Media Release: Elizabeth Blackadder celebrates 80th birthday with unique exhibition

RENOWNED Scottish artist Elizabeth Blackadder will attend the official opening of a special exhibition of her artwork in the Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling, on 12 November from 12pm to 2pm.

‘Journeys Together’ marks Blackadder’s 80th birthday and is a special collection of paintings, watercolours and drawings celebrating the creative partnership between the artist and her late painter husband, John Houston.

Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling, will officially open the exhibition alongside Duncan MacMillan, Professor Emeritus of University of Edinburgh and Art Critic of the Scotsman.

Blackadder and Houston were at the epicentre of the Scottish art world for decades.

Says a spokesperson: “Falkirk-born Blackadder studied and lectured at Edinburgh College of Art and is consistently named as one of Scotland’s greatest artists.

“She has won a number of awards and was appointed Her Majesty’s Painter and Limner in Scotland in 2001. Expressionist painter Houston lectured at Edinburgh College of Art and in 2005 held a retrospective at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Houston died in 2008.”

A parallel Blackadder exhibition titled ‘Journeys from Home’ will also be held at The Park Gallery, Falkirk, in partnership with Falkirk Community Trust from 12 November until 25 February 2012. This display gives an overview of the journey that Blackadder has undertaken in developing into one of Britain’s pre-eminent artist and gives an insight into her  life.

The pictures and objects tell a story of the places that she has been to, from her beginnings in Falkirk and her first visits to Italy, to her subsequent journeys throughout Europe and to Japan with her late husband John Houston.

Jane Cameron, curator, University of Stirling, said: “It has been a great pleasure to work with The Park Gallery, to put together these two exhibitons to celebrate the work of two of Scotland’s best loved artists, Elizabeth Blackadder and John Houston.

“We have also been fortunate to work with Annabel Macmillan who has curated the shows and provided invaluable insight into Blackadder and Houston’s life-long painting careers.

“We are delighted that Elizabeth will be present at the opening in Stirling and we are pleased to be bringing her work to a Forth Valley audience.”

Stirling has always been a keen supporter of the arts and the art collection of the University was founded in 1967.

The Collection currently holds over 500 works comprising of paintings, prints, tapestries, poetry, film, sculpture and glass with an emphasis on contemporary Scottish paintings and outdoor sculpture.

In 1997 the SAC (Scottish Arts Council) dispersed their collection and donated works by Blackadder and Houston to the University, joining paintings and prints from the artists that had already been purchased by Stirling. The collection has also grown with subsequent gifted works from Blackadder.

The collection is displayed predominantly in the Pathfoot Building, a recently listed example of 1960’s modernist architecture overlooking the loch around which the campus is built.

Many items are on permanent display in the building, some feature in temporary exhibitions and we host exhibitions by invited artists.

There is permanent and free public access to Pathfoot throughout the year and tours are offered to visitors. Gallery opening times are Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm and Saturday/Sunday from 11am to 3pm.

The Pathfoot exhibition is on display until 25 February 2012.

For further information contact communication officer, Katy Whitelaw or 01786 477058.

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