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Upcoming artwork

Madge Gill

Madge Gill has been described as one of UK’s foremost outsider artists. The Line, in collaboration with London Borough of Newham, will open an outdoor exhibition of her work in spring 2021. Located in the borough where Madge Gill lived and produced the majority of her work, it will be a landmark opportunity to share and celebrate her life. The London Borough of Newham hold around 1,200 of her works in their collection and The Line will present a curated trail of reproductions of these works outdoors using billboards, window vinyls and large-scale installations. The exhibition will focus on Madge Gill’s life-long interest in horticulture and the process of bringing her work outdoors echoes a process that she engaged with in her own lifetime, whereby she would bring large-scale works into her garden to view them. The exhibition will be curated by Sophie Dutton, curator of Madge Gill’s recent retrospective at William Morris Gallery.  

Biography

Madge Gill (1882-1961) was brought up in East London, and after a short spell in Canada, she returned here to live and work. She received no training, but produced large-scale textile works and pencil and ink drawings, influenced by her spirit guide. It was not until Gill was 50, in 1932, that her work was first shown at the Whitechapel Gallery in an annual exhibition of art by East End amateurs. She exhibited a calico roll densely covered in coloured inks, which received national press coverage.  

 Gill exhibited annually at Whitechapel Gallery, but rarely parted with her works, hoarding them in her house in East Ham. She was an incredibly prolific artist, working on large rolls of calico or sheets of card, and regularly producing dozens of drawings a night. Her artwork only came into the public domain and art market after her death in 1961. One of her sons donated over 2000 items to Newham Borough Council. In 1968, a retrospective at the Grosvenor Gallery saw her work gain the recognition it deserved, and today her pieces feature in several public collections including the Collection de l’Art brut, Lausanne, Switzerland. 

 

Image: Madge Gill artwork from collection of Michael Morgan Theis