Madge Gill (1882 – 1961), born Maude Ethel Eades, was an English outsider and visionary artist.
Born an illegitimate child in East Ham, Essex, (now Greater London), she spent much of her early years in seclusion and was placed in an orphanage at the age of nine. She was subsequently sent to Canada to work on a farm, where she stayed until she was 19 before moving back to East Ham to live with her aunt, who introduced her to Spiritualism and astrology. At the age of 25, she married her cousin, Thomas Edwin Gill, a stockbroker. Together they had three sons with their second, Reginald, dying of the Spanish flu. The following year she gave birth to a stillborn baby girl and almost died herself, contracting a serious illness that left her bedridden for several months and blind in her left eye.
After recovering from her illness, she took a sudden and passionate interest in drawing, creating thousands of mediumistic works over the following 40 years, most done with ink in black and white. The works came in all sizes, from postcard-sized to huge sheets of fabric, some over 30 feet long. She claimed to be guided by a spirit she called "Myrninerest" (my inner rest) and often signed her works in this name. The figure of a young woman in intricate dress appeared thousands of times in her work, and is often thought to be a representation of herself or her lost daughter. She drew this woman in various moods and appearances, almost never showing her entire body, and with her clothes interwoven into the surrounding complex of lines and patterns.
She rarely exhibited her work and never sold any pieces out of fear of angering "Myrninerest." After her first son, Bob, died in 1958 she started drinking heavily and stopped drawing. Following her death in 1961, thousands of drawings were discovered in her home; the collection is currently owned by the London Borough of Newham which has no plans to display them.