Born in Scotland in 1959 Atkinson studied Social Psychology and later Communication at Edinburgh Napier University. A multi-disciplinary artist, she has always been interested in people, politics and place. Her work moves between text, painting, drawing and print. Recent accolades include the Karen Scopa Memorial Award at Paisley Arts Institute and the Visual Arts Scotland Flora Wood Award. Her work also appears in the collections of Royal Bank of Scotland, National Museums Scotland, Murray Edwards College Cambridge, NBC Meshtec Inc Tokyo, Baltic Centre of Contemporary Art, Glasgow Print Studio, Peacock Visual Arts and the Scottish Poetry Library. She has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally and works from her studio in Edinburgh.