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Published: 12 July 2019

By Andy Ross

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Madge Gill

The William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow is hosting an exhibition devoted to Madge Gill, an extraordinary artist who continually created.

Madge was born in Walthamstow in 1882 and was sent across the ocean to Canada as a British Home Child to take up domestic service. Eventually she ended up coming back to the UK but this difficult early start led to her becoming an artist, producing prolifically. Led by her spirit guide, Myrninerest, Madge began to write before starting to draw and embroider both small and large scale pieces, often depicting emotionless faces, automatic writing and sprawling, coloured patterns.

While I have known about Madge for a long time - we own some small works - I was not aware of her extraordinary embroideries and canvases. Have a look at Getty Images' collection of photos which show the artist at work and some of the pieces she made. One of the canvases is approximately 30 foot long! You can also see some more of the embroideries on museumcrush.org. Inspirational stuff!

Thank you Mr H for the catalogue and information about the exhibition.