Elizabeth Magill

The RHA Gallery is delighted to present Headland, Elizabeth Magill’s first large-scale exhibition in Dublin since 2003. Magill is one of her generation’s leading painters and this exhibition will present a body of new work and will introduce her developing practice to a new and established audience. Headland is a touring exhibition, initiated by Limerick City Gallery of Art (LCGA), with shows taking place to date in Limerick and the Wilkinson Gallery, London. Included in this iteration will be a number of additional works that have not previously been exhibited.

“A kind of concentrated ambiguity regarding the natural world …. characterizes Magill’s paintings. Throughout her career Magill has been drawn to the language of painting using nature and landscape. She draws from them a gorgeous and engrossing multiplicity of visual and sensory description” Declan Long.

Magill’s work is redolent of her sense of place – the Glens of Antrim – which has preoccupied and informed her relationship with her native landscape and her visual response to it. Her approach to painting is always experimental, allowing for previous techniques to give way to newer ones to form an unfolding process.

Magill explains that “although my work refers to landscape it is more like an exterior view, an attempt to create a setting or space to place things, a kind of deposit of thoughts and observations within the framework of a personal and painting practice”.

As the late John Berger wrote in his last publication Landscape, ‘Sometimes a landscape seems less a setting for the life of its inhabitants than a curtain behind which their struggles, achievements and accidents take place, landmarks are no longer only geographical but also biographical and personal’.


IN CONVERSATION: Elizabeth Magill with Barbara Dawson, Director, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
5.30pm, Wednesday 31 January – Gallery I
This event will take the form of a walk through of the exhibition, with a selection of artworks being highlighted and discussed.

1.30pm & 6pm, Wednesday 21 February – Gallery 1
Dancers Mary Nunan, Isabella Oberlander and Mary Wycherley respond to Elizabeth Magill’s exhibition. The performance is improvised and is a response to the people, spaces and places (both real and imagined) that Magill’s paintings evoke for them. Throughout the performance the audience is free to move around the space, to experience the dance and the paintings from different angles.
Duration 20 mins. No booking required
Tilting was commissioned by Limerick City Gallery of Art.


Artist Bio

Born 1959 in Canada, Magill grew up in Northern Ireland but lives and works in London. She began exhibiting in the mid-1980s. She is a painter of prodigious versatility and inventiveness whose work has always drawn from a wide range of visual sources. While she has often integrated photographic materials and processes into her painting, in a number of novel ways, her primary delity has been to the medium of painting, in all its bewildering variety.

Recently she has moved gradually away from her idiosyncratic revisioning of the tradition of the romantic sublime and entered a more personal zone creating a series of strange and compelling ‘mindscapes’. Her rst major solo exhibition was at the Arnol ni Gallery, Bristol, in 1990. In the same year, she was included in the seminal British Art Show, which rst introduced many of the most prominent younger British artists to a wider public.

Past solo exhibitions include Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, 2011, the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, 2003 and the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; Baltic, Gateshead, Milton Keynes Gallery and the Glynn Vivian Museum, Swansea. Magill is represented in many public and private collections worldwide including those of the Irish Museum of Modern Art; Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin; the National Collection of Contemporary Drawing/Limerick City Gallery of Art; the Arts Council of England; the Arts Council of Northern Ireland; Ulster Museum, Belfast; Southampton City Art Gallery; the British Council and the National Gallery of Australia.
A full colour catalogue, with texts by Isobel Harrison and Tom Nys will accompany this exhibition.

Image: Elizabeth Magill, Wildlife, 2017, Oil and screen-print on canvas, 153 x 183.5cm, Photography by Studioworks Photography and LCGA, Image courtesy of the artist.