Fife

I grew up in Fife in Scotland. It’s a region of two halves: in the north, arable farming, golf and a university made famous by recent royals; in the south, the ghosts of coal mining, fishing and ship building. Methil no more, as the Proclaimers remind us.

In Margaret Thatcher’s 80’s I worked with kids in schools in the south: Methil, Cardenden, Ballingry, Buckhaven and so on. Places that had been crushed by the loss of their primary industries and consequently their identities and incomes. Making art was supposed to offer hope, reframe identities and purpose. I’m not sure how successful it was.

Fife Fields XV, 1996, oil on board, 12 x 9 cm
Fife Fields XV, 1996, oil on board, 9 x 12 cm

These paintings are a couple from a series painted in north Fife some years later. In case you’re wondering, I also made sketches of derelict coal mines and shipyards. If I can find any I will post them here too.

Fife Fields XII, 1996, acrylic on board, 8.5 x 12 cm
Fife Fields XII, 1996, acrylic on board, 8.5 x 12 cm

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