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Ithell Colquhoun (9 Oct. 1906 – 11 April 1988); British Surrealist painter and author. From the 1930s to her death, her work was exhibited widely in Britain and Germany.
Margaret Ithell Colquhoun was born in Shillong, Eastern Bengal and Assam, British India.... Colquhoun was educated in Rodwell, near Weymouth, Dorset before attending Cheltenham Ladies' College. There she studied topics such as the cabbala and the occult.
...In 1940, E. L. T. Mesens, head of the English Surrealist Group, expelled her from the group for carrying on with occult research. She became a member of the Druidic Order and the Order of the Stella Matutina, both occult groups. After the 1950s, she was regarded as a 'fantamagiste', an unorthodox surrealist who focus on the occult.
Colquhoun lived with Antonio Romanov del Renzio in London during World War II, marrying him in July 1943 and divorcing him a few years later. From 1946, Colquhoun kept a studio near Penzance, Cornwall, while living in London. She finally moved to Cornwall in 1957, where she lived until her death on 11 April 1988....
In the 1940s, Colquhoun's works were experiments to explore consciousness and the subconscious. She did this by using recognised methods such as decalcomania, fumage, frottage and collage. Colquhoun went further, developing new techniques such as superautomatism, stillomanay, parsemage, and entoptic graphomania writing about them in her article The mantic stain.
Three works which stand out during the 1940s are The Pine Family, which deals with dismemberment and castration, A Visitation which shows a flat heart shape with multicoloured beams of light and Dreaming Leaps, a homage to Sonia Araquistain. Colquhoun did not define herself as a Surrealist artist, as she only took part in a single Surrealist exhibit. Instead she considered herself "independent".