Michael Sandle was born in Weymouth, Dorset, in 1936. He studied at Douglas School of Art and Technology, Isle of Man from 1951–54 and the Slade School of Fine Art, London, from 1956–59. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors in 1994.
Sandle has exhibited widely and undertaken many commissions, the most significant being the Memorial of the Victims of a Helicopter Disaster, Mannheim in 1985. Perhaps his most ambitious project to date is the architecture and sculpture for the Malta Siege Memorial, which he worked on from 1989–93, a vast project which included not only a major figurative sculpture, but also a thirteen–tonne bronze bell. In 2007, Sandle won the Hugh Casson Drawing Prize and in 2002 completed a memorial to the lifeboat men of Marine Gardens, Douglas, Isle of Man. He has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions in Britain and internationally including the 5th Paris Biennale, 4th and 6th Documenta and São Paulo Biennial.
In his early work, Sandle focused on craftsmanship and the search for symbols, rejecting the formalism increasingly common in sculpture of the period. After being appointed as professor of sculpture at Pforzheim, Germany in 1973 and at Karlsruhe, Germany in 1980, Sandle’s work became more monumental, addressing capitalism and in particular its association with global conflict. Themes of war, death, destruction, inhumanity and media manipulation are constant in his work, which Sandle describes as “the heroic decadence” of capitalism, in particular its appetite for global conflict. He also frequently condemn the media for packaging and sanitising the destructiveness of war.