Milly Thompson

Staff details

Position Lecturer in Fine Art
Department Art
Email milly.thompson (
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7480

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. Juggling these concepts through various forms, both found or not, enables her to build a set of visual manifestations for living and understanding.

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. Her individual work has been featured in exhibitions, residencies and commissions at galleries including Peer UK, Focal Point Gallery and South London Gallery. Recent projects include two related commissioned prints for Focal Point Gallery: Save Southend-on-Sea Central Library (2009) and BOGOF (2016) and the publication Alison Jones & Milly Thompson C21ST RECENT HISTORY (2016) narrating the collaborations and collected works from 2010.

Milly is a six-time recipient of the Goldsmiths Research Award, a two-time winner of the Arts Council of England's Individual Artist Award and the Elephant Trust Award, and has also been presented with the British School at Rome's Sargant Award and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award.

BANK’s work is held in various public collections including TATE, British Council, MOMA NY and Printed Matter NY. Milly’s solo work is in British Library, Printed Matter NY and Focal Point Gallery.

Academic qualifications

BA Hons Fine Art 1989, Slade School of Art


Milly has been teaching at Goldsmiths on the MFA since 2000. She teaches in the Painting department at the Royal College of Art. Previously Milly taught at Portsmouth BA and Chelsea MA during the 90’s and early 00’s. Milly is a mentor on the Wysing Poly Residency.

Professional projects

Milly Thompson has two main areas of interest, firstly a body of painting, and related works, that considers the textures of beauty and representation around ideas of perfection and ageing. A body of text work extends these ideas through manifestos entitled I choose Painting. The manifestos are currently being developed into a mentoring scheme for post-college artists called AGONY-ART-LIFE which will be a facility for artists wanting to talk about their art-life and offering help with fund-raising and applications and other professional practice questions. It will be made in collaboration with ex-students of both Goldsmiths MFA and RCA Painting MA.

Second is projects and work united by a loose theme of reflections on collaboration, authorship, contemporary understandings of feminism and outsider-ness. It is a continuation of a collaborative project first enacted with BANK from 1994 – 2003. Since 2010 Milly has collaborated with Alison Jones resulting in many outputs: exhibitions, residencies, a commission, two publications and a co-organized panel discussion with LGP, a project space set up by the Art and Design Dept of Coventry University, with papers from Nicholas Cullinan, Mark Harris, Ian Hunt, Angela McRobbie and Monika Szewczyk.

Featured publications

  • Alison Jones & Milly Thompson C21ST RECENT HISTORY, 2016; Artist’s book, ISBN 978-1-84600-0591
  • VUOTO, 2012; ISBN, Artists’ book, 978-1-84600-0706
  • INTRECCIOMIRAGE, 2010; Catalogue.
  • Savoir Faire, 2009; Catalogue, ISBN 978-1-907185-01-4
  • OPERA, 2008; Artists book, ISBN 0953977201

Publications and research outputs


Thompson, Milly and O'Reilly, Sally. 2020. Villa Sylvia, 2020. In: "The Open Arms", The Open Arms.

Thompson, Milly. 2019. Chips and Egg, 2019. In: "Chips and Egg", The Sunday Painter Gallery, United Kingdom, 15 November - 21 December 2019.

Thompson, Milly. 2019. The Moon, The Sea & The Matriarch, 2019. In: "The Moon, The Sea & The Matriarch", Timespan Cultural Institution, Helmsdale, Scotland, United Kingdom, 5 July - 29 September 2019.

Thompson, Milly. 2019. Milly Thompson, 2019. In: "Milly Thompson, 2019", Freehouse, London, March - April 2019.

Thompson, Milly. 2018. ‘Akerman Daly – Artist in Residence 2017/18 & associated commissions’. In: "Akerman Daly 'Resident Artist' 2017/18", online, 01 Jan 2017 - 01 April 2018.

Thompson, Milly. 2017. Merchandise & Accessories. In: "Merchandise & Accessories", London, United Kingdom, 15 Jul - 15 Oct 2017.

Thompson, Milly. 2017. Dik Piks. In: "Dik Piks", Lady BeckUnit 22c, Mabgate, Leeds, LS9 7DZ, United Kingdom, July 2017.

Thompson, Milly. 2013. INTRECCIOMIRAGE, 2013. In: "INTRECCIOMIRAGE", 43 Inverness Street, 2013.

Thompson, Milly. 2013. Ritual Volcanic, 2013. In: "Ritual Volcanic", 5 St Margarets Place Glasgow G1 5JY, 2013.

Jones, Alison and Thompson, Milly. 2012. ÉVASION, 2012. In: "ÉVASION", Lanchester Gallery, The Hub, Jordan Well, Coventry, CV1 5QT, 14 January – 19 February 2012.

Thompson, Milly. 2012. Les Biennale, 2012. In: "Les Biennale", 187 Wilton Street, Glasgow, April 2012.

Thompson, Milly. 2011. Nothing is Forever, 2010. In: "Nothing is Forever", South London Gallery, United Kingdom, 25 June - 19 September 2010.

Thompson, Milly. 2011. Saucisson Chiffonaire, 2011. In: "Saucisson Chiffonaire", Caribic Residency Kunsthalle, Portugal, May 2011.

Thompson, Milly. 2011. Posters for Pleasure, 2011-12. In: "Posters for Pleasure", I-land, Herefordshire, United Kingdom, August and August 2012.

Thompson, Milly and Bedwell, Simon A.. 2010. Rude Britannia: British Comic Art. In: "Rude Britannia: British Comic Art", Tate Britain, United Kingdom, 9 June – 5 September 2010.

Thompson, Milly and Bedwell, Simon A.. 2010. So be it: interventions in printed matter. In: "So be it: interventions in printed matter", Andrew Roth, NYC, United States, April 8– May 7, 2010.

Bedwell, Simon A.; Thompson, Milly; Russell, John and Williamson, Andrew. 2010. GRAND NATIONAL: ART FROM BRITAIN. In: "GRAND NATIONAL: ART FROM BRITAIN", Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Vestfossen, Norway.

Thompson, Milly. 2010. Quixotic Sausage Scenario, 2010. In: "Quixotic Sausage Scenario", Hamburg, Germany.

Jones, Alison and Thompson, Milly. 2010. Martha Rosler reads Vogue, 2010. In: "Martha Rosler reads Vogue, 2010", Grey Area Gallery, 31 Queens Rd, Brighton, East Sussex, 13th March – 4th April 2010.

Thompson, Milly. 2009. Savoir Faire, 2009. In: "Savoir Faire", Focal Point Gallery, Southend on sea, United Kingdom, 4 July to 15 August 2009.

Bedwell, Simon A.; Thompson, Milly and Russell, John. 2009. FAX. In: "Fax", The Drawing Center, United States, April 17 - July 23, 2009.

Bedwell, Simon A.; Thompson, Milly and Russell, John. 2008. LESS IS LESS, MORE IS MORE, THAT'S ALL. In: "Less is less, more is more, that’s all", Bordeaux, France, 13 June - 05 September 2008.

Thompson, Milly. 2008. Late Entry, 2008. In: "Late Entry", Peer Uk, United Kingdom, 12 March – 26 April 2008.

Thompson, Milly and Bedwell, Simon A.. 2003. BANK; Milly Thompson and Simon Bedwell. In: "BANK; Milly Thompson and Simon Bedwell", Store Gallery, 6/30/2003 - 7/31/2003.

Bedwell, Simon A. and Thompson, Milly. 2002. John Moores 22 - The Ambassador. In: "John Moores 22 - The Ambassador", The Walker, 9/8/2002 - 12/8/2002.

Thompson, Milly. 2002. Still Life. In: "Still Life", MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, NITEROI, 11/7/2002 - 12/20/2005.

Bedwell, Simon A. and Thompson, Milly. 2001. Century City. In: "Century City", Tate Modern, 1/30/2001 - 4/21/2001.

Exhibition Catalogue

Thompson, Milly. 2009. 'Savoir Faire' catalogue, 2009.


Jones, Alison and Thompson, Milly. 2012. ÉVASIONISTA, 2012. In: "ÉVASIONISTA", Lanchester Gallery Projects, The Hub, Jordan Well, Coventry, CV1 5QT, 14 January – 19 February 2012.

Artist's Book

Jones, Alison and Thompson, Milly. 2016. C21st RECENT HISTORY, 2016.

Jones, Alison and Thompson, Milly. 2012. VUOTO, 2012.

Thompson, Milly. 2008. Opera, 2008.

Conference or Workshop Item

Jones, Alison and Thompson, Milly. 2012. 'ÉVASION Panel Discussion, 2012'. In: ÉVASION panel discussion. Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Jordan Well, Coventry CV1 5QP 18 February 2012.

Art Object

Thompson, Milly and Jones, Alison. 2016. C21st ART-WORKER.

Thompson, Milly. 2016. BOGOF, 2016.

Jones, Alison and Thompson, Milly. 2015. C21ST ART-WORKER 2013-2015.

Thompson, Milly. 2009. Save Southend-on-Sea Central Library, 2009.

Bedwell, Simon A.; Thompson, Amelia and Russell, John. 1998. Fax-Back.


Nicholas, Cullinan; Andrew, Hunt and Thompson, Milly. 2009. Milly Thompson ‘Savoir Faire’. Southend-on-Sea: Focal Point Gallery. ISBN 978-1-907185-01-4