February 18, 2009

artist of interest - madge gill*

this is madge gill. she was a self taught artist who began obsessively drawing mediumistic works after the death of her daughter in 1919. for the next 40 years she completed over 4,000 drawings. according to wikipedia...

She claimed to be guided by a spirit she called "Myrninerest" (my inner rest) and often signed her works in this name. The figure of a young woman in intricate dress appeared thousands of times in her work, and is often thought to be a representation of herself or her lost daughter. She drew this woman in various moods and appearances, almost never showing her entire body, and with her clothes interwoven into the surrounding complex of lines and patterns.

unfortunately i couldn't find much information on her, but i intend to continue searching. i did mange to find random images of her work throughout the internet, some of which are still being auctioned off to this day. according to one biography i read, she rarely sold or even displayed her works. she attributed them to Myrninerest and considered them belonging to her.

additional biographies may be found here, here, here, + here.


annie stephens said...

i had never heard of madge gill, or her work as myrninerest. so tragic!

+ i cannot believe i am only now finding this blog. (hello, hello!)

micha michelle said...

hello to you too.

yeah, she is truly fascinating. i wish i could find more information on her... but the mystery is becoming to her.

Anonymous said...

Thought this might interest you...

Madge Gill: Medium & Visionary

Orleans House Gallery, Riverside, Twickenham, TW1 3DJ

Until 26 January 2014

With no training and no aspirations to fame, Madge Gill produced thousands of ink drawings during her lifetime. Her work remains an enigma: is it true she was inspired by an ethereal spirit guide? Was she genuinely in touch with 'the beyond', or was art-making a form of self therapy?

Orleans House Gallery invites you to delve into the world of Madge Gill (1882 - 1961) in this major retrospective exhibition supported by the Wellcome Trust. Featuring over 100 original artworks, and contextual photographs and documents, this exhibition is the first of its kind. Madge Gill was championed and collected by Jean Dubuffet, who coined the term ‘art brut’ (raw art), the precursor to the term ‘Outsider Art’. Gill is considered the most important, influential and recognised British ‘outsider artist.’ This project explores Gill’s work, history and psychic / mediumistic context in-depth, in order to question the use of such terms, whilst celebrating the benefits of creativity for wellbeing.

Working mainly on paper, card and textiles, Gill used pen to create maze-like surfaces with a glittering, almost hallucinatory quality that often reveal a female face. Ranging from postcard size to over 10 metres long, her work immerses the eye in a dark world of mystery, beauty and obsession. Her work has been included in previous Orleans House Gallery Outsider and Visionary art exhibitions, the Tate Gallery, and more recently at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, Museum of Everything and Nunnery Gallery.

The focal point of the exhibition is The Crucifixion of the Soul, perhaps Gill’s most important work. Over ten metres long, this immense calico is inscribed with Gill’s finely wrought doodle-like drawings and is testament to Gill’s commitment to creativity.

Orleans House Gallery, Riverside, Twickenham, TW1 3DJ

Free admission

Gallery open Tuesday-Saturday 1.00-4.30pm, Sunday 2.00-4.30pm

Tel: 020 8831 6000

Email: artsinfo@richmond.gov.uk

Website: www.richmond.gov.uk/arts

Members of the public should call the Council’s contact centre for more information by phoning 08456 122660.


Madge Gill: Medium & Visionary curated by Mark De Novellis in collaboration with Henry Boxer, Roger Cardinal and Vivienne Roberts.