Vote For Madge: Public asked to choose the design of new mural of celebrated visionary artist Madge Gill

Pick Your Pattern 2018 returns to Walthamstow, with Works by Madge Gill & Wood Street Walls asking public to help with new art to be erected at Walthamstow High Street

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Walthamstow based organisation Works by Madge Gill is working in partnership with Wood Street Walls to create a commemorative mural on Walthamstow High Street, the street she was born in and spent her formative years.

The mural designs will be inspired by her artwork, and will be unveiled at this years Walthamstow Garden Party. It will be a fantastic moment for the community to vote on their favourite design of a local female hero to be featured on the High Street, on the wall of BAD Warehouse, 121 High Street, opposite her place of birth and recently unveiled blue plaque.

Raised at 71 High Street in Walthamstow, Madge Gill was a self-taught, visionary artist who created meticulous artworks during her lifetime, many of which reflected her obsession with spiritualism. Her inspired works were often monumental, either in sheer scale or in number. For an untutored artist she skillfully explored different techniques and formats: paints, inks, textiles. Although relatively unknown at the time she is now considered a prolific and powerful artist.

Walthamstow based organisation ‘Works by Madge Gill’ is working in partnership with ‘Wood Street Walls’ & owner of the wall, Lazer Group, to create a commemorative mural on Walthamstow High Street, the street she was born in and spent her formative years. The mural designs, created by Paddy Molly and brought to life by female contemporary urban artist Pang, will be inspired by her artwork and will be unveiled at this years Walthamstow Garden Party. It will be a fantastic moment for the community to vote on their favourite design of a local female hero to be featured on the High Street.

You can cast your vote by visiting www.voteformadge.co.uk up until 31st August 2018.

The mural is part of a year long project organised by Works by Madge Gill celebrating the artists life and work. The project officially began earlier this year with a Blue Plaque being installed on the flat she was born in at 71 High St, Walthamstow. Over the next year a series of events and workshops will culminate in a retrospective exhibition of her rarely seen artworks.

After researching and developing this project for several years, my key aim is to bring Madge's fascinating story and visionary artworks back to the areas she originated from. This is a special occasion where the community itself will be able to vote on their favourite design to celebrate her life and art. It has been exciting developing this project with artist and illustrator Paddy Molloy, who's work explores historical narratives in urban environments, and to continue this collaboration with Wood Street Walls and Pang. She will be to developing the winning design to create a lasting tribute to Madge Gill on the street where she was born.

Sophie Dutton, Works by Madge Gill

Art is a comfort and a reason for being, and as an artist the main thing. Certainly with Madge it could have been the one thing she had to focus on... Madge Gill invented ways of drawing, using very few traditional techniques, there’s a wonderful spontaneity about them. I taught in Walthamstow in the early 60’s and it had an amazing creative atmosphere, it will be fantastic to have her to return to her home.

Peter Blake, Artist

I have followed Madge Gill's for a number of years since being captivated by her approach and output ever since seeing an exhibition of her work around 5 years ago. Being part of Pick Your Pattern 2018 and celebrating her life with this mural, especially in the centenary of suffrage is a amazing and I look forward to painting in September.

Pang, Artist

Madge Gill is one of Walthamstow's unsung creative geniuses. It's fitting that on the anniversary of 100 years of Suffrage that we celebrate her life and work, not just with a long overdue plaque at her residence on the High Street, but also with a mural on par with the William Morris mural, next to her place of birth. I hope this project serves as one way for people to find our more about her and her creative output. Vote for Madge!

Stella Creasy, MP for Walthamstow
About Wood Street Walls

Wood Street Walls has three main goals as an organisation:

1. To bring public art to our area of East London for residents and visitors to enjoy, to encourage greater footfall and custom to local business. We have looked to other successful initiatives over the pond such as Wynwood Walll

2. To provide free periodic workshops for the charities, school children and beyond - to build a connection between the artistic and local community and help develop grow new talent for the next generation of artists.

3. Our final and biggest goal of our project is the establishing of a new creative hub for the area: Wood Street Studios, by repurposing a disused and derelict building in the area. According to a study commissioned by the Mayor of London, in 5 years over 30% of the current 14,000 artists in London will no longer have a place to call their own due to rising rents and land being developed by residential housing.

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