Rachel Ball, Art Gallerist & book lover
Rachel Ball, 37, was born in Cheshire and studied Art History at Nottingham University. She moved to London and found work at the Hart Gallery in Islington. The gallery worked with a group of English artists from Cornwall, Dorset and Yorkshire. Sadly after 8 years surrounded by abstract landscape paintings, sculpture and ceramics, the gallery closed and Rachel started running events and marketing at Pickled Pepper Books in North London. Here she is surrounded by beautiful picture books and she enjoys curating exhibitions within the store. She invites authors to host visits in-store; programs the pre-school and after school events and manages the store’s social media. She lives in Crouch End with her husband and her five year old daughter Lily.
WHICH COLOUR SALT-WATERS DO YOU OWN?
Tan - the original and still the best!
HOW DID YOU DISCOVER THE BRAND?
I had seen people in Crouch End wearing them and thought they looked great. I was desperate to own a pair.
WHERE IS THE MOST MEMORABLE PLACE YOU HAVE WORN THEM?
We had a family holiday in Norfolk last summer. It is such a beautiful part of the country with so much to offer. It was the first time we had visited & the sandals were worn every day, rain or shine.
WHO IS YOUR STYLE ICON?
I always think Kate Moss looks great with her seemingly effortless style. I saw her wedding dress at the recent V&A exhibition and it was breathtakingingly beautiful.
WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO SHOP?
I love the high street shops, particularly H and M for its affordable fashion, and am always trawling local charity shops in Crouch End too.
WHICH CHILDREN'S BOOK DO YOU MOST ENJOY READING WITH YOUR DAUGHTER?
I love reading to Lily and am a big fan of Shirley Hughes who I grew up with too, classics like 'Dogger' and 'Alfie'. We are both big fans of 'Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam' by Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton too.
WHICH HAS BEEN THE MOST SUCCESSFUL AUTHOR'S VISIT THAT YOU HAVE ORGANISED?
We had a wonderful event with James Mayhew last year. He drew a brilliant illustration upside down and the children (and adults!) were all mesmerised!
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE ARTIST?
I loved the work we used to exhibit at Hart Gallery, particularly that of a Dorset based artist, Vanessa Gardiner.
OF ALL THE ART GALLERIES IN THE WORLD WHICH ONE DO YOU LIKE BEST?
I love the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A Museum. The National Portrait Gallery is a place I feel I can pop into and enjoy when I am in town. There is always something new to see in their collection and I love the BP Portrait award that is held there annually.
WHO DO MOST ADMIRE AND WHY?
I am full of admiration for my mum! She has always been there for me and is an inspiration. I also have huge respect for the author, JK Rowling. She was determined to pursue her dreams and from humble beginnings has become a phenomenon in the literary world. She inspires both young and old readers and has brought the magic of reading to life for so many.
All photography by ©Michelle Marshall www.michelle-marshall.com