Eric Gill:  The Body

Alongside the display of Cathie Pilkington’s work is a small, but intellectually challenging display of objects which deal with the explicit, or sublimated eroticism of much of Gill’s work and how it should be regarded following the publication of Fiona MacCarthy’s biography of Gill in 1989 with its revelations of the scale of Gill’s predatory sexual practices and abuse, not least of two of his daughters.   In 1989, the biography caused a stir, but looking back at it now, it is concerned with creating a more complex view of Gill and his work.   The exhibition confronts the issue more directly as to whether or not one’s view of an artist’s work should be influenced by knowledge of their life.

This is an illustration (relatively anodyne) from Sonnets and Verses:-

This is a cast from a wood-engraving called Divine Lovers (it’s in a section forbidden to unaccompanied minors):-

This is a Doll’s Head, thought to be by David Jones:-

And Joseph Cribb’s Madonna and the Christ Child, 1927:-


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