Michael James Talbot working on Cortigiana
Michael James Talbot working on Cortigiana

“Sculpture for me, is essentially a theatrical construction, an attempt to show and illuminate a chosen moment in time. I like to give my sculptures choreography of form, tension and balance, to lead the eye and capture a moment in time. Sometimes I work with the fragment form rather than an entire figure, this is a favourite artistic device, often inspired by shadows of the model on the studio wall – because sometimes, less is more.”

M. J. Talbot

Michael James Talbot is a British sculptor, born in Staffordshire in the north of England  in 1959. After completing a BA honours degree in Sculpture, he gained a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Arts in London for post graduate study in 1980, winning the coveted Landseer prize in 1983. He studied further at The Sir Henry Doulton Sculpture School under Colin Melbourne ARCA and Dame Elizabeth Frink RA.

Michael was elected a member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1997. He was elected a member of the National Sculpture Society (USA) in 2012. The inspiration for Talbot`s work has always been the human form and its dramatic poetry. It is this, together with his exquisite skills that make his work so individual, intricate and beautiful.

The Emergent Collection

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.

Michael Talbot

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The Ballet Collection

Dance has always been a fascination for Michael Talbot, and as a perfectionist, whose figurative artwork is renowned for its exquisite detail and anatomical precision, he is proud to have had the opportunity to work with dancers who are at the highest level of their art form.

The pinnacle of Michael’s pursuit of dance perfection came with his two year collaboration with The Royal Ballet (2014-2016), where Michael worked closely with some of the company’s principal dancers. As the sculptures evolved, they were carefully scrutinised by the expert eyes of the Royal Ballet directors, and Talbot would often make tiny adjustments to ensure the highest degree of integrity in the final study.  

The collaboration resulted in a series of four sculptures; a portrait of Principal dancer, Edward Watson;  Callisto, a tribute to the wonderfully talented Jeanetta Laurence, the former Associate Director of the Royal Ballet, who contributed her expertise in the creation of the piece;  Juliet, inspired by the character in the classic MacMillan-choreographed ballet, and Reborn, a sculpture created with and modelled on, Principal dancer Lauren Cuthbertson.

This project is a dialogue between sculpture and dance that allows me to work with artists of the highest calibre from The Royal Ballet.

Michael Talbot  – 2014

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The Classic Collection

The Classic Collection is a collection of limited edition bronze sculptures inspired by theatre, myth, dance and illusion.

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