Kerr’s Training began at Brighton University in 1989 where she trained to be a fashion textile designer. As part of her course she spent a year working in a fashion prediction agency, the BBC costume department, a specialist silkscreen printers and three design studios in London and Lyon, France. On graduation, Kerr was awarded a licentiate from the Textile Institute in Manchester (the Fred Carter Brown Award) and was selected as one of 30 graduates nationally for sponsorship to exhibit at Texprint in Dusseldorf. At Texprint Kerr sold work to Romeo Gigli and Christian Lacroix and met Jenny Frean of First Eleven Studio who became her agent for the next few years. Kerr’s early work was inspired by Italian Renaissance frescoes. She loved the worn away quality, the soft imagery, and the warmth of the colours and the peeling of layers. In 1994 Kerr set up

her first studio in Bloomsbury, London. At around this time Kerr’s mother gave her a series of family photograph albums which had languished in plastic carrier bags in an under stair cupboard. These photographs provided a visual thread that linked Kerr to her unknown family history. Her grandfather, a Viennese surgeon, came to Britain in 1936 and this was part of the story Kerr was to tell. At this time, Kerr was making her living designing textiles for the luxury end of the market whilst also experimenting with using the photographs to create fine art pieces. It had not occurred to her that this might become her career. The pieces got their first showing at her bi annual open studio event where the work sold and attracted the attention of galleries and the media. In 1995 she first showed her new work at Contemporary Applied Arts, London. A number of gallery

exhibitions followed. Her first solo show in Ruthin in 1996 toured to the BBC in Manchester and she also showed work at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and with the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham. Slowly Kerr was using the family album to create a large body of work. By 1998 this had evolved into, ‘There Are Things You Don’t Need To Know’, an installation which inhabited an entire Victorian townhouse in Battersea London. It was a major piece of work, which incorporated sounds, smells and objects, a contextual background to place and complement the 65 artworks hanging on the walls. The Exhibition took the viewer on an uncomfortable journey. For more information, click on Installation. This work inspired a variety of public and commercial bodies and individual families to commission Kerr to tell their stories within the context of a piece of her work.