Earlier this month, as part of the first annual Newham Heritage Month curator of Works by Madge Gill, Sophie Dutton, helped tell the story of self-taught artist and Newham resident Madge Gill with a day dedicated to her visionary, multi-disciplinary work. With exclusive video footage of one of Gill’s long lost relatives, Betty Newman, talking about her experiences and memories of Gill; exploring Gill’s creativity at home with workshops from artist-in-residence at William Morris Gallery, Lola Lely; plus a self-guided walk exploring the artist’s life in Newham—the day was a celebration of an artistic practice that speaks to us now in profound new ways, defined as it was by Madge Gill’s habit of making work within her home environment.
To celebrate this further, and to mark the anniversary of Sophie Dutton’s hugely successful ‘Madge Gill’ exhibition at William Morris Gallery, as well as her book, Madge Gill by Myrninerest (published by yours truly), we are dedicating these website pages to Gill’s work.
Working with Sophie, we’ve arranged a series of online workshops including poetry, embroidery and patchwork sound-art that can all be undertaken at home. The pages feature images, videos and radio shows that reference or seek dialogue with the work of Madge Gill that will act as inspiration to the workshops.
As well as all the content from Sophie Dutton’s Newham take-over, self-taught sound-artists Susanna Grant & Joey Morris under the name, For Now, will lead a patchwork sound-art workshop based on the theme of ‘The clouds will burst and the sun will shine again’, a quote taken from one of Gill’s many postcards.
You can also find further online workshops on dyeing and embroidery from Lola Lely discussing the ways in which artists can work from and with their homes as well as a poetry workshop from Charlotte Newman based on the theme ‘the moving pen writes on’—another quote taken from one of Gill’s letters.
We are seeking and encouraging more original material to help create a kind of festival dedicated to the potential of art-making in the home, and celebrating the unique impact of visionary artists like Madge Gill.
Please get involved and share your creations via social media platforms using the hashtag #MadgeGillArtMakingAtHome