Any visitor to Lower Largo will be familiar with Alan Fauld’s public artwork. From the iconic Malagan totem sculpture overlooking Largo Bay to the many elaborate carved gates dotted throughout the village.
In 2021 Largo Arts commissioned Alan to create a unique piece of artwork to feature on the village’s refurbished phone box. The resulting sculpture, christened The Obelisk, depicts the history and folklore of Largo and surrounding area. The Obelisk had established itself as a landmark for visitors and the community alike.
Where did it all start?
Born Dennistoun, Glasgow, 1951, Single child. Grew up on the south side. My first report card: “Alan is always looking out the window and seems to be in a little world of his own”
My first artistic achievement appears to have been a plasticine coach and horses made in P2. It seems the teacher next door came to look at it. A little later making battleships from blocks of wood and panel pins on the back step. Wood kept splitting. Plus ca change.
On and off in between academic studies I dabbled with watercolours. In my final school year I’d time to do a Higher art and was picked for a Glasgow summer art course. Later that summer I worked in a restaurant in Paris bunking off my duties in the afternoon by doing portraits of the boss and the other waiters.
Becoming an architect was the safe choice. My wife and I came to Fife in 1984 after a time in private practice. My first job here was a school swimming pool. My mural design was described as resembling Pocahontas’s headdress. I was involved in swimming and leisure pool design for over 30 years.
By 1996 my daytime work environment had changed. There was less creativity and more paper pushing. I was 45 and one day picked up a Black and Decker power file and a piece of wood which I whittled and painted. People seemed to like what I did, some even bought the work and I exhibited in some decent shows in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Amsterdam. Early on I had an exhibition which got titled “Sculpture with a twist” which summed up what I was doing and it still does.
What is your inspiration?
I’m attracted to visual ephemera and work that is more low art than high art. I’m drawn to images which say something about life. I like things that are anonymous, neglected, ambiguous. A lot of my ideas and images lie dormant for years.
After 38 years I never cease to be amazed when I open the shutters in the morning and it’s here in Lower Largo that we raised a family. It’s a good place to make things.
What makes Largo Arts Weeks so special?
I can do whatever I like! Every year I try to put a different twist on things. It’s enough to have all my one man shows and retrospectives rolled into one here in the back garden. The selection committee never turns me down, my gallery assistant tolerates me, the commission is modest, and I don’t have to go far to hawk my wares.