It is customary that the annual Visiting Fellows at All Soul's College offer a gift to the college at the end of their stay, as a way of thanking the Warden, Fellows and staff for allowing them to pursue their interests in Oxford, and also to leave a small memento of their time in college. The college bird is the mallard duck, and so the 2018 - 2019 group of Visiting Fellows chose to commission a portrait of a female mallard as their gift.
The mallard became significant to the college after one flew out of the foundations when the college was being built in 1437. Today this is expressed in their mallard song and ceremony, the many pieces of artwork throughout the college featuring mallard ducks, and the family of ducks living on site that are frequently escorted by students across the High Street down to the River Cherwell.
Lady Mallard | Gift of Visiting Fellows | 2018 - 2019
I was asked to channel the attitude of Teresa Feodorowna Ries (pictured left), a Russian born Austrian sculptor and painter. A pioneering female artist, working around 1900 in a man's world. Through the painting of Lady Mallard, the Fellows wanted to make a cheeky attempt at gender rebalancing within the college.