Book Jean Edmiston
Originally from Aberdeen, Jean grew up surrounded by stories. Her father was a sculptor, teaching for many years at Gray’s School of Art. His passion for the natural landscape and its history meant long family walks in all weathers exploring beaches, ruined castles and stone circles while collecting pebbles, driftwood, shells and stories. Out of this childhood grew her own love and respect for story and landscape.
After a post-graduate year at Aberdeen Teacher Training College, followed by several years as a playgroup leader, nursery teacher, and then designer, Jean began to develop her ideas into writing. It was during this time she started regularly attending storytelling workshops run by Mary Medlicott and Karen Tovell, and suddenly ‘being a chatterbox’ made sense! Jean has worked for over 20 years as a professional storyteller and writer, taking her to schools, nurseries, museums, libraries, universities, colleges, community centres, cathedrals, forests and many other exciting destinations.
Jean enjoys working with other artists and has completed short residencies working alongside dancer Rosina Bonsu in nurseries, schools and the Burrell. In 2010, she created a performance with Rosina for the Edinburgh Mela, Royal Botanic Gardens and Scottish Storytelling Centre. Jean also worked with Light and Sound artist Tim Fitzpatrick, New Lanark Primary School and Historic Scotland to create a new performance for New Lanark Mills World Heritage Day.
While living in Glasgow, Jean worked in Primary Schools, Libraries, Museums and Arts and Community Centres across Scotland. She has run workshops and CPD sessions for teachers, parents and carers, and has been involved in several intergenerational projects, most recently for the NHS. Jean has also worked with the Woodland Trust, Forestry Commission, Historic Scotland, Hidden Gardens, Scottish Storytelling Centre, the Princess Royal Trust Young Carers, Scottish Housing Association, Creative Therapies in Yorkhill Hospital and Feis Rois. In 2012, Jean created ‘East of the Sun and West of the Moon’ which was presented during the Scottish International Storytelling Festival with fellow storytellers Bea Ferguson, Allison Galbraith and musician Jenny Gardner.
In 2013 Jean worked as a facilitator with ‘The Living Voices’ project, working in two Care Homes in South Ayrshire, which was organised by the Scottish Poetry Library and Scottish Storytelling Centre. Jean is available to work with children and adults telling stories in performance, or using stories as a starting point to discover people’s own stories. Workshops are informal, gentle, positive and suitable for parents, teachers, carers or anyone who is interested in including storytelling and story making in their work. Jean also enjoys working on residencies either in schools or with community groups and with other storytellers and artists.