Shona Nunan and Michael-Francis Cartwright are an Australian couple who have been creating their art in sculpture, painting and drawing for over 40 years. They inherited their love and passion for art from their fathers who were both painters and now, their two sons are also sculptors, making a third generational artist family.
With studios in Italy, France and Australia, Cartwright and Nunan are inspired by a transcultural journey, linking their early ancestral journey from Europe to Australia and back to Europe in their own lifetime.
For years Cartwright and Nunan altruistically operated an artist run gallery, La Rondine, in one of several shops in Bagni di Lucca, a small town situated in a glorious valley of the Tuscan Apenine mountains. With their family, they also co founded an Arts Festival that ran for three consecutive years, and a marble hand carving symposium for artists from Canada, America, Holland, England and Australia. Recently they transformed their home and studios in Bagni di Lucca, into an artist residency. They offer artists the opportunity to experience the cultural wonderland of Italy, allowing them to create peacefully if they choose in the vaulted studios on the Lima river and the opportunity to explore the great cities of Florence, Pisa and Lucca, all nearby.
While moving to France, Italy has remained a stronghold for their art. Here they work at different periods of the year in the studios for marble and bronze in the great artist city of Pietrasanta, realising dreams of their youth to create in the mecca of the art world for materials, tools and artisans. Their first journey to this part of the world was in 1984, with their first child, Jacob, when they set up studios in Carrara, living in a tiny mountain house without heating or facilities for bathing. These tough early days set them on track to achieve the dreams that consequently followed.
In their early nomadic wanderings through Asia, Papua New Guinea, Australia and Europe they found inspiration and perception from great living cultures; the beauty, the edge of life in nature, the marks of ancient peoples in the land before them, all creating and adding to the language of their art.
Their studios in Correns, Provence, are in the heart of a small biological village on the Argens River. They have five floors of an old house they have converted into spaces to create and store their artworks. They welcome the occasional visitor to the studio by appointment.
In recent days and in keeping with their ideals for the betterment of artists and their art, the Nunan-Cartwrights have been invited to the board of directors of NFTU, an IT company that aims to create greater potential for artists to realize excellence in the digital world.