Born in Weymouth, Michael Sandle studied art at Douglas School of Art on the Isle of Man, and then at the Slade, and the Royal College of Art. He worked in Paris between 1959-60 before taking up a teaching post at Leicester College of Art. After several years teaching in Canada he was appointed Professor of Sculpture at Pforzheim in 1973, and then in 1980 he taught at the Academie der Bildenden Kunste in Karlshue. He participated in many influential group exhibitions both in the UK and abroad. His first solo exhibition was held at the Drian Gallery in 1963. Later solo shows were held in Germany and in England. A major retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1988, which toured to Germany the following year.
Mortality and war are key themes in his work and major large scale commissions include The Malta Siege Bell (Valetta Harbour), Memorial for the Victims of a Helicopter Disaster (Mannheim), and the Seafarers Memorial (London). His work can be found in numerous public collections including The Tate, The Imperial War Museum and The Arts Council Collection.
In the 2007 Royal Academy Summer exhibition he was awarded the Hugh Casson Drawing Prize for his controversial 'Iraq Triptych' portraying a naked Tony and Cherie Blair being expelled from Downing Street.
"It is my misfortune to see art (read Life) as a conflict, as an enervating struggle against mediocrity: in the first instance my own. We do, however, live in times of stupendous, quite heroic mediocrity. It is more than depressing to see the visual arts contaminated with the 'New Spirit' of cynicism, or, what is even worse,through benign 'democratic' agencies,being turned into a meaningless pap"