A female protagonist who catches the devil in a bag of raisins and goes off to find the “Abominable Snowman” (because “a snowman is better than no man”), a pair of girls who wreak havoc at a Communist party banquet (a “terrible wastage of the People's Food!” blustered the authorities in retrospect), and amulets baked in her kitchen oven. This is the work of the little known Ester Krumbuchova, a filmmaker and costume designer at the vanguard of the 1960s Czech New Wave in cinema, yet whose work was so thoroughly repressed by the Communist authorities in the early 1970s that she is still relatively unknown even in her own country. If her films were wildly idiosyncratic they were, in many ways, an accurate reflection of her life off-screen, revealed in a recent archive discovery of hundreds of letters and ephemera which form the basis for this theatrical new exhibition at the newly reopened CCA.

The Krumbachova exhibition, originally scheduled for August this year, opens in the CCA after the summer closure when, like so many residents in the surrounding area, the CCA was locked out of its own premises after the second devastating fire at the Glasgow School of Art in June.

Krumbachova was born in Brno in 1923 in what was then Czechoslovakia. If she was a woman of her times, feminist, wildly creative, and full of quietly innovative ideas, it was her misfortune to be so in communist Czechoslovakia which, after the liberalizing Prague Spring of 1968, was invaded by the Soviets and placed under strict party rule, a position which would only end in 1989 with the peaceful Velvet Revolution.

It was her innovative work as a costume and theatrical designer that was her entry into film. Her approach was considered and imaginative – to create breadth in a character, she once said in an interview with Czech Radio, she might create a costume with sleeves of slightly different lengths, a costume that was perhaps too tight or too long, or missing a button. “No one would really notice,” she said, “but there is a certain discord.. Costume designers should understand that they are not dressing people in trousers or hats or shirts. They should see them as a way of modelling the character that is supposed to play in the film.”

Notable early films, some of which will be screened at CCA, included her venture with future husband, Jan Nemec, “A Report on the Party and the Guests” (1966), seen as deeply controversial and “subversive” by the Communists. When she went on to work on the film “Daisies” later that year, about two girls running riot in a contained society, her work was banned, effectively halting her design career. Her husband, likewise proscribed, chose exile; the Daisies film director, Vera Chytilova, who would later make a documentary called “Searching for Ester”, which will be screened at CCA as part of the exhibition, was banned from working until 1975.

Krumbachova, desperate, compensated by designing jewellery made from Fimo, malleable clay that can be baked in a domestic oven. Occasionally she worked under another name for friends, but it was 20 years before she was able to return to film work.

Curator Ainslie Roddick, who has been working on the exhibition with CCA Director Francis McKee and the curators of the Krumbachova archive itself, Edith Jeřábková and Zuzana Blochová, tells me that the rooms have been curated to embody the theatricality of Krumbachova's own work. In one room, Chytilova's documentary will screen, in another, two artists chosen by PANEL, the Glasgow-based design duo, have created work inspired by Krumbachova's own. Sally Hackett, the ceramic artist, has created “a series of small, playful ceramic sculptures,” mounted on different perspex plinths under theatrical lights and mirrored display mechanisms. France-Lise McGurn, whose drawing style, Roddick tells me, is very similar to Krumbachova's own simple, biro drawings, has made two large canvases, one of them based on the only film Krumbachova directed, “The Murder of Mr Devil.” In the largest CCA space, Krumbachova's archive is presented, 250 pieces which include many letters and fragments of letters, some of which were published in her work, “The First Book of Ester”. Drawings, beaded necklaces, textiles and costumes hang in room dividers or from the ceiling. Part of the room is a large mock-up of the kitchen shelf in Mr Devil, the room an emulation of the film in way.

The letters are fascinating, written to her cat, her many lovers, inanimate objects, herself, persons unknown. Lively, crazy, nonsensical, occasionally filled with dark fairytales, many intentionally unsent, they are a snapshot from a wild life touched by politics, feminism and creativity which noone, says Roddick, really knows anything about. It is a pertinent time, she says, for discovery.

A Weakness for Raisins: Films and Archives of Ester Krumbachova, Centre for Contemporary Arts, 350 Sauchiehall Street, Glagow, 0141 352 4900, www.cca-glasgow.com Until 27 Jan 2019, Tues - Sat, 11am - 6pm; Sun 12pm - 6pm

Don't miss

As much of the rest of the world has now decked itself with the requisite boughs of holly and even Edinburgh has cut down some of its own protected tree-stock in a somewhat over-enthusiastic attempt to join in the fun, I feel we can now safely broach Christmas exhibitions on these pages. A small one to begin with, just to get your eye in - and you'll have to be quick, as lasting for one day only, stocks will be gone quicker than a sapling in Princes Street Gardens. GLOW is Dovecot Tapestry Studio's Christmas Design Market, a bringing together of some very fine crafts people and artists, ranging in discipline from ceramics to jewellery, textiles to wood carving. It will doubtless evoke covetousness of a very unseasonal nature yet will, as these things do, make Christmas shopping a pleasure.

GLOW, Dovecot, 11 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh, 0131 550 3660 www.dovecotstudios.com Today only, 10.30am - 6.30pm, £1 on the door.

Critics Choice

Last chance, over the coming week, to catch this retrospective of the innovative and influential Bow Gamelan Ensemble, the musical artist collective founded in 1983 by Anne Bean, Paul Burwell (1948 – 2007) and Richard Wilson. Inspired, originally, by the sounds and sights encountered on boat trips on the Thames, and the sound of the gamelan – the distinctive percussive ensemble music of Java and Bali - the result was an experimental intermingling of percussion and performance art.

Wilson, known for his outrageous sculptural architectural interventions – “Turning the Place Over”, the spinning cut-out fascade of an old office block for Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008, or “Hang on a Minute Lads...I've got a Great Idea,” (2012), a replica coach teetering on the edge of, amongst others, Hong Kong's historic Peninsula Hotel – and Anne Bean, known for her collaborative performance art work with a number of artists, including the collective, The Kipper Kids, worked with Paul Burwell, a musician and artist who stressed improvisation and helped found the London Musicians Collective charity.

As Bow Gamelan, they used found objects – from river barges to light bulbs - and familiar sounds and everyday objects, inventing instruments to explore a radical, avant-garde and visual sound-world that explored the confluence between noise and “meaningful utterance.” Explosive, funny, eerie, and provocative, their work is seen here reimagined from the archive - photographs, video and soundworks presented as an installation, “Bow Lines”, complete with music stands and thunder sheets, which was “played” at the opening ceremony last month by W0B.

Bow Gamelan Ensemble: Great Noises that Fill the Air, Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, 13 Perth Road, Dundee, www.dundee.ac.uk/cooper-gallery Until 15 Dec, Mon – Fri, 10am – 5pm, Sat, 11am – 5pm