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Rowan Gillespie (b1953)
Was born in Dublin in 1953, but his family soon moved to Cyprus where he lived until the age of ten. In 1969 he enrolled at York School of Art and later continued his studies at Kingston College of Art and Kunst og Handverke Skole in Oslo. He lived and exhibited widely in Norway before returning to Ireland in 1977. From 1978 to 1986, he had many exhibitions in Ireland at the Lad Lane & Solomon Galleries and with the Jonathon Poole Gallery, London. His work also travelled to exhibitions in York, Belfast, New York, Cannes, Los Angeles and Stockholm. From 1982 he regularly exhibited in group exhibitions, Art Fairs and Theme exhibitions in Ireland, France, Holland, U.S.A and England, including 'Recontre avec des Sculpteurs Europeens', Pan Amsterdam, Royal Hibernian Academy, Art Expo, New York, Art Toronto, Puck, New York, B.C.A.F., I.C.A.F., London.
In 1989 he decided to concentrate on site specific work, resulting in a number of major public sculptures sited throughout Ireland and abroad including The Blackrock Dolmen, The Kiss, The Age of Freedom (all in Dublin), The Cashel Dancers (Cashel), W.B.Yeats (Sligo), The Singer (Limerick City) and The Cycle of Life and The Minstrels in Colorado, USA. In 1994, a major solo sculpture exhibition was hosted at the Solomon Gallery, Dublin and toured to the Galerie Husstege, Holland.
His most well-known piece to date is Famine, a commemorative group of seven life-size figures sited on Custom House Quay in Dublin which was donated to the Irish people by Mrs Norma Smurfit in 1997. Gillespie's work is represented in the collections of the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the National Self-Portrait Collection, Limerick, AIB Bank, I.B.M., Office of An Taoiseach, R.T.E. Authority Commission, Aer Lingus, Chicago Bank, Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Ulster Bank, National Maternity Hospital and Irish Intercontinental Bank.