Gill was born to an unmarried woman and spent 10 years in an orphanage. She married in 1907 but did not begin to paint until one of her sons died of influenza.
She became a spiritualist and felt she was guided by a spirit named Myrninerest. She would not sell her work because it belonged to this spirit. When she died aged 79 hundreds of paintings were found in her attic and under her bed. She is recognized as a major figure in Brut painting (art without precedent or tradition; art by "outsiders").
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