The relationship between Elizabeth Blackadder and Glasgow Print Studio was a long and fruitful one. She began printing at Glasgow Print Studio in 1984, and created more than 150 editions over the years. This retrospective exhibition features many of the prints from this time, alongside a small selection of her paintings and pieces from the GPS archive.

Dame Elizabeth Blackadder DBE, RA, RSA, RSW, RGI (1931 – 2021) was a Scottish painter and printmaker who, in addition to being a member of the Royal Academy of Art and Royal Scottish Academy, was the first woman to be elected to both academies.

From 1962 until 1986, she taught at the Edinburgh College of Art. She worked in different media, including oil paints, watercolours, drawings, and prints, and produced works covering a wide range of subjects and mediums, including still life, animals, and flora and fauna.

She also painted portraits, but most of her later work features cats, landscapes and flowers with extreme detail, carefully considering the space between objects.

Blackadder’s work is displayed at the Tate Gallery, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and her work has been featured on Royal Mail stamps.

In 1982, she was awarded an OBE for her contribution to art and made a Dame of the British Empire in 2003. In addition, she was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and received Honorary degrees from several universities.

Over her lifetime, Elizabeth experimented with a range of diverse printmaking media, including lithography, screenprint, etching, aquatint, carborundum, drypoint and woodcut.

In 1985, she began her printmaking collaborating with the Glasgow Print Studio at the invitation of the director, John Mackechnie, and over the next 30 years she created more than 150 editions of prints.

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“Elizabeth developed a unique style which was instantly recognisable and sought after. Whenever her work was shown, at art fairs for example, visitors would beat a path to see her latest rendition of cats, flowers or images from her travels in France, Italy and Japan. Her trips to Japan in particular influenced her style in terms of colour and pattern.” – John Mackechnie MBE RSA, Director of Glasgow Print Studio.

A lot of the works in her collection had a personal connection to her: flowers she had grown, kittens she had raised, or places she had visited with her husband, John Houston, the artist. Each time, the subjects are brilliantly observed, beautiful, and captivating.

The exhibition runs until the 28th May 2022, open Tuesday – Saturday 10.30am – 5.30pm, alongside exhibitions by Kate Downie and Consuelo R. Servan.

Where: Glasgow Print Studio, Trongate 103, Glasgow G1 5HD T. 0141 552 0704
When: 9th April – 28th May 2022
Website: glasgowprintstudio.co.uk

Learn more about Elizabeth Blackadder

Watch: Elizabeth Blackadder and Stuart Duffin, Etching Master Printer, talk about the Venice etchings that she worked on at the Glasgow Print Studio.

Watch: Elizabeth Blackadder and Senior Curator Philip Long talk about Blackadder’s work in her garden and home studio.

Featured image of cat: Glasgow Print Studio


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