Described by critic Isobel Haribson as “epic, enigmatic and evocative”, Elizabeth Magill’s highly idiosyncratic paintings present subjective and psychological takes on the landscape genre. Rich with kaleidoscopic patterning and fragmented forms, these vistas are embedded in place – usually rural settings on the edges of settlements – but transported through the artist’s imagination, memories, photographs or moods to be presented as something other: lush, visionary recollections of hills, lakes, hedges and skies glowing with ambient light. The term ‘inscape’ has been used to describe Magill’s practice: landscapes not based on direct observation, but imbued with a sense of interiority and reflection. Though they have a cinematic beauty, her paintings can also be eerie or unsettling: trees or telephone wires conceal the view; birds are silhouetted in the dark; rare human figures feel distant, phantasmal; colours feel subdued, or occasionally toxic. Magill’s complex and densely layered paintings are produced using various techniques, at times incorporating stencilling, screenprinting and collage, as well as the pouring, blending, dripping, splashing and scraping away of paint. Film and photography are also central to her research, shaping the way the artist looks at landscape, and infusing her approach to light, tone and atmosphere.
Born in Canada, Magill grew up in Northern Ireland and now lives and works in London.
Elizabeth Magill has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Arnolfini, Bristol; Bluecoat Gallery, Liverpool; PEER, London; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; Milton Keynes Gallery; BALTIC, Gateshead; Towner Gallery, Eastbourne; Southampton City Art Gallery and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. Recent solo exhibitions include Kerlin Gallery (2021); Pent House, Margate (2020); New Art Gallery, Walsall; 12 Star Gallery, London (both 2019); Ulster Museum, Belfast; Matt’s Gallery, London; the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (all 2018) and Limerick City Gallery of Art (2017). Her work can be found in the collections of the Tate, London; the British Museum; the National Gallery of Australia; the Irish Museum of Modern Art; Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane; the Ulster Museum; the Crawford, Cork; the Government Art Collection, London; the Arts Council of Great Britain and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.