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Ronald Rae

Selected artist profile information for this contemporary British Sculptor
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Sculptor Ronald Rae
Ronald Rae

About Ronald Rae

Scottish sculptor Ronald Rae first discovered his passion for carving granite at the age of fifteen. Now approaching seventy, his dedication to granite remains undeterred despite the physical and mental effort that carving demands. Working intuitively with only hand tools, he is able to convey the tenderest of feelings on to one of the hardest stones in the world. Some of his sculptures are for public places but most are of a size that can be placed in a garden setting.
Sculptor Ronald Rae
Ronald Rae at work

Exhibition History of Ronald Rae

The Ronald Rae Sculpture Exhibition of hand carved granite sculptures has been on tour in the United Kingdom since 1994 showing at major venues such as Sheffield, Milton Keynes, Regents Park, London, the Natural History Museum, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh and now at The Falkirk Wheel. His largest work to date, the 20 tonne Lion of Scotland is on exhibition in St Andrew Square Garden in Edinburgh city centre.

Each exhibition has varied in theme with new sculptures being added as each sculpture sells finding permanent homes in the UK and abroad. Each sculpture expresses the artist`s love and concern for the human and animal condition. Many of the animal sculptures are of endangered species. The talisman of The Falkirk Wheel Exhibition Wheel is a ten tonne Elephant Family.

Ronald Rae with his Cramond Fish

Biography / CV of Ronald Rae

Ronald Rae was born in Ayr, Scotland in 1946. Whilst still in short trousers he struck his first granite rock. At the age of twelve he was drawing a weekly cartoon strip for a local newspaper. Drawing would be an important part of his life but sculpture his main love and obsession.

In the beginning Rae explored his faith through his art. This resulted in a large series of emotive drawings and carvings based on the life of Christ. Being brought up in the countryside it followed that he expressed his appreciation of animals in his art. Aware of his Celtic heritage he thrilled at seeing Scotland`s ancient carved stones and Celtic crosses that often included wild boar, horses and bears. Some of these animals are celebrated at The Falkirk Wheel exhibition.

Rae was always intrigued by prehistoric cave art. This perhaps inspired his relief sculpture Bison. In this work he did not carve the stone in the round but used his chisel to draw on its surface. Also carved in relief is the monumental Tyger Tyger.

The pink and grey granite that Rae has carved for the past 20 years comes from Kemnay and Tillyfourie quarries in Aberdeenshire. The silver gray he used for his earlier works came from Creetown and Dalbeattie quarries on the Solway Firth. The oldest granite is 470 million years old. It is in these quarries that Rae finds the right stone or the stone finds him. He makes no plans in advance for his sculptures. He carves intuitively to find what is within each stone. Often he find animals. To him it is "a miracle". He says passionately "I do not just carve animals, I try to carve the spirit of animals. The sculptures are a thank you for my life - they are my prayers"
At present Rae has juts completed a Baby Elephant from a four tonne granite boulder. There is video footage of him carving this sculpture on the Ronald Rae website.

Ronald Rae with his Heavy Horse and Foal

Artist Statement of Ronald Rae

My sculptures are my prayers - my reason for being. To me granite is the most beautiful stone in the world. The granite I use is 460 million years old. It will be in the world when the stars go out. It is an honour to be able to carve it. That is why I use hand tools. I want to make love to the stone, whereas power tools would rape it.

Awards and Prizes of Ronald Rae

Scottish Executive New Arts Sponsorship Award in conjunction with Arts and Business Scotland.

Acquisitions / Collections of work by Ronald Rae

The Jerwood Foundation.
Lord and Lady Heseltine
Andrew Sebire
Iona Community, Island of Iona
Isle of Eriska Hotel
Rozelle Park, Ayr
Royal Edinburgh Hospital
Cramond Kirk
Cramond Community
St.John`s Church Edinburgh
Amnesty International
City of Milton Keynes
Glenrothes Development Corporation
Aviva Assurance Company
Bletchley Park.
The City of Milton Keynes
Riverside Park, Glenrothes
Aviva,Perth, Scotland
Dormston Art Centre, Dudley

Reviews of work by Ronald Rae

BBC2 - Film Touching Humanity
Grampian Television - Famous for Fifteen Minutes
BBC2 The Late Show -Rory Bremner reviews the Ronald Rae Exhibition in Sheffield
BBC Radio 3 Private Passions -Ronald Rae as guest speaker with Michael Berkeley.
HRH The Prince of Wales described Rae`s sculptures as "gloriously organic.".

Public Works of Ronald Rae

The Tragic Sacrifice of Christ (five pieces) -Rozelle Park Ayr
Abraham - The Royal Edinburgh Hospital
Return of the Prodigal - Aviva, Perth
Famine and Mark of the Nail- St John`s Church, Edinburgh
The Good Samaritan- Riverside Park, Fife
Sheep - Almond Valley Centre Livingstone
Sacred Cow -Victoria Quays, Sheffield
Insect and Celtic Cross - Birmingham
O wert thou in the cauld blast (Burns)
Station Square, Milton Keynes
Elephant and Rhino - Dormston Art Centre
Millennium Fish- Cramond Kirk
Hiroshima Departed - Japanese Peace Park, Milton Keynes
Cramond Fish - Cramond Shore -Edinburgh
Baby Boar - Aberdeen Airport.
Sacred Cow - Vistoria Quays, Sheffield

Qualifications / Education of Ronald Rae

Self-taught sculptor. Edinburgh College of Art.

Publications / Media / Bibliography of Ronald Rae

Ronald Rae Sculptor 1991
Ronald Rae Sculpture-exhibition catalogue for Sheffield 1994
Ronald Rae - exhibition catalogue for the Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2002
Ronald Rae Sculpture - exhibition catalogue for the Holyrood Park Exhibition 2006.

Teaching Experience

Gives regular illustrated talks to various societies and advice to budding sculptors.

Influences / Inspiration of Ronald Rae

Michelangelo, Egyptian sculpture, Pre-historic cave art, Pictish stones and and Celtic art.

Price Range of Work

Ronald Rae's work has a price range from £3,750 to £15,000

Mediums utilised

Ronald Rae's work is found in the following materials:

Artwork Categorised

Ronald Rae's work is found in the following categories on site:
Carved Stone, Marble, Alabaster, Soap Stone Granite Lime stone (6)
Animal Abstract Contemporary Modern Stylised Minimalist Sculptures (4)
Monumental Sculptures (2)
Primitive or Naive style Sculpture or Statuary (2)
Garden Or Yard / Outside and Outdoor Sculptures (2)
Love / Affection Sculpture (2)
Abstract Contemporary or Modern Outdoor Outside Exterior Garden / Yard Sculptures Statues statuary (2)
Carved Abstract Contemporary Modern sculpture statue carving (2)
Busts and Heads Sculptures Statues statuettes Commissions Bespoke Custom Portrait Memorial Commemorative sculpture or statue (2)
Wild Animals and Wild Life Sculptures
Parent - Child Sculpture
Human Form: Abstract Sculptures
Field Sports, Game Birds and Game Animals Sculptures
Stylised Heads / Busts Sculptures
Public Art Sculpture
Religious Sculpture
Scarabs and Beetles Sculptures Statues statuette
Insect Sculptures, to include Bees, Ants, Moths, Butterflies etc
Big Large Birds Sculptures Statues
Figurative Abstract Modern or Contemporary Sculptures Statues statuary statuettes figurines
Male Men Youths Masculine Statues Sculptures statuettes figurines
Bas Reliefs or Low Reliefs
Mother and Child, the Madonna, mother and children Sculptures
Birds of Prey / Raptors Sculptures
Cattle, Kine, Cows, Bulls, Buffalos, Bullocks, Heifers, Calves, Oxen, Bison, Aurocks, Yacks
Birds Abstract Contemporary Stylised l Minimalist Sculpture / Statues
Christian Church Sculptures, Carvings Bas Reliefs Stained Glass and Statues
Predators Carnivores Hunters Flesh Eaters Sculptures Statues statuettes carvings
African Animal and Wildlife Sculptures
Mask, Wall Hung Faces and Part Heads
Pigs, Sows, Boars, Hogs, Piglets Sounders Sculptures or Statues
Outsize, Very Big, Extra Large and Massive Sculptures
Biblical Character or Thing sculpture Statues Statuettes

Video

http://www.ronaldrae.co.uk/news/ronald-raes-man-of-sorrows-granite-sculpture-installed
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"The problem of contemporary sculpture and the garden is one which has rankled in my mind for years. It is usually resolved through a process of inversion-that is turning it into sculpture in the garden as against garden sculpture. By that I mean the sculptor takes over the garden as an open exhibition gallery, of which the focus is their creation, to which the world of nature merely provides the frame.The Idea that sculpture is a contributory element to an overall'mise en scene',in which, sometimes its role may be incedental rather than central, has been lost.In this we have seen the betrayall of the great tradition of garden sculpture, one which was unashamed at being decorative or delightful."
Sir Roy Strong
Customer comment on 'Young Cheetah (Small bronze Trotting/Loping/Moving/Striding statuette)' by Camilla Le May
Dear Peter/David, Arrived safe and sound, everything perfect Cheetah, packaging, now to decide pride of place. Thank you both for prompt efficient service. I hope all is well and Camilla (Camilla Le May, the artist) returns to good health very soon. My sincere thanks to you both.
Graham S, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom.