Journeys at the Australian High Commission – Australia House – in London.
Organised by the Australian High Commission to the United Kingdom. This exhibition is part of a yearlong programme of events in 2018 to mark the centennary of Australia House.
Michael Francis Cartwright
This exquisite exhibition of sculpture presents the recent work of Nunan, Cartwright & Sons. I have had the pleasure ofstaging other exhibitionsforthis internationally renowned Australian couple, Shona Nunan and Michael Cartwright. One of the special features of this exhibition is that the parents’ work is being shown together for the first time with those of their two sons, Jacob and Sollai Cartwright, talented artists in their own right. Serene and majestic, timeless and joyous, over 30 sculptures by this talented family lead us through a spiritual journey – another stage of their collective journeys. Both transcultural and earth-inspired, the work of all four of the artists embracesthe universal elements of humanity and take it to an aesthetic level that ‘sings with ancient rhythms and enchants the viewers’. Shona’s poised figures are creations of her personalsymbolsforfertility, cycles and life. Her goddesses emerge from herinner-self aswell as different cultures: from Mayan to Aboriginal, from East to West at the very dawn of their civilizations. Shona believes that her works show a connection to herself and the physical environment of nature. Elegant and definitely feminine in form, Shona presents new sculptures cast in bronze and based on her earlier Guardian and Women series. Michael’s direct and spontaneous pieces display a different personalstyle from Shona’s work but are equally spiritual and powerful. Created with joy and wonder, Michael believes that his art has no impediment from country or culture. By juxtaposing the use of classical materials, such as metal, wood, granite and marble, hissculptureslead usinto a harmonious world that is both ancient and contemporary. For this exhibition, Michael created pieces in sterling silver as well as a new series of landscape sculptures, which have been inspired by Montefegatesi and Prato Fiorito, both places being close to their studios in Italy. His organic forms are almost musical. Being the sons oftwo artists, Jacob and Sollai’s creative instinctswere nurtured from a very young age. The family often shifted homes but always spent time close to nature. Sollai and Jacob also accompanied their parents on their many journeys, exploring different cultures both physically and spiritually. They acquired their passion for the arts most naturally. Initially Jacob was a gifted child of music and was classically trained in clarinet and composition. However, over the years he practiced many art forms: from composition for films, art performances with groups and photography, finally leading to sculpture and installation combining art forms and sound. The embodimentofhismanytalentshaveledhimtocarvinginmarbleandwood. Thepieces in this exhibition show the varying approaches to boat forms – another affirmation of his personal journeys. Sollai’s urge to carve took him to Pietrasanta at age 19 where his thirst for carving developed into a love and appreciation of marble. Pietrasanta has remained his mecca and he returns faithfully every year to choose his marble. Could one think of a better place? He has successfully placed work with collectors in Australia, Hong Kong and Germany where he now lives. The vibrant artistic atmosphere of Berlin has served him well and his connectivity with the stone continuesto inspire him: ‘each piece of marble and its properties dictates my creations’! Enjoy the creations found in this remarkable exhibition! Sandra L. Walters Curator and Art Advisor SANDRA WALTERS Consultancy Ltd.