Madge Gill by Myrninerest

Rough Trade Books


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Madge Gill by Myrninerest, edited by Sophie Dutton / ISBN 9781912722341 / a 248-page paperback from Rough Trade Books (UK)

Madge Gill by Myrninerest is a personal journey through the extraordinary archives of Madge Gill, one of Britain’s most creative and visionary self-taught artists. Consisting of conversations, exclusive interviews, essays from outsider art specialists, family photographs and hand-written correspondence—plus rare and unseen works, including her revelatory large-scale embroideries—this book takes us ever closer to the enigmatic, troubled, and inspirational artist, Madge Gill...She often attributed her inspiration for the thousands of intricate ink drawings and embroideries to her ethereal guide, after which this book is named. Gill was obsessed with spiritualism, and this unseen force gave her a new outlook and energy which shaped her work, guiding her hand and allowing her to find the strength and inspiration to take control over the many hardships in her life.

from "Madge Gill (1882-1961) was an outstanding exponent of mediumistic art and remains one of the foremost British Outsider artists. She was born in the East End of London, where she spent the greater part of her life....It was some weeks after her return to health, on 3 March 1920, that Madge Gill was first ‘possessed’ by Myrninerest, her spirit-guide. Madge was now thirty-eight, and her contact with this phantom figure would be maintained without interruption throughout the rest of her life. In his 1926 text Myrninerest the Spheres, her son Laurie bears witness to his mother’s first experience of delirious trance-states, which she found overwhelming and frightening. He evokes a whole gamut of creative modes at that time: drawing, writing, knitting, crochet-work, weaving, piano-playing. All this took place under the auspices of Myrninerest, whose signature appeared regularly on the drawings."

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