Anna Gillespie

Anna Gillespie first exhibited at the gallery last year as part of the Four Seasons Exhibition. Anna’s new work is a bold departure from the pieces she was previously known for.  Replacing the organic tree materials, and the sense of absorption in the natural world, is a harder edge experience, expressed in a riskier, rawer form. The human figure is now in plaster - a material more often associated with the artist's studio. It’s use marks a preference for experimentation and frankness over the formality of the bronze edition.  Although all work is available in both bronze and plaster, Anna explains: ‘’Solid Bronze' is almost never so in sculpture - it is predominantly hollow. Here hollowness is accentuated - the figures can, literally, be seen through.’

Anna eschews the idea of a comfort zone. Although trained as a stone mason, her first bronze sculptures were moulded from masking tape. Her work has always hinted at the combination of personal and political. Here the hints are more forceful and may allude to the way in which, disconnected from the natural world, the human experience is hollow in spite of material well-being.

The new work emphasises that art is not a refuge from political and emotional complexity. There is joy to be found here too, reflected in the glee of direct making.  ‘The layers within any artwork can be physical – here in plaster upon plaster, built up, knocked back, dripped, flung and placed, pigment clinging to the depths of the texture. Beyond this are unseen dimensions  – layers of process, emotion and narrative.’ Anna Gillespie