International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is celebrated on 8th March every year.

Powerful and iconic works created by women were collected by the University from its founding days in the late sixties, by eminent UK artists such as Barbara Hepworth and Mary Martin. Quite a number of familiar names have since followed: Elizabeth Blackadder, Pat Douthwaite, Joan Eardley, Anne Redpath and more recently artists such as Katie Paterson and Jacqueline Donachie, who are major names in the contemporary art world. Although there is still room for improvement, around a third of the artists in the University’s permanent collection are women, which is a much better ratio than many other galleries.

To celebrate this international day of women, we show below a small selection of works by lesser known artists in the Collection (to search all of our artists click here). Some of these were purchased from early travelling print shows, others from local artists, and yet others were bequeathed or donated. From the beginning, the aim of the University was to be open and egalitarian, and this has at least to a certain extent been reflected in its collecting policy from the early days onwards.

The Leg Series 10 by Emma Scott-Smith
Acrylic, pencil and matt varnish on canvas
Born in Stirling, Emma Scott-Smith grew up in Alloa and was educated at Dollar Academy until the age of twelve when she had to leave due to ill health. She began exhibiting as an artist at sixteen. This work was purchased from an exhibition in 2015 organised by the Art Collection.
Spring by May Chipulina
Oil on canvas, 2006
The Stirling-based artist worked as an occupational therapist, and took up painting properly after early retirement. This is one of a series of four in the collection.
The Chinese Plate by Lily Cottrell 1896-1984
This artist was the mother of first University of Stirling principal Tom Cottrell, and a major influence on his interest in art, which led directly to the founding of the Art Collection.
Talking Shop by Heather Brennan
Oil on canvas, 1983
The artist painted this group portrait during her time as a student at Glasgow School of Art. It is a group portrait of the University of Stirling Philosophy Department in 1983.
Vanishing Herds by Hilda Bernstein (1915-2006)
(Etching, 1970s)
Hilda Bernstein was a British-born author, artist, and an activist against apartheid and for women’s rights. She began work as an artist in 1972 and her etchings, drawings and paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy and featured in many solo and group exhibitions in the UK and South Africa.

Fishing by the Ticino by Julia Matcham
(Screenprint 147/160, purchased in 1975)
Born in Watford, Julia Matcham attended Chelsea School of Art and the Central School, then worked in advertising, before taking up screenprinting full time.
Her mother Winifred Pickard is also represented in the Collection.
A Seed in Time by Sadie McLellan (1914-2007)
Revolving stained glass sculpture on a plinth. 1973. Gifted to the Art Collection in 2016, this work was commissioned by Bells whisky for the grounds of their HQ at Cherrybank, Perth in the early seventies. It consists of two interlocking discs, representing the sun and moon. It comes to life when light strikes it. Born in Milngavie, Sadie McLellan was influenced by Corbusier and Leger. Experiments in a new architectural style, called dalles de verre, where slabs of glass are set into a matrix of concrete, propelled her to the forefront of Scottish design.
Muses Series 2 by Catriona Munro
In 2015 Catriona Munro took part in a group exhibition in the Pathfoot Building. These images (seven in all) draw on photographs of poets Alice Meynell and Edith Sitwell which depict them in front of tapestries and painted backdrops. The woman poet blends with the artistic scene itself, suggesting that she herself is an art object.
Piano by Sara Greenwood
Local abstract artist Sara Greenwood painted the Pathfoot piano in her distinctive bold strokes and carefully blended colour. The piano is available for anyone to play and we look forward to the day when the building reopens and pianists can once again take a seat and serenade passing students and others with some tunes.

To read more about the early days of the Art Collection click here. Other blog posts on women artists in the collection include: Lotte Glob, Kate Downie, Janka Malkowska, the Mackenzie sisters, Wilhelmina Barns Graham, Diane Maclean

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