Wonder Women at The Scottish Gallery Celebrates Innovative Female Artists

Wendy Ramshaw - Concentric Evenings, 1994, 18ct yellow gold, amethyst, tourmaline, moonstone, sapphire, peridot, brass stand - photo Alex Robson

Wonder Women is comprised of three exhibitions of internationally acclaimed artists who are all closely associated with The Scottish Gallery – Dame Elizabeth Blackadder (1931-2021), Wendy Ramshaw, OBE (1939-2018) and Bodil Manz at 80. Wonder Women is The Scottish Gallery’s programme for the Edinburgh Art Festival 2023, running throughout August.

The Scottish Gallery celebrates three great women artists, and reflects the Gallery’s long association of championing and nurturing female talent since the 1880s. Dame Elizabeth Blackadder (1931-2021) | A Celebration is the gallery’s headline exhibition this August. This major retrospective embraces Blackadder’s life, work and legacy. Elizabeth Blackadder is one of the UK’s most loved artists and the first woman artist to be awarded both RSA and RA. She was represented by The Scottish Gallery from the late 1950s until her death in 2021. Born in Falkirk in 1931, Blackadder studied at Edinburgh College of Art. In 2001, she was made the first female Artist Limner by HRH The Queen, a position within the Royal Household unique to Scotland.

Elizabeth Blackadder, Rosie, Coco and Orchids, 1984, watercolour on paper, 64 x 51 cm

The Scottish Gallery is working in partnership with the Royal Scottish Academy, Dovecot Studios and Glasgow Print Studio, as well as launching a new monograph on Blackadder’s life and work by Duncan Macmillan. With work from her early to late career, from printmaking, works on paper and major oils, the exhibition will also feature a new tapestry by Dovecot Studios.


Running alongside the Blackadder retrospective is Wendy Ramshaw | The Early Years (1939-2018). This show will reveal rare, early works from one of the world’s most innovative jewellers and sculptors of the modern era, Wendy Ramshaw, CBE, RDI, an international champion of modern jewellery.

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Wendy Ramshaw’s work is represented in over 70 collections worldwide, encompassing designs for textiles, screens, gateways and sculpture. During her lifetime, Ramshaw worked collaboratively with The Scottish Gallery to launch some of her most iconic and famous projects including Picasso’s Ladies (1989), before being exhibited worldwide. The Scottish Gallery has exhibited some of her most ambitious ideas through exhibitions such as Rooms of Dreams (2002), Prospero’s Table (2004) and A Journey Through Glass (2007). Exhibitions such as Rooms of Dreams, which was designed as a theatrical stage set for the jewellery, have become embedded not only in Ramshaw’s spectacular career but also illustrate the commitment by The Scottish Gallery to truly original ideas.

Wendy Ramshaw in her studio, c.1981, image courtesy of David Watkins

Bodil Manz at 80 celebrates the internationally recognised Danish ceramist, who has been exhibiting with The Gallery for over thirty years, marking her 80th year. Manz is renowned for her slip cast porcelain cylinders, which she decorates in abstract or geometric patterns often on both sides, applied with plain decals. The effect is a pattern on the one side, offset by a shadow of a related pattern on the other.

Bodil Manz in her studio, Denmark_2018, photo Ole Haupt


Bodil Manz was born in Copenhagen in 1943. After graduating from the School of Arts and Craft, Copenhagen in 1965 she went on to study at the Escuela de Disneño y Artesanias in Mexico and Berkeley University in California. She established a studio with her late husband, ceramist Richard Manz, in 1967 in Horve, where she continues to live and work today. Manz has had solo exhibitions worldwide and her work is represented in public collections all over the world. In 2007 she was awarded the Grand Prize at the 4th World Ceramic Biennale, Korea, and was shortlisted as one of the finalists for the LOEWE craft prize in 2020.

Wonder Women
Exhibition Dates Thursday 27th July – Saturday 26th August 2023
Location The Scottish Gallery, 16 Dundas Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6HZ
Social Media @ScottishGallery
Website www.scottish-gallery.co.uk

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