Image courtesy of the Artist and Kate MacGarry, London. Photography by Mike Bolam

We are delighted to announce an exhibition of new work by artist Renee So, entitled ‘Effigies and Elginisms’, which opens Saturday 2 April 2022. It is the first solo presentation of Renee’s work in Scotland.

Comprising 18 new works in stoneware, glazed ceramic and textile, Renee’s exhibition draws on a wide range of references, from an archaic Parisian by-law to pre-dynastic Egyptian female figurines (Effigies), and items looted from the Old Summer Palace in Beijing in 1860, during the Second Opium War, by French and British Troops under the direction of James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin, who was High Commissioner to China and son of Thomas Bruce, 7th Lord Elgin (Elginisms).

The exhibition is accompanied by a new short text written by Jennifer Higgie. Of Renee’s work, Jennifer has said: ‘In her sculptures, tiles, paintings and textiles, borders dissolve, animals and objects merge with humans: logic is upended in a dreamlike affinity. So – whose own story traverses the globe, from Hong Kong to Melbourne and London – is fascinated by history but less by its victories than its distortions and lies, its thefts, its vagaries and its strange wonders. Hers is an art of transformation – across time and space.’

Renee So
2 April –  19 June 2022

Thurs – Sun, 11am – 4pm
or by appointment outside of those times

Entry to this exhibition is free 

You can download a copy of our exhibition booklet, including a new text by Jennifer Higgie here

Renee So was born in Hong Kong in 1974 and grew up in Melbourne, Australia. She lives and works in London. Renee’s work spans numerous traditional craft techniques including ceramics, hand-woven textiles and furniture that refer specifically to representations of the female figure in prehistoric cultures. She bestows monumental grandeur and caricatural qualities to the figures in her works, which weave together a pattern of cross-cultural references.

Renee’s work has recently been the subject of solo exhibitions at De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, UK, (2019-2020) and Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK,  (2019). In 2020 she featured in Goldsmiths CCA’s exhibition Transparent Things. Other exhibitions include Hapticity: A Theory of Touch and Identity, Lychee One, London, UK (2021); London Making Now, Museum of London, UK (2021); One Day, Something Happens: Paintings Of People curated by Jennifer Higgie (2015); The Arts Council Collection, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds, (2015); A Conspiracy of Detail, Mackintosh Museum, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, (2013); Newspeak: British Art Now, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2010) and The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia, (2010/2011).

The exhibition is supported by Creative Scotland


Listen to Matthew Johnstone’s audio description of Woman XIII, 2022 

Listen to Ruby Day-Reader’s audio description of Looking Out Beyond the Hills, 2022

Listen to Hanna Wilczynska’s audio description of Mom Jeans, 2022

Join our mailing list to keep up to date with all our latest programme news