Lot 1
  • 1


15,000 - 20,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Rowan Gillespie
  • The Settlers
  • signed, numbered and dated: 6/9 GILLESPIE '01
  • bronze
  • height (including base): 99cm., 39in.
  • Executed in 2001 in an edition of 9 (only 7 cast)


Purchased directly from the artist 

Catalogue Note

'To be one man alone in a workshop with nothing more than the notion of an idea, then to start bending and welding, covering in clay and wax, cutting, changing, forming, deforming, reforming, discovering something, loving it and hating it, days and weeks of journeying, then moulding, baking, melting, lifting and shovelling, sweating exhaustion and exhilaration until almost abruptly, one day, there is something...' Rowan Gillespie, 2001

The present bronze was the first work of art one encountered upon entering the Burns family home. It immediately gives a sense of the collection to come, hinting at Brian Burn’s passion for Irish history and the story of his own family's emigration. Here, a humble 19th century couple, cap in hand and a small bag by their feet, have made their journey to America. The elongated and frozen poses have shades of Grant Wood’s American Gothic. The figures are loosely based on a photograph of Gillespie's great grandparents who emigrated to Montreal in the mid-19th century; Gillespie's great grandfather found success within his lifetime working for the Chicago and Grand Trunk Railway.