Painter and printmaker Jila Peacock was born in Iran in 1948, and studied medicine at London University before graduating in painting from St Martin’s School of Art in 1984. Moving to Glasgow in 1990, she has been a part-time lecturer at Glasgow School of Art and a member of the Glasgow Print Studio while continuing to exhibit regularly in London at the Piano Nobile Gallery.
She was a Visiting Scholar at New Hall, Cambridge, in 2003-4, with an award from the AHRC, to make a hand printed edition of a book of Ten poems from Hafez, the metaphysical fourteenth century poet of Shiraz, which was exhibited in New Hall in 2004, The Fitzwilliam Museum in 2005 and the British Museum exhibition, Word into Art, in 2006. The book is now in many public collections in the UK and USA.
A new version of the book published by Sylph Editions, won the British Book Design award in the literature category, in November 2006.
Her animation film composed entirely from animated calligraphy from the shape poems, The Tongue of the Hidden, made in collaboration with director David Alexander Anderson for C4, was broadcast in 2007. The film was nominated for a Scottish BAFTA in November 2008. A feature film commissioned by the BBC Persian services, on the whole Hafez project, Reading Hafez in Britain directed by Shahriar Siami, was broadcast in August 2010.