Last night I went to a private viewing of the “Madge Gill Medium & Visionary” exhibition at the Orleans House Gallery, Twickenham.
This exhibition is exploring her work and her connection to mediumship. With no training and no aspirations to fame, Madge Gill (1882 – 1961) produced thousands of secretive 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?
The exhibition includes many of her pen and ink drawings including “The Crucifixion of the Soul” which is 25 ft long and acts as the focal point for the show. Her work contains the faces of women and intricate designs and patterns, they have a haunting quality about them.
Madge first mentioned her spirit guide – Myrninerest in about 1920 and in the 1930’s had a reputation as a medium and conducted seances. The exhibition also has pieces of the “automatic writing” that she produced. The College of Psychic Studies has also loaned several items to the exhibition which includes an automatic writing slate, seance trumpet and drawings by Georgiana Houghton. The College has also loans one of Ethel Le Rossignol paintings that is usually on display at the college.
The exhibition makes you ask the question – was she inspired by Spirit? We may never know for sure. I am seen similar designs being drawn by students when they do inspiration or automatic writing.
The Gallery kindly invited me to run an introductory workshop on “Inspirational Writing” to accompany the exhibition and give people a chance to connect to Spirit for themselves and see what happens. The workshop is also part of the Richmond Literary Festival. It will be interesting to see what experiences people have as Spirit draw close in such a beautiful place, surrounded by energy of Madge’s drawings.
Inspirational Writing Workshop
Wednesday 20 November
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Coach House, Orleans House Gallery, Riverside, Twickenham, TW1 3DJ
£6 / £5
to book – www.richmondliterature.com
For more information on Madge Gill – www.madgegill.com
For more information on Orleans House Gallery – www.richmond.gov.uk