The repurposing of everyday objects with esoteric functions is a common theme in Gillespie’s work, unifying the physical and spiritual worlds. Abacus sculptures have been a way for the artist to think through the measuring and calculating of that which is unseen or undefined. Attempting to count that which can’t be counted becomes a poetic gesture.
In these recent works from 2019, Gillespie uses the Golden ratio in her dimensions, contemplating natures perfection in mathematics and sacred geometry. Curved geometric shapes created from brass rods are framed by Walnut and include found nuts such as Gumnut and Sheoak. The curved shapes were originally inspired by abstracted landscape. The cast concrete base grounds the wooden piece in a contemporary time, with a nod to Brancussi.
This re labelling of objects is fuelled by a fascination with the rise and fall of advanced ancient civilisations and the possibility of museums mis interpreting an objects function. Within this thinking, Gillespie considers the artists position as artefact producer and cultural makers of our time. Lawnmowers become hypnosis inducing musical instruments, scissor lifts become ornate bird like objects used in religious ceremony, and abacus become Higher Consciousness Integrating Calculators. A particular interest in connecting with the land and the material culture of the Asia Pacific region, is central to the artists’ work. As an installation, the group of five abacus installed in a circle on a table, appear as though partaking in some kind of ceremonial action. The circular grouping could also be reminiscent of the Neolithic monuments of Stone Henge, our most ancient calculator.