The weather in Helmsdale: 15°C / Broken clouds

We are open every day 10am - 5pm

Village Billboard Commission: Milly Thompson: Near Witches

21 July to 30 September 2021

Milly Thompson’s ‘Near Witches’ 2021, celebrates the joyful defiance of older and middle aged women against an expected invisibility enforced by a fearful patriarchy.  Milly’s women rejoice in behaving badly, pose audaciously, wear cheap statement jewellery, embrace the friendship of herbal medicine, bathe in alluring perfumes, and laugh themselves out of the shadows. 

Milly has conjured women who revel in the power of their age, who own their desires and have found liberation from the arcane conjecture that the menopause marks the close of pleasure. Milly’s women value their branding of age spots, rogue hairs, cellulite, stretch marks and wrinkles, immortalised in her lexicon of skin emojis. 

Milly’s women understand themselves as the dirty olive in a VODKA MARTINI. They are each a rough cut; imbued in a darkly layered, briny excitement through which life experience rises, like bubbles in champagne.

‘Near Witches’, 2021, is a new chapter of work, which has its roots in Milly’s 2019 project The Moon, The Sea and The Matriarch and is brashly presented on our village billboard against Milly’s ‘The Scent of Gorse Becomes Colour’ 2019, a sunshine transformation of Timespan’s building. 


Milly Thompson uses a variety of different media including wall-sculpture/painting, print, text, digital and performance to imagine the correlation between commodity and pleasure, the rational and the irrational, hyperbole and tropes of truth or meaning. Her research has developed to include an interest in the public image of older and post-menopausal women. Juggling these concepts through various forms, enables her to build a set of visual manifestations for living and understanding.

Recent group exhibitions include Naming Rights at Thomas Dane, Thomas Dane Gallery (2017), The Peculiar People, Focal Point Gallery, Southend-on- Sea (2016); THE GEO POLITICS OF MONETIZED AIRSPACE Come Fly with Me, I Meet You by the Airside Gucci Concession at 4, Fox Fur Hat, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis (2016). Solo projects include Akerman Daly, ‘Artist in Residence’, (2017); Merchandise and Accessories, Naming Rights Gallery, London (2017) and Cougar, Westminster Waste gallery, London (2016).

Milly was in artists’ collective BANK from 1994 to 2003, and created work for solo and group exhibitions at galleries including Tate Modern, ICA and Whitechapel Gallery.