We are pleased to announce this fine set of six stamps from the Isle of Man Post Office in celebration of renowned sculptor and print maker, Michael Sandle RA.
Widely recognised as one of the finest sculptors in the world, he has been one of the few contemporary artists to tackle the most momentous subject of the twentieth century - war. Each stamp will showcase one of his many well-known sculptures from various locations, including the two situated here on the Isle of Man.
Michael Sandle RA has seen his work represented in numerous public collections in the UK, Isle of Man and overseas, including the British Museum, the Imperial War Museum, the V&A and Tate in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and in museums in Germany, Poland, Japan and Australia. His most notable commissions include the Malta Siege-Bell Memorial at Valletta 1988-92, for which he was awarded the Henry Herring Memorial by the US National Sculpture Association, and The Seafarers’ Memorial 2000-01 in London.
Michael was raised and educated on the Isle of Man, having moved here at the age of six and studying at the Douglas School of Art. Having held various teaching positions across his career, he was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1982 and in 1989, a full academician.
Continuing a successful career and significant commemorative commissions, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1994.
He has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions in Britain and internationally including the 5th Paris Biennale, 4th and 6th Documenta and Sao Paulo Biennale.
On the Isle of Man he has works in the Isle of Man National Collection at Manx National Heritage Manx Museum and a large solo exhibition on the Island is currently being planned by the IOM Arts Council who also have his work in their collection.
The issue text has been written by Michael himself and offers personal anecdotes and insight into each sculpture, making it an incredibly interesting read and a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse into these famous sculptures.
• The first stamp is a detail of the Lifeboat Men Memorial bronze relief in the sunken gardens on Loch Promenade, Douglas. Founder of the RNLI Sir William Hilary lived on the Isle of Man and built the Tower of Refuge in Douglas harbour having seen many ship wrecked on the Conister Rock. Michael’s sculpture captures the drama and sheer physical effort of the crewmen rowing out to rescue those on the stricken ship St George in 1830. ]
The Tower was built on the site of the wreck two years later.
• The Malta Siege Bell Monument overlooking Valetta Harbour is the subject of the second stamp and is the work Michael is most proud of having produced, being four years in the making and including the architectural design in addition to the sculptural elements. The work commemorates the ending of the siege of the island by German bombers during World War II.
• The legend of St George and the Dragon is made bronze in Michael’s work in Dorset Rise, Blackfriars in London which is the subject of the third stamp.
• The Seafarers Memorial, seen in front and back view, is sited on Albert Embankment in London and features on the fourth stamp. This enormous bronze forms an imposing and heroic entrance to The International Maritime Organisation.
• The fifth stamp in the set shows a detail from the centre of the work The Viking on the front façade of the Erin Arts Centre in Port Erin, Isle of Man in a nod to the Isle of Man’s ancient heritage. It incorporates the famous uniquely-Manx four-horned loaghtan sheep.
• Completing the set, Michael’s 20th Century War Memorial sculpture in bronze was four years in the making and is part of the Tate Gallery collection in London.