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To be able to put all of your heart and soul into a sculpture you need not only to design and conceive it, but also to process it yourself. This is a very strong conviction of Rowan Gillespie’s. He does all the casting himself, even the extremely heavy bronzes, which carries a degree of risk. “The moment I have to stop casting, I have to stop working with bronze”, he says.

Bronze casting needs great concentration and discipline. Gillespie casts his bronze using the old block moulding method of lost wax casting. He uses this rather than the newer ceramic shell technique, using few modern aids to smooth the process. He does this because he believes in the quality of directness in this way of casting. Always respectful of the dangers of the red molten bronze, never too confident, this attitude contributes to the intensity of a sculpture.

MediumSilvered cast metal figure in perspex cylinder
Dimensions90.1 x 17.2 x 17.3 cm
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Gordon Lambert Trust, 1992
Item NumberIMMA.216 GL
Not on view
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Image Caption
Rowan Gillespie, Ambition, 1969, Silvered cast metal figure in perspex cylinder, 90.1 x 17.2 x 17.3 cm, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Gordon Lambert Trust, 1992

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: info@imma.ie.

About the Artist

Rowan Gillespie b.1953

Irish sculptor Rowan Gillespie attended York School of Art; Kingston College of Art, London, and Kunst og Handverk Skole, Oslo. Working in bronze, Gillespie favours the traditional method of lost wax casting as a way of directly engaging with the materials of his craft. Gillespie has exhibited widely and created site-specific sculptures for locations across Ireland. His work is represented in many public collections, including the National Self-Portrait Collection; the Tyrone Guthrie Centre and the National Maternity Hospital, Dublin. — View Artist »