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Prolific figurative artist (original name Maude Eades) who drew, painted, embroidered and knitted her works in a unique naïve style, born illegitimately in London, where she spent most of her life. During her early years she was brought up by her mother and an aunt and spent some time in orphanages in London and Canada, returning to England in 1903. Living with another aunt, she was introduced to Spiritualism. Madge married her cousin Thomas Gill in 1907; of four children born, only two sons survived, Laurie during his life doing much to promote his mother’s work. Madge lost the sight of an eye, later replaced by a glass one, but despite this around 1919–20 began to create her strange objects and drawings – singular for their delicate patterning and cross-hatching and the inclusion of an oval-faced female figure – in bed by oil lamp light.

Text source: 'Artists in Britain Since 1945' by David Buckman (Art Dictionaries Ltd, part of Sansom & Company)


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