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Retail for Cultural Enterprises: Michaela McMillan

Number five in our series on those whose work especially fits museum and gallery retail settings is maker Michaela McMillan.  Her quirky and beautiful one-off creations are perfect examples of the very special product profiled in our  virtual partnership with the Association for Cultural Enterprises.

Storytelling is at the core of Michaela’s exquisite mixed-media sculptures, which are often preserbed and presented in glass domes. Narrative flows through the highly coloured and layered decoupage bases, into the mixed media and found object assemblages. Michaela’s imaginative collections are feminine, figurative, curious, and often feature animals and nature. Her focus on using recycled materials is doubly referenced by pieces that often explore themes around the natural world, animal welfare and human interaction. She skillfully creates imagined stories, mixing facts with fiction, and showing her preference for materials that physically last a long time, but are often treated as disposable items in today’s society.

Michaela’s new collection is called Protection and is inspired by global warming and climate change, highlighting pollution, endangered wildlife and a fragile ecosystem, and are larger, up to 100cm high.  Her vessels and  objects for interiors are created totally from recycled materials. Michaela says, “I am now concentrating on collaborations with  museums and galleries, to creatively interpret and shed new perspectives and narratives on their collections and exhibits.”

Michaela graduated in 1992 from Manchester Polytechnic with a BA(Hons) in Embroidery, and has had Arts Council England funding to develop her work. Her practice encompasses exhibitions and one-off commissions, and she also delivers community, gallery and education projects.

Michaela’s contact details are here. Click here for no 6 in the series: Olive Pearson,

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Liz Cooper


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