Born in Canada, Magill grew up in Northern Ireland where she studied painting at Belfast College of Art and later at the Slade in London. She now lives and works in both London and the Antrim Coast.
Known as a painter of prodigious versatility and inventiveness her work has always drawn from a wide range of visual sources, often integrating photographic materials and processes into her painting. Recently she has made an excursion into screen printing directly onto her pre-painted canvas’.
Primarily though her interest has always been in the medium and language of painting and perhaps especially in connection with a revisioning of the tradition of the sublime, resulting in a series of hauntingly distressed landscape paintings.
Her first major solo exhibition was in 1990 at the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol. In the same year, she was included in the seminal 'British Art Show', at The Hayward Gallery, London.
She has had many one-person shows including a touring exhibition in 2019 titled ‘Headland’ at The New Art Gallery Walsall; RHA Galleries, Dublin; Ulster Museum, Belfast and Limerick City Art Gallery.
Selected group exhibitions include ‘Decoy’, Serpentine Gallery, London ‘Places in Mind', (with Adam Chodzko and Stan Douglas), Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast 2000, and 'Premio Michetti 2000' at Fondazione Michetti, Italy.
She is represented by the Kerlin Gallery Dublin and with Anthony Wilkinson London, forthcoming shows include Miles McEnery, NYC 2022.
Magill has also held fellowships at the Tate Gallery, Liverpool and is represented in many public and private collections including the Tate Gallery, London; IMMA, Irish Museum of Modern Art; The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, the Arts Council of England, Ireland, and Northern Ireland, Southampton City Art Gallery,The British Museum, the Ulster Museum, Crawford City Art Gallery, Cork; The British Council, The National Gallery of Australia. and the Government Arts Collection, England.