The key to this unique collection of sculptures is know that each figure in the Emergent Collection is first fully sculpted in the round to an advanced and detailed level. Michael fixes the pose gesture and anatomy in the knowledge that half the features will be lost with the addition of the flat plains.
By adding, I take away, in doing so I’m saying “this aspect is important and this aspect can fade”. As so often in art, less is more. MT
Michael has created many sculptures that incorporate classical drapery.
“I used to carefully study the play of different materials and meticulously recreate every aspect of the weight, tension and hang of the material in my sculpture, agonising over how to sculpt the edge of a drape where a foot protruded from beneath, trying to balance realism with the aesthetic of the piece”.
Michael’s ‘Emergent Collection’ beautifully demonstrates that he is no longer troubled with the same anxieties.
“I like to think this particular style of sculpting is a more mature and enlightened approach to such problems”.
In this collection, he introduces a flat plain to balance and divide the fully sculpted figure and disregard the formal studied limitations of the drapery. The drapery becomes the plain, which is both a solid form in its own right and yet is also at one with the figure, revealing and yet concealing the contours of the human form beneath.
Where a foot protrudes from the plain, the foot simply emerges, as if emerging from a pool of still water. With this technique I can focus on the beauty in the gesture or movement, without being hampered by physical reality – because it makes no sense, it makes perfect sense.
(M. J. Talbot)