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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Ronald Rae (b. 1946)

Sculptor specialising in large, ruggedly hewn works in granite; also a graphic designer, poet and musician. Born in Ayr, he studied at Glasgow School of Art and Edinburgh College of Art, becoming a full-time professional sculptor in 1971. He spent a year in the USA before returning in 1978 to Ayr, where he completed a group of five works on biblical subjects for Rozelle Park, including The Deposition and Golgotha Madonna. Much of his early work is monumental in scale, tragic in conception, and motivated by a deep humanitarian concern. Since c.1990, however, his primary concern has been with the representation of animals, although these are also frequently imbued with religious content, as is evident in works such as God is Elephant (1987). His Lion of Scotland (2002–03) is in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh. Rae’s method of working is by direct carving, using hand tools only, and following an intuitive sense of how the formal and spiritual possibilities of the block of granite might be realised. His work has been widely exhibited, and is represented in private and public collections throughout the UK and abroad. A Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors, he currently lives in Barnton, Edinburgh, and has his studio in the grounds of Cramond Kirk.

Bibliography: W.T. Johnston, Dictionary of Scottish Artists (c.2000), Scottish National Library, ref CD-ROM.585; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 407–08, vol. 2, pp. 68–69, 436–37, 494; G.T. Noszlopy and F. Waterhouse, Public Sculpture of Staffordshire and the Black Country, Liverpool, 2005, p. 100; Ronald Rae website; D. White and E. Norman, Public Sculpture of Sheffield and South Yorkshire, Liverpool, 2015, pp. 219–20.

Ray McKenzie 2018