New Works by Michael Cartwright at La Rondine gallery

Michael Cartwright invitation
Michael Cartwright invitation

After twelve years, Michael is again carving marble. We had a car accident twelve years ago and Mike’s right foot was badly injured, forcing him to stop carving stone. He painted instead and this was not a bad thing because he has developed his wonderful sense of colour in a way that he may never have had the opportunity to as he was so known for his sculpture. This last year has seen him in Pietrasanta working again in marble carving studios. His foot is now able to withstand a bit of the weight bearing needed with working on stone. I can see it is a joy for him to be back with tools in his hands, tapping that luminous stone and bringing it to life.

Exhibition in La Rondine
Exhibition in La Rondine

Mike’s exhibition in La Rondine Gallery is without paintings this time. Three lush white marble sculptures in vivid contrast to one glowing golden bronze in the vaulted gallery space, five drawings pinned to the wall, another delicate two framed. The exhibition has a purity to it, in its shadowy grey and white. The forms are simple, barely textured, sensuous, the shadows soft and seductive.mike14

One of the forms is a magnificent abstracted bird, proud and preening, flourishing its feathers. The marble is in white Carrara and it’s soft glowing creaminess is intensified by the the contrasting roughness of the divits in its feathering. It has a subtle movement that needs it to be placed somewhere centrally so that it can be fully appreciated.mike01 mike04

The other bird form is quirky and always makes me smile. It is totally hand carved – that is, without machinery at all – so there is a liveliness in the texture and the flow of the lines, a sensitivity to the quirky lumpiness of the back of the bird, a contrast to the strange nest in the tree the bird is protecting. Tough and tender.mike05

The One Who Loves itself
The One Who Loves itself

Then there is the kneeling woman form, or is it a pregnant woman form, she seems to be a homage to abundance and fertility. She is related to the ‘One who loves itself’, an animal form Mike created a few years ago with all the feelings of self love and delight in the most beautiful way. This is the bronze piece, luscious in its golden reflective high polish.

mike19This exhibition, to me, seems to be an expression of love and freedom. There is such tenderness in the ‘Bird and Nest in the Tree’ and so much sense of freedom, especially in that big bird with his wings outstretched, ready to fly.


  1. Andrea Waterhouse says:

    Everything comes full circle, it must be a delight to return to marble sculptures!

  2. Hmmm yes! I think it does – Mike is very happy to be carving again – though he really thought for years his carving days were over. 🙂

  3. Mike I love your recent carvings, the pregnant one is so emotive and erotic. Love paul

    1. Thanks Paul…… it has been great to get back to carving, I have really missed it.

  4. Catherine Walter says:

    Love them all, just magnificent!

    1. Thanks Catherine, happy you enjoyed them

  5. Julie Prendergast says:

    love all the new work – wish I could visit the gallery today!

  6. Margaret Cartwright says:

    There is a great maturity in your works ,peacefulness shows itself in them, Australia should see your beautiful works Mike.

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