Failing Better was commissioned for Trinity College Dublin. It is now installed and waiting for the official unveiling at a date to be decided in September 2019.

“Researching for this sculpture I developed an interest in Trinity College Dublin’s connection to aviation, curious that so many of the movers and shakers of that industry graduated from there – Alan Joyce, Michael O’Leary and Willy Walsh, to name but a few.  More particularly I became  fascinated by the flying experiments of George Francis FitzGerald, Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy (Physics) at Trinity College, in the late 19th century. I find flight 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