First Warmth Of Spring
Bronze, Found Steel Pedal
23cm (h) x 12cm (w) x 12cm (d)
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Anna Gillespie is a contemporary figurative sculptor whose intensely emotional representations of the human form are made from materials as diverse as masking tape, bronze, clay, and fabric impregnated with plaster. Her sculptures express complex human emotions as well as her responses to environmental issues.
The work varies in scale from life-sized, life-like masking tape figures presented in groups to form installations, to more intimate pieces cast in bronze, as well as drawings and prints. This exhibition of her more domestic scale work includes both very recent pieces as well as selected works from the last five years.
Anna Gillespie's emerging consciousness of the seasonally and fragility of the world around her has led her to develop sculptures in more natural materials such as acorns and bark. She has also taken natural objects such as delicate leaves and seed pods into the print room. The resulting work is not a Romantic depiction of the natural world but rather continues the theme of her earlier work, challenging the emotions and conveying a politically charged message. Combining these natural materials with found objects and the sculpted human form she expresses her growing concerns about the environment. Anna Gillespie believes that art has the potential to engage people at a human level with the environmental crisis we face.
The work appears to emerge from an almost subliminal level - connections and ideas within it have poetic symbolism, resonance and power; conceptual connections are a valued part of the process but are not allowed to dominate. Through using the human form Anna Giilespie feels a connection with other artists throughout history - believing that it is a fundamental human impulse to use form to depict humanity and our relationship with each other and the natural world. Sensing that deep knowledge is stored within the body, and acknowledging the spark ignited by recognition of the human form, she believes that figurative work may offer a challenge the disembodied nature of our society and connect us more deeply with the body of the planet we inhabit.