Failing Better was commissioned for Trinity College Dublin. It is now complete and waiting for installation in mid July 2019.
“Researching for this sculpture I developed an interest in Trinity’s curious connection to aviation with so many of the movers and shakers of that industry having graduated from Trinity, Alan Joyce, Michael O’Leary and Willy Walsh, to name but a few. I became particularly interested in the flying experiments of George Francis FitzGerald, Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy (Physics) at Trinity College, in the late 19th century. Flight is fascinating. As a child I even attempted a flight myself when, with the encouragement of my older brother, John, I climbed up onto the roof of the house and jumped, optimistically flapping my arms as I plummeted to the earth!
The idea behind this sculpture is best expressed by the words of Trinity graduate, Samuel Beckett “Fail again, fail better” . The concept that one should never fear failure. As I see it, in most innovation there is no such thing as the eureka moment but more the evolution of a series of failures which gradually improve, failures inching towards success by inspired vision.
My flying machine is a horse which develops wheels and then propellers, it will never fly just as Professor George Francis FitzGerald’s machine never really flew but he dared to try.”
Rowan Gillespie 2019