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Eric Gill

I recently had cause to stay in Ditchling in East Sussex. Eric Gill, stone carver headed a small community of artist / craftspeople and families here in the early part of the 20th Century. I knew a little about Gill before my visit but it led me to read his biography by Fiona MacCarthy, ('Eric Gill', pub 1989 by faber & faber).
Gill was certainly a controversial figure and many only know him for his somewhat extreme sexual drive and inclinations. Reading more of his life beyond this however does reveal a fascinating artist who has left an extraordinary legacy, from his 'Gill sans' font, still used throughout the world, not least of all by London Underground to many large public sculptures. Gill was a strange and complex man. He was certainly guilty of many sexual improprieties and held some extreme and unorthadox views; he was also a person capable of profound ideas and startlingly beautiful sculpture, wood engravings and typography.