Toward wellbeing: creativity and resilience in the life and work of Madge Gill

Camic, Paul M. (2013) Toward wellbeing: creativity and resilience in the life and work of Madge Gill. In: Madge Gill Retrospective Exhibition and Seminar, 16 November 2013, Orleans House Gallery, London.

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


It may be tempting to look at aspects of Madge Gill’s life and her responses to the many difficulties she experienced, and then to speculate about possible mental health problems and retrospectively formulate a specific psychiatric diagnosis. To do so, however, would not be a scientific approach to understanding her life, nor would it necessarily be a principled way to try and comprehend who she was and why art-making, Spiritualism and being a medium were so very important to her. Like many people, Madge Gill had problems and deficiencies but to use the magnifying glass of psychoanalysis or other psychological theories in order to psychopathologise her by focusing on deficits, as often occurs in the study of artists, would construct a circuitous cul-de-sac that fails to examine her resilience, creativity and strengths. On the seesaw of life almost everyone faces some degree of psychological, social and physical challenges on the one hand, but we also possess and can develop psychological, social and physical resources to balance out the challenges and help create some sort of equilibrium and obtain a sense of subjective wellbeing . It is through the perspective of developmental psychology along with considering wellbeing theory as a type of equilibrium responding to the challenges and resources one faces and possesses, that we can begin to look at the life of Madge Gill and to try to understand the roles creativity and art-making had in the life and work of this enigmatic Londoner.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0636 Applied psychology
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts > N8350 Art as a profession. Artists
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Prof Paul M Camic
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2014 13:57
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2015 09:52

Actions (login required)

Update Item (CReaTE staff only) Update Item (CReaTE staff only)


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics


Connect with us

Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00