Michaela Gall

’Somerset figures’ ceramics

Mary Rand
Edward Seymour, Ist Duke of Somerset
jacob rees mogg
‘Mary Rand’
Maiolica plate with oxides and stains
21.5cm
£170
‘Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset’
Maiolica plate with oxides and stains
23cm
£220
‘Jacob Rees Mogg’
Maiolica plate with oxides and stains
17cm
£120
Dalai Llama at Glastonbury
Venus of Low Ham
Joan Baez
‘Dalai Llama at Glastonbury’
Maiolica plate with oxides and stains
28.5cm
£220
‘Venus of Low Ham’
Maiolica plate with oxides and stains
29.5cm
£220
‘Joan Baez’
Maiolica plate with oxides and stains
21cm
£170

Click images to enlarge

biography/about the work
Portraits of Somerset people
Maiolica plates with oxides and stains

“The people on these six plates all have a Somerset connection – some fairly tenuous.
Both the Dalai Lama and Joan Baez I was lucky enough to see at Glastonbury festival. We thought we’d missed His Holiness as our bus from Castle Cary was late, but a rumour went round that he was still at the Festival and had been seen in a landrover. Then suddenly he appeared in the wings of the Pyramid stage during Patti Smith’s set. I was impressed by the way he made everyone laugh and then kind of preached in a totally unsermonizing way. The crowd might have been broadly supportive of him but there was no restlessness or barracking, it was as if he’d lulled us all.
Joan Baez is seen here as her younger self singing the Ballad of Mary Hamilton; a doomed lady-in-waiting-with-child of Queen Mary. Mary Hamilton was also the name of a female cross- dressing quack who married a woman and was scandalously unmasked at Glastonbury.
Mary Rand, from Wells, was the first British athlete to win an Olympic gold medal, she broke the Long Jump world record at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics (there’s a tape measure on the back of her plate) with a jump of 22ft 2 1/4” (6.76m) she was already a mother and worked at the Guinness factory.
The hexagonal plate shows a scene from the story of Dido and Aeneas, from the bathhouse of a Roman villa at Low Ham. Unusually for a mosaic floor the story of the lovers is told in scenes with Venus as the arch-manipulator revealed here.
Edward Seymour was Jane Seymour’s older brother who created himself Duke of Somerset on Henry VIII’s death.
Jacob Rees-Mogg is the current MP for NE Somerset.”

Michaela Gall makes domestic ware in maiolica; the tin-glazed earthenware brought to Europe by the Moors. It is the folk and Islamic origins of maiolica that inspire her and which re-emerge in a modern idiom in pieces that are one-off and mostly functional.
Michaela’s background in illustration and painting gives a rich allegorical context to the stories and people which populate her work; from Barbie and the Devil (in the form of a spoon and fork) to Inuit hunters (as lidded jars) to Elizabethan royalty (360 degree ruff portrait plates).

Michaela Gall studied at the Blackheath School of Art (Foundation), the Chelsea School of Art (BA Illustration) and on an exchange programme at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts , Paris.
She has worked on site specific commissions as well as portraits and exhibited paintings in Italy and Pakistan, in a one woman show at the Ifield Gallery and in many group shows, most recently ‘The Discerning Eye’ at the Mall Galleries in London.
For the last three years Michaela has also been making and exhibiting ceramics.