Mychael Barratt: On the Shoulders of Giants

Coming January 2023

On the Shoulders of Giants: 21st Jan – 18th February 2023

Mychael Barratt


In January 2023, Sarah Wiseman Gallery is delighted to present 'On the Shoulders of Giants' by the contemporary printmaker and painter Mychael Barratt.
Initially drawing inspiration from the 'Giant Heads' found at the Sheldonian Theatre, Mychael is returning once again to Oxford, to explore the city's unusual and varied past.
Visitors can expect to see brand new works that take inspiration from Alice, possibly Oxford's most famous fictional character; Mychael has also made work in response to the Oxford Dodo. The Dodo was a character in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, inspired by the rare, mummified specimens kept under lock and key at Oxford's Natural History Museum - a place frequented by Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll. 
Mychael Barratt's work taps into the deepest of printmaking traditions and, like his predecessor printmaker Hogarth, he seeks out the humorous, the uncanny and absurd, along with the tender and poetic side of life. Delving into his extensive personal library of art books for inspiration, history and narrative are the cut and thrust of much of Mychael's work.
His work encounters artists and literary characters from across the centuries, with Mychael re-imagining them as pet owners or assembled in a life-drawing class. In other works, he meticulously catalogues scenarios from Dickens or Chaucer, or maps out imagined locations from other great literary works.  
London, and its teeming history remains an important backdrop, with recent etchings including an ambitiously scaled 'Notes on the Underground' multi-plate etching which comprises of 270 individual drawings, one for each of London's underground stations. In 2016 he completed 'The London Map of Days' which comprises of 365 individual dates referencing specific historic dates in London throughout the centuries. The titles of his pieces are important as 'keys to understanding my motivation' he says.
We will be preparing a fully illustrated e-catalogue, where you can read texts about the artist and preview all available works. If you'd like to receive a link, please email us at, or sign up to our newsletter  
December 6, 2022