Garden sculpture becomes talking point

A SCULPTURE in Lower Largo is attracting interest in the local community and beyond.

Created by artist Alan Faulds, the distinctive brightly coloured work, entitled Malagan, sits in his garden overlooking the Firth of Forth.

The new Main Street attraction has become quite the talking point around town – is it a totem pole or a weather vane?

In fact, Alan revealed it was inspired by a trip to Lithuania in 2006, in which tall wooden roadside structures named Roofed Poles really caught his eye.

“They were sometimes erected to commemorate a particular event,” he explained. “For example, during Soviet control, a deportation of someone to Siberia might result in the erection of a Roofed Pole.

Usually it would be swiftly removed by the authorities.”

“These things struck a chord with me. I wanted to make something that carried that power.”

In November 2007, he heard the Texan singer-songwriter Sam Baker perform in Kirkcaldy and was inspired to sketch the sculpture the next day.

He commented: “Things started to fall into place while I was listening to songs about his life, particularly a song like “Broken Fingers”.

Malagan – named after sculptures from Papua New Guinea – was carved from five separate sections of Scottish oak.

“I also recycled some oak floorboards for the roof and cut up copper from my old hot water cylinder for the roof tiles and finial,” said Alan.

“The finish is oil paint thinned with orange and linseed oils. When I put it on at first it smelled of oranges.

Due to exhibition commitments, it took a year to finish and Alan confessed he hadn’t a clue what it would finally look like until it was assembled.

Although Malagan sculptures are usually frontal pieces, this work which incorporates images from the sea and mythology is read “in the round”.

“The body of the piece has four narrative panels. One of these relates to the singer I saw in Kirkcaldy,” continued Alan.

“The face looking out to sea is taken from a Central American mask used in the festival “Dance of the Conquest”.

Properly maintained, oak should last a very long time and the sculpture also benefits from a steel central core.

It does not have planning permission though, but Alan is quite philosophical about the eventual outcome of an application now.

“What I am interested in is the making of things and much less about what happens to them afterwards. Usually that is in someone else’s hands,” he said.

“Before starting work I spoke to my immediate next door neighbours. They have been very supportive, as have others, throughout the process.”

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1 comment

  1. Alan I live down the road from you in Lower Largo. I have taken a picture of your garden sculpture and made it into a postcard. The new post office in lundin links is interested in selling it. I would like your permission to do so and wondered how you would like to be acknowledged as the artist?

    Best wishes sue

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