Anna Gillespie was born in 1964. Having obtained a degree from Oxford University in philosophy and politics and then gone on to study international relations at the London School of Economics, 1992 saw a change of direction and the decision to become a full time sculptor. Anna qualified as a stone mason in Bath before travelling to Italy to study with the sculptor Nigel Konstam, and then completing an MA in Fine and Media Art at Cheltenham. Anna Gillespie creates figurative sculptures in a variety of materials including masking tape, bronze, plaster and clay. Her work varies in scale from life-sized, life-like masking tape figures presented in groups to form an installation, to the much more intimate and domestic pieces.
Anna Gillespie’s work seems to contain contradictions; light and heavy, enduring and temporary, still and vibrant, suffering and joy. The work reflects the fragility and vulnerability of human beings, and the theme of captivity is often present. Within the sculptures can be seen traces of global events, the feelings and circumstances of the model at the time when they posed, and – on a more subliminal yet essential level – the personal world of the artist.
The focus of Anna’s work is strength of emotion and simplicity of form. The work does not attempt to capture movement, but rather still moments, and this aspect of the work and the simple poses employed has been deeply influenced by Antony Gormley’s work and writings. Bacon’s writings and work have also been important in clarifying the practice of conveying emotional injury through figuration. Pisano, Michelangelo, Quinn and Munoz, amongst others, are also strong influences.