Madge Gill (1882-1961) Mediumistic and Visionary Artist who was guided by a spirit called Myrninerest.
“Gill’s frenetic improvizations have an almost hallucinatory quality, each surface being filled with checkerboard patterns that suggest giddy, quasi-architectural spaces. Afloat upon these swirling proliferations are the pale faces of discarnate and nameless women, sketched perfunctorily, albeit with an apparent concern for beauty, and with startled expressions” Roger Cardinal
Madge Gill is recognised in the art world today as the doyenne of British outsider art. Her impulsively created ink drawings of female faces floating ethereally within highly patterned backgrounds on huge swathes of calico are instantly identifiable, as are the thousands of smaller works on postcards and pieces of cardboard. More rare, but equally distinguishable, are her rhythmic and intricate hand woven silk and knitted textiles that she often made into throws, rugs and even her own clothes.
Madge had no prior knowledge of art and was entirely self-taught. She felt an instinctive compulsion to create, resulting in an outpouring that flowed effortlessly and spontaneously from an altered state of consciousness. The work often contains a maze of architectural or botanical swirls surrounding a myriad faces whose staring eyes emit a mesmerising force that has fascinated observers for a century. On closer inspection the drawings reveal esoteric symbols and words, often with biblical and astrological references, hinting at layers of complexity hidden below the surface. Working under the control of Myrninerest, her spirit guide, Madge Gill’s art remains an enigma.
Madge’s artwork makes frequent appearances at art fairs and fine art auctions around the world, as well as being represented in national and international exhibitions on art brut (outsider), mediumistic and visionary art. Here is a selection.