Leila and Jo
Mother and daughter, Leila Thomson and Jo Thomson, were born into a very artistic family. Leila graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a BA Hons. in Tapestry in 1980 and Jo graduated 30 years later in 2010 with a BA Hons. in Drawing and Painting, also from Edinburgh College of Art.
Leila and Jo were both born on Hoxa Head in Orkney where they now live and work. The Gallery, which Leila and husband Benny built, is in fact only a field away from the small farm where Leila grew up.
The youngest of a family of six, Leila was the fourth member of the family to study at Edinburgh College of Art, following her sisters Connie, Sheila and Dorothy. Connie graduated in drawing and painting, Sheila in jewellery design (Sheila Fleet Jewellery) and Dorothy in pottery and glass. In keeping with the family tradition two of Leila’s nieces also graduated from Edinburgh College of Art, Norna in tapestry and Leila in theatre costume. This made Jo the seventh member of the family to graduate from Edinburgh College of Art.