Janette Kerr is a painter deeply embedded in place. She works at the interface between land, sea and historical experience. She writes, ‘My paintings represent immediate responses to sound and silences within the landscape around me; they are about movement and the rhythms of sea and wind, swelling and breaking waves, the merging of spray with air, advancing rain and mist, glancing sunlight - elements that seem to be about something intangible.’

Called ‘the best painter of the sea in these islands’ by Brian Fallon, Chief Critic of the Irish Times, Kerr delights in foul weather. Drawn to the perimeters of land, her work is an index of edges and ledges, exposed headlands and wind-swept seas. She writes: ‘My process of making paintings involves extremes and instabilities: peripheries and promontories – places of rapid change and shifts, both physically and meteorologically’. 


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.


For the last 10 years, her work has focussed on Shetland and the far north. She travels extensively - always to wild sea and weather-scoured places - sailing along the coast of Svalbard in the High Arctic on board a tall ship called the Antigua with a group of international artists. More recently she has been on an international residency in Skagastrond in NW 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 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 also regularly paints abroad - whether while travelling on a three mast schooner off the coast of Svalbard, or attending an artist residency in Iceland.

Installation shots




2015-ongoing     Royal Scottish Academy Honorary Academician

                              Fellow of Royal Society of Arts

2013-ongoing     Visiting Research Fellow, Fine Art, UWE Bristol

2003-ongoing    Elected RWA Academician

2011- 2016 Elected President of the Royal West of England Academy

                             Royal Academician Hon




Solo Exhibition 


2020                Cadogan Contemporary, London

2018                 Slader’s Yard Gallery, Bridport UK

                          Kilmorak Gallery, Inverness-shire, Scotland

                          Cadogan Contemporary, London UK

2017                Arctic Air: an absolute difficult beauty – RWA Small Gallery, Bristol, UK

2016                An Uncontrollable Force – Cadogan Contemporary Gallery, London UK  

2015                Paintings from the Sea – Cadogan Contemporary Gallery, London, UK

                        New Work from Shetland – Kilmorak Galley, Inverness-shire, Scotland

                        Stour Gallery, Shipston-on-Stour, UK

2014                Meteorological Musings – Cadogan Contemporary, London, UK

2013                Kystmuseet i Øygarden, Bergen, Norway

2012                Marine Research Institute, and Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Bergen, Norway

                        Sixty Degrees North – Cadogan Contemporary, London, UK

                        Sea Drawing – RWA, Bristol, UK

2011                World Meteorological Organisation, Geneva, Switzerland

                       Janette Kerr: Extreme Wave theory – Bonhoga Gallery, Shetland Isles

                        Royal Geographic Society, Kensington, London, UK

                        Janette Kerr: On the far edge Sir Terry Frost Gallery, King’s School, Worcester, UK  

                        Sea drawings – UWE, Bristol, UK

2010                St Giles Gallery, Norwich, UK

2009                Origin Gallery, Dublin, ROI

                        Peripheral Visions  – Cadogan Contemporary Gallery, London, UK

2007                Edge – Hybrid Gallery, Honiton, UK  

                       Janette Kerr – Seascapes, St Giles Gallery, Norwich, UK




Group and Invited Exhibitions


2018               Currents: Ways of seeing water, Slader’s Yard Contemporary Gallery, Bridport, UK

                       Annual Exhibition, Royal West of England Academy, UK           

                       Fragile Latitudes, The Step Gallery, Arizona State University, USA

                       Annual Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, UK

                       A Case for Place – interdisciplinary project with Land 2, Steel Rooms Gallery, Brigg, UK 

2017               Confusing Shadow with Substance – installation Janette Kerr & Jo Millett, Shetland Museum

                       Janette Kerr & Malcolm Ashman – Andelli Art, Wells, Somerset

                       Stour Gallery, Shipston-on-Stour, UK

2003-2017 Royal West of England Academy Annual Autumn Exhibition, Bristol, UK

2014-2017 Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, Scotland

2016               Radiance – Sladers Yard, Bridport, UK

                       Scottish Artists inspired by sea – Kilmorak Gallery, Inverness-shire, Scotland

2012-16          Royal Academy Summer Show, London, UK

2014               The Power of the Sea: Making waves in British Art – RWA, Bristol, UK

                        20×20 – Bonhoga Gallery, Shetland, UK

                        Small works – Hilton Fine Art, Bath

                        Birmingham & Beyond: 200 Year Celebration – RBSA, Birmingham, UK

                        Hilton Fine Art, Bath, UK

                        Arusha Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland

                        A2 Gallery, Wells, UK

                        Hilton Fine Art, Bath UK  

                        Stour Gallery, Shipston-on-Stour, UK

2013                Sladers Yard, Bridport, UK

                        Small Works – Cadogan Contemporary, London, UK

                        The Wilder Shores of Love – Hilton Fine Art, Bath UK

                        Sladers Yard Gallery, Bridport, UK

                         Stour Gallery, Shipston-on-Stour, UK

                         Works on Paper  – Cadogan Contemporary, London, UK

                         30th Anniversary Exhibition – Cadogan Contemporary, London, UK

                         Abstraction – Cadogan Contemporary, London, UK

                         Open Studios, Somerset, UK

2010                 Air Gallery, Wells, Somerset, UK

                         Hampshire Art Fair Hampshire, UK

                         Open Painting Exhibition – RWA, Bristol, UK

2010-7              Cadogan Country Art Show, London UK & Hampshire, UK

                         Kilkenny Arts Festival – Fine Art & Applied Art, Ballyduff House, ROI

2009                 Blackbird Gallery, Kilkenny (Kilkenny Arts Festival), ROI

                         Irish Art – Stour Gallery, Shipston-on-Stour (3 person), UK

                         Around the British Coastline  – Richard Hagen Gallery, Broadway, UK

                         West Country Artists  – Bowlish Gallery, Bowlish, Somerset, UK

                         Workshop Wales Gallery, Fishguard, Wales, UK

2009/8              Affordable Art Fair, London, UK

2008                 Night: A Time Between – Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, UK

                         Edinburgh Art Fair (Bowlish Gallery), Scotland

2007                 Earth – Rook Lane Chapel, Frome Art Festival, Somerset, UK

                         Micro-Macro (2 person) – Queens Street Gallery, Emsworthy, Hampshire, UK

                         Affordable Art Fair (Bowlish Gallery), Bristol, UK

                         Inspires Gallery, Oxford (2 person), UK

                         Alpha House Gallery, Sherbourne, Dorset, UK

                         Quartz Visual Arts Festival, Taunton, Somerset, UK

                         Bowlish Contemporary Gallery, Bowlish, Somerset, UK

                         Sadler Street Gallery, Wells, Somerset, UK

                         Stour Gallery, Shipston-on-Stour, UK






2016             Arctic Circle Programme expedition 

2012             Meteorological Institute, Bergen, Norway

                      Brisons Veor, Cape Cornwall​               

                     The Booth, Shetland

2006/08/09  Cill Rialaig, International artists & writers retreat, S Ireland


2018              Forthcoming ‘Night representation and indeterminacy: night in landscape painting’ to be 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



Work in collections


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 / syposium 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






Night: A Time between – 2008 RWA Bristol

Power of the Sea – 2014  RWA Bristol

RWA Annual Open and Drawn exhibitions 2011-16 

Small solo exhibitions for RWA Academicians