Jila Peacock was born in Iran, and studied and practiced Medicine in London before graduating in painting from St Martin's School of Art in 1984. Although primarily a painter and printmaker, she has always had a great interest in music and the performing arts and worked as Artistic Director for ENO's Baylis Programme from 1989 to 1992.
Moving to Glasgow in 1990, she has been a part-time lecturer in the Glasgow School of Art and a member of the Glasgow Print Studio while continuing to exhibit regularly in London at the Piano Nobile Gallery.
Her interest in Contemporary music culminated in a major collaberation with Scottish based composer Sally Beamish, in a multimedia performance of an Anglo-Saxon poem 'The Seafarer', at the Alderton Music Festival in Suffolk in September 2000.
In 2003/4 she was a Visiting Scholar at Cambridge New Hall, with an award from the Arts and Humanities Research Board, to make a hand printed edition of a book of ten shape poems from the Sufi mystic poet, Hafez, of Shiraz.
The book went on to be displayed in a major exhibition at the British Museum, Word into Art from May-August 2006. A second book Ten Poems from Hafez based on the work from the original hand made version, published in May 2006, won the British Book Design Award for literature in November 2006.
An animation film made entirely with calligraphy from the shape poems, commissioned by C4, was premiered at the London Film Festival in October 2007.