New exhibition at Basingstoke's Willis Museum to showcase one of the UK's most celebrated artists

  • Irises, 198, Dame Elizabeth Blackadder c Fleming Collection

An exhibition celebrating the career of Dame Elizabeth Blackadder opens on 29 March 2019

An exhibition celebrating the long and distinguished career of Dame Elizabeth Blackadder will open at the Willis Museum in Basingstoke on 29 March 2019. Elizabeth Blackadder: From the Artist’s Studio will give art lovers and novices alike a chance to familiarise themselves with Dame Elizabeth’s broad and fascinating work from a career spanning six decades. Aged 87, Blackadder’s long and distinguished career began in the mid-1950s and has continued undimmed into the 21st century.

Blackadder is not a person who has ever courted celebrity, but she is undoubtedly one of Britain’s greatest living artists. She was the first woman to be elected both to the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy and in 2001, she was given the prestigious title of Her Majesty’s Painter and Limner in Scotland. The exhibition will reveal Blackadder’s diversity and skill as an artist, with a selection which includes some of her early landscapes, several of her perfectly pitched still lifes and some fine examples of her work in watercolour. Her career as a print maker is also represented by a selection of etchings reflecting both her travels in Italy and Japan and also by several prints featuring cats.

“We are receiving works from Elizabeth’s own archive and studio, plus a tapestry kindly loaned to us from the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation in London, as well as loans from Glasgow Print Studio. The works are from across her entire career, covering all periods and all mediums. This will be a fantastic exploration of her work,” says Jenny Stevens, Venue Manager at the Willis Museum.

With over 30 works on display at the Willis Museum, which is operated by Hampshire Cultural Trust, Elizabeth Blackadder: From the Artist’s Studio will highlight the breadth of her extensive and distinguished career. Also included in the exhibition is a specially commissioned poem by Robyn Bolam, Hampshire Poet Laureate 2018, written in response to Dame Elizabeth Blackadder’s work.

There will also be the chance to become inspired by Blackadder’s works and to create a masterpiece in a series of workshops with guest artist Isabel Hurley. Family art workshops take place on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 April 2019 and there are also adult masterclasses taking place on Saturday 27 and Tuesday 30 April. For full details and how to book, visit: www.hampshireculture.org.uk/willis-museum.

Elizabeth Blackadder: From the Artist’s Studio can be seen for free (suggested donation £3) at the Willis Museum, Basingstoke from 29 March- 12 June 2019.