Tues – Sun 9am – 5pmThe Nunnery, 181 Bow Road, London E3 2SJ
Autography is the second part of the Madge Gill retrospective curated by Rosamund Murdoch of Bowarts at the Nunnery Gallery in Newham.
The Nunnery Gallery with the support of The London Borough of Newham presents the first major retrospective of Outsider artist Madge Gill. Receiving little acclaim during her lifetime, Madge Gill’s intricate and often spiritually inspired drawings have not been exhibited so comprehensively anywhere in the world. For this, the second stage of three exhibitions, Gill’s drawings are presented alongside new work created by London-based artist Jack J Hutchinson in response to the Madge Gill archive in Newham.
Madge Gill’s adherence to the Spiritualist movement lent Hutchinson to explore the mode of mark making in his own work. Over a period of six weeks Hutchinson experienced his own form of “automatic writing” which can be seen in the drawings towards the climax of the series. Both Gill and Hutchinson work with obsessive, compulsive mark making. Drawing is used as a way of confronting the inner self, with repetitive processes used to counteract deep-routed fears and anxieties. The juxtaposition of Hutchinson’s work with Gill’s is thus aimed not only at increasing knowledge of Gill’s drawings so rarely seen but stored carefully in the London Borough of Newham’s Heritage and Archive service, but also at carrying out new enquiries about the relevance of Gill’s work to practicing artists today. This retrospective lays bare both artists’ fragile journey to personal discovery, and invites the viewer to do the same.
The main space of the gallery in particular provides a unique viewing experience. While Gill’s immense nine-metre decorative calico scroll may prompt the viewer to stand back to take in the piece’s extensive figures and patterns in their entirety, the minute scale of Hutchinson’s drawings in contrast require the microscopic detail be studied up close and with the aid of a magnifying glass. What the audience can expect however from the pieces of both Gill and Hutchinson within this room as they pass along them, is the sense that one is able to retrace the creative and subjective process of these artists as they produced their work.
A series of talks and associated events will accompany the exhibition and a pamphlet with essays and other original biographical research will be for available for donation at the gallery.
There is an artist talk on Wednesday 19th September, in which you can hear more about the residency and his practice from artist Jack J Hutchinson.