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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.