of land, her work is an index of edges and ledges, exposed headlands and wind-swept seas. Kerr is not somebody who makes meticulous studies of landscape. Beyond mere topography, but with a nod towards the Northern Romantic tradition in landscape painting, her practice remains contemporary and experimental. Her paint-splattered canvases evoke their subject so powerfully that the viewer becomes an active participant not only in her turbulent seascapes, but in the artistic process itself: action painting at its best. Swelling and breaking waves, advancing rain and mist, glancing sunlight, the focus of her painting is on the intangible and transitory. Called ‘the best painter of the sea in these islands’ by Brian Fallon, Chief Critic of the Irish Times, Kerr delights in foul weather.


‘My process of making paintings involves extremes and instabilities: peripheries and promontories – places of rapid change and shifts, both physically and meteorologically. They are about movement and the rhythms of sea and wind’. 


She works all over the British Isles although she has a particular fondness for the Shetland Islands, where she lives part of the year in a little cottage. She travels extensively - always to wild sea and weather-scoured places - whether sailing on a three-mast schooner off the coast of Svalbard, or attending an artist residency in Iceland. 


Kerr has a PhD in Fine Art; she is an Honorary Royal Scottish Academician, Past President of the Royal West of England Academy of Art, and Visiting Research Fellow in Fine Art, UWE Bristol. She has been represented by Cadogan Contemporary since 2008(?) and has participated in group and solo exhibitions across the continent. 


Studio Shots


2015-ongoing   Royal Scottish Academy Honorary Academician
    Fellow of Royal Society of Arts 
2013-ongoing    Visiting Research Fellow, Fine Art, UWE Bristol
2011-2016   Elected President of the Royal West of England Academy
    Royal Academician Hon.
2003-ongoing   Elected RWA Academician 


Selected Solo Exhibitions 
2020   Cadogan Contemporary, London 
2012   Marine Research Institute, and Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Bergen, Norway
2011   World Meteorological Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland
    'Janette Kerr: Extreme Wave Theory', Bonhoga Gallery, Shetland Isles
     Royal Geographic Society, Kensington, London, UK


Selected Group and Invited Exhibitions
2018   Annual Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, UK
2017   'Confusing Shadow with Substance', an installation by Janette Kerr & Jo Millett, Shetland Museum
2014-17   Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, Scotland
2012-16   Royal Academy Summer Show, London, UK
2003-17   Royal West of England Academy Annual Autumn Exhibition, Bristol, UK


Artist Residencies
2016   Arctic Circle Programme Exhibition 
2012   Meteorological Institute, Bergen, Norway
     Brisons Veor, Cape Cornwall​   
     The Booth, Shetland
2006/08/09   Cill Rialaig, International artists & writers retreat, S Ireland


Publications, Essays and Interviews 
2018   ‘Night Representation and Indeterminacy: Night in Landscape Painting’  included in Landscape Research  ‘Best Articles over 28 Years’ Collection (1st pub. 1997)
2017    ‘Poised Between Land and Far Haaf’, New Shetlander No. 281 
    Interview: Radio Shetland July 20th re. Confusing Shadow with Substance installation
    'Rogue Waves: Anatomy of a Monster,' M Olagnon & J Kerr, Bloomsbury
2015   Anatomie curieuse des vagues scélérates, M Olagnon & J Kerr, Quae, France
    Transcan Vol. 10, Australia
     Interview: Made in Bristol TV 1st Dec re Arctic Expedition
2014   'The Power of the Sea', Dr Janette Kerr & Prof Christina Payne (co-ed), Samson & Co
2011   'An Eye for a Storm: The Paintings of Janette Kerr,' Urthona 28, Melita Press
     Janette Kerr – film by Mark Parry
2010   Extremes and Instabilities, catalogue, Blurb
2008   Night: A Time Between – catalogue (ed & contributor), RWA Bristol
     Featured artist – ART, RWA Magazine (June)
2006   Fifty Wessex Artists: [Evolver] Books
2005   'Representation & Indeterminacy: A Study of Night in Painting,' PhD thesis, UWE
2000    In House Twice – Artists’ Book, Wild Conversations Press
1999   'The Painters Eye: Janette Kerr.' Art Review Magazine



Royal Collection

Shetland Arts, Shetland Isles

NorthLink Ferries, Scotland

Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Bergen, Norway

Dublin Office of Public Works

RWA Permanent Collection, Tallboys Bequest Bristol

Victoria Art Gallery Print Collection, Bath

Grizedale Society, Cumbria

Colle Verde Art Trust, Tuscany

Private collections world-wide


2017   Creative Scotland – collaborative project: Confusing Shadow with Substance
2014   MET, Norway: funding to attend Extreme Wave International Conference
2012/10   Arts Council England – Professional Development & Research
    Turning Point South West Bursary -The Penzance Convention
    NorthLink Ferries travel support – Extreme Wave Theory project
    Richard Hagan Gallery – research project
2000   Windle Trust Bursary
1999   David Murray Studentship Award, Royal Academy Schools
1996   Ruskin/Colle Verde Travel Bursary
1995   1st prize, Laing Landscape Art (SW)


Conferences and Symposium Papers
2018   Keynote speaker – ‘The Embodied Experience of Drawing’ Conference, Plymouth
2017   Collaborative Practice, CMIT biennial ASLE-UKI with LAND2, Sheffield Hallaam
2016   Relate North Symposium, ASAD
    Making in Transit series, The Cube, London
2014   Keynote speaker – Land2 drawing symposium, Plymouth University
2013   Kystmuseet i Øygarden, Bergen, Norway
    Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Bergen, Norway
    Extreme Wave International Conference, WMO, Geneva, Switzerland
2011   Meteorological Imaginations Panel – RGS Annual Conference, London, UK
    Art & Geography Symposium, UWE Bristol


2014   'Power of the Sea', RWA Bristol 
2011-16   RWA Annual Open and Drawn exhibitions
2008   'Night: A Time Between', RWA Bristol 
    Small Solo Exhibitions for RWA Academicians