Artist: Rowan Gillespie

Rowan Gillespie was born in Dublin in 1953 to Irish parents and spent his childhood in Cyprus until he was ten when his family relocated to York. He trained at York School of Art, Kingston College of Art and Handverke Skole, Oslo, remaining in Norway with his wife Hanne till 1977, when they returned to Ireland.

Gillespie works mainly in bronze and creates his sculptures from conception to the finished work in his own one-man foundry. Influenced by Henry Moore whom he met whilst at Kingston and by the art of Edvard Munch, Gillespie’s bronze sculptures are preoccupied with human emotions. He draws from a variety of sources, including classical heroes, embryonic forms and dancing couples; each work telling its own story.

Gillespie has been hailed as one of Ireland’s greatest figurative sculptors and has exhibited regularly in Europe and the United States, but since 1989, has concentrated on site-specific public commissions. He is best known for ‘The Famine Trilogy’ commemorating the Irish Famine of 1845. The component sculptures from this series are on display in Dublin, Toronto and Tasmania. Other notable public works are found in Ireland, the United States and Canada and his work is represented in The Irish Museum of Modern Art.

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