9 Aug 2012

Madge Gill 'Myrninerest'

There is a major retrospective of the work by the visionary outsider artist, Madge Gill at The Nunnery in Bow, London till 16 August. Madge Gill (1882-1961) had no recognition in her lifetime - she was a spiritualist and created work through a spirit guide she called 'Myrninerest'. Many pieces include a female figure - possibly self portraits. She is included in Jean Dubuffet's Collection d'Art Brut in Lausanne, but most of her output is owned by Newham Council. Quite a few years back I bought a magical drawing by Madge - here it is.


  1. 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.

    Bringing together little-seen loans from the Newham Archive; the College of Psychic Studies in South Kensington; the Henry Boxer Gallery and other archival material and artworks from private collections, this exhibition is a must-see for all those interested in art, psychology, spiritualism, social history or all of the above.

    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

    For more information please visit: www.richmond.gov.uk/arts

  2. In case you missed it, the Madge Gill exhibition was featured in the BBC1 documentary on outsider art:


    The recent Madge Gill panel discussion has now been uploaded to YouTube: