“You must offer real, living, beautifully coloured flowers…real flowers springing from your own soul — not even cut flowers. You must offer the flowers of the art that is in you — the symbols of all that is noble, and beautiful, and inspiring. Flowers that will often change a colourless leaf into an established and thoughtful thing.“

— Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Seemliness


Kathryn Allan, BA (Hons), MPhil, PGCE


I studied Visual Communication at The Glasgow School of Art and completed an MPhil at the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication. I make things with materials in my own non-representational idiom and in two and three dimensions, and I make with words. I am excited by the visual and written surface as a place, and interested in art as holder of empathetic space and the confessional site of the sketchbook. I am also interested in the ekphrastic ability of words to amplify the visual — when words meaningfully occupy the gap in between the seeing and the seen.

Collaboration with other artists, and the opportunity it gives for discussion and communion through creativity, is a method of working that I welcome — friendship as a way of making art.

Connect on Instagram.


The Violet Library

Art Through Other Spaces

Read A Different Top Nine: Nine-hundred Words on Nine Favourite Artworks


Education — Art & Design

BA (Hons) Design—Visual Communication (First Class), The Glasgow School of Art 2001 — The Stairs

Foundation Diploma in Art & Design, Hull College 1997

Learning to Look at the Visual Arts, University of Oxford Continuing Education 2023 — The Scottish SeuratLe lit défait (or Mark's unmade bed)

Learning to Look at Modern Art, University of Oxford Continuing Education 2023 — Helen Who?, Outside like a Light

Art Nouveau Across Europe, University of Oxford Continuing Education 2023 — On-grid (an elegant clarion call),The Clyde then the Calder

Cultural Heritage in Conflict: The Legacy of Looted Art, Courtauld Short Course 2024

Italian Renaissance c.1400-1600, University of Oxford Continuing Education 2024 — Pinion, Palette, Render

Education — Other

MPhil Publishing Studies (Distinction), University of Stirling 2003 — dissertation Communications Revolutions: The Impact of Printing and the Internet Parallel

PGCE, University of Hull 2007


Awards & Grants

Historical & Critical Studies Prize (School of Design & Craft), The Glasgow School of Art —
extended essay Beyond Surface

Arts & Humanities Research Council (grant)

McGowan Prize, University of Stirling

The Dickinson Prize in Education, University of Hull

Eridge Trust (grants enabling children‘s appreciation of visual art through gallery visits)


Writing for Publication

START & AD Magazine, National Society for Education in Art & Design

Designing, Design & Technology Association

a-n Magazine



Society of Scottish Artists

British Association of Art Therapists (Associate Member)