Scottish sculptor Ronald Rae first discovered his passion for carving granite at the age of fifteen. Now in his 76th year he can no longer take the punishment of carving granite. For 58 years he worked intuitively with only hand tools, and was able to convey the tenderest of feelings on to one of the hardest stones. Many of his sculptures are on public display, but they have also been placed in several distinguished private collections. Most of the sculptures remaining for sale are now at Creetown Whisky Bond, where they make a tremendous impact in their group setting.
Sculptures by Ronald Rae
Self-taught sculptor. 1 year at Edinburgh College of Art.
FRSS (Fellow of the Royal Society of Sculptors).
Scottish Executive New Arts Sponsorship Award in conjunction with Arts and Business Scotland.
Scottish Arts Council grant for his Rozelle Park Project.
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.
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.
Rae was always intrigued by prehistoric cave art. This 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"
There is video footage of Rae carving on the Ronald Rae website.
In addition to carving, Rae has worked prolifically, often after carving all day, on expressionist and fantasy drawings, in a variety of media. He has forged his own path here too, developing the use of biro pens, into the most refined technique. Rae expresses the wonder and terror of our existence, and connects us all through his intuitive understanding of universal experiences of pain and alienation. Some of these drawings eg the Daily Telegraph Series are now for sale via Gerber Fine Art in Glasgow.
Michelangelo, Egyptian sculpture, Pre-historic cave art, Pictish stones and and Celtic art, Expressionism.
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.".
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, Glenrothes, Fife
Sheep - Almond Valley Centre, Livingston
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
Fallen Christ - Iona
Hiroshima Departed - Japanese Peace Park, Milton Keynes
War Veteran - Milton Keynes
Cramond Fish - Cramond Shore -Edinburgh
Baby Boar - Aberdeen Airport.
Sacred Cow - Victoria Quays, Sheffield
St. Francis - National Trust for Scotland, Threave Gardens, Dumfries and Galloway.
Lion - St Andrew Square, Edinburgh