Shona Nunan &

Michael-Francis Cartwright

At the Citadel Saint-Tropez

Online Exhibition: June 6th - August 15th 2022

Physical Exhibition: May 23rd - November 6th 2022

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The historic maritime citadel of Saint Tropez has a rich history as a bastion and protector of the city dating back over 400 years. The same ancient walls and well-trodden paths now form a temporary home for the sculptures of Shona Nunan & Michael-Francis Cartwright. Their beautiful lyrical works feel at one with the citadel, invoking the sense that they were always meant to be here.

The sculptures of Shona Nunan and Michael-Francis Cartwright share a real sense of organic resonance, a symphony of form, texture and patina borrowed from the forests, mountains and vast wild expanses of the natural world. There is a tactility and generosity of form present in each sculpture from the smallest such as Michael's wondrous palm sized sterling silver 'clouds' to Shona's magnificent 'Guardians' standing sentinel like great monuments of the past. 

 

These sculptures become joyful and reflective exclamations in whichever environment they occupy, quietly enriching the space around them and never dominating. They carry a living presence and are true reflections of the artist's hand, creations shaped from decades of knowledge and experience.

 

Together in life and art, Shona and Michael also carry their own distinctions and unique approaches to their respective practices.

 

Shona pursues a purity of figurative form, both that of human and animal. Her human figures are both proud and protective yet also nurturing in their presence beckoning us to look inside ourselves to find our own compassionate resolve to life's challenges. While her 'Guardians' are relatedly and very much human in form, pieces such as 'Spirit Guardian' may be perceived more as a reflection of self or as a form of visual poetry with each surface notion like the rise and fall of a spoken word.

 

Shona's horses, both with and without rider, are glorious expressions of human and animal and the bond that can be formed, indeed the figures of the sculptures 'Arrival' and 'The Quiet' seem to be part of and not apart from their steeds one and the same. As Shona has noted, when a rider accompanies the horse the rider represents the 'self' and the horse the 'inner self'. Without a rider the horses exude a curiosity and a wild unbridled freedom, not freedom from their rider but from the constraints that are placed upon us and that we place on ourselves.

 

Michael's sculptures carry echoes of figuration yet is not strictly tied to any strands of what the human figure is or should be. Instead, his work is linked to the expression of movement and the pursuit of notions of being and feeling. There is sense that each sculpture is a distillation of a moment, or a thought toward that moment, with pure organic forms coming together in poetic tandem. The sweeping curvilinear and sometimes playful shapes that form Michael's working sculptural language can be viewed in parallel with, and as a natural progression of, his painting practice. Indeed, the individual sections of 'Journey of the Sage' or the singular flowing line of 'Moon Dance' resemble painted strokes on a canvas, free flowing and uninhibited.

 

Apart, Shona and Michael possess complex, rich and layered visual languages of their own that when translated into the age old medium of bronze produces sculpture that celebrates the beauty of form, movement and freedom to be oneself.

Together, their sculptures speak to one another creating a harmony where one elevates the other and the differences between seem to blur. 

Both Shona and Michael's sculptures share a knowing connection like that of a close partner who can intuitively finish the sentence of the other.