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.
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