Eastern Still Life
About the work
Place: The Secret Intelligence Service, Vauxhall Cross, Albert Embankment
About the artist
Dame Elizabeth Blackadder was born in 1931 in Falkirk, Scotland. She studied at Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art from 1949 to 1954, and taught at Edinburgh College of Art between 1956 and 1986. In the year of her graduation, Blackadder was awarded a Carnegie Travelling Scholarship, enabling her to visit Yugoslavia, Greece and Italy, where she was particularly impressed by the Byzantine architecture and mosaics she saw. In 1954/55 she worked in Italy and in 1956 married the artist John Houston, with whom she has since travelled widely. Her working relationship with Dovecot Studios was established with a collaborative project in 1967, and was further developed in 1980 and 1987 with a number of commissions. Blackadder was the first woman to be elected as a full member of both the Royal Scottish Academy (1972) and the Royal Academy (1976). She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 1982 and has also received honorary doctorates from four Scottish universities. In 2001 she was appointed Her Majesty’s Painter and Limner in Scotland. Her work is included in the collections including Tate, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and has appeared on a series of Royal Mail stamps. She died in 2021.