NEAR WITCHES, 21 July to 30 September, 2021, & The Scent of Gorse Becomes Colour, 2019

Timespan, Dunrobin Street, Helmsdale, Scotland, KW8 6JA

Near Witches is a ‘village billboard’ commission from Timespan on the occasion of their shortlisting for Artfund Museum of the Year, 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.”


NEAR WITCHES, 2021, digital print, 320 x 158.5cm
NEAR WITCHES, 2021, digital print, 320 x 158.5cm and 'The Scent of Gorse Becomes Colour', 2019, masonry paint, dimensions variable
From the sea to Timespan