Letter: Talent and drive come with risk

MY FATHER worked with Eric Gill for years so I was interested to hear his views on Gill's paedophilia (Letters, 26 April).

He said Gill was a man of extraordinary energy whose days were filled with prayer, art and writing. Everything that interested him came under the same sharp focus of his driving personality, including sex.

His fascination with sex manifested itself in a positive way in his work. The erotic and confident line in his 25 nudes is obvious but is also found in his bas-relief carvings, type designs and wood cuts. Arguably his finest work, the title wood engravings to The Four Gospels, are a sublime combination of religious iconography and seductive line illustration. With Gill nothing was separate.

We are all morally frail and it is a mark of our age that we are ready voyeurs of other people's hearts while ignoring our own. Gill like us was weak at times, and with his power was able to indulge his aberrations. It is a mark of the man that he was aware of this struggle within himself. Great talent and drive comes with high risk. It does not behold lesser people to condemn the work of individuals who have this cross to bear.

Richard Kindersley

London SE11

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