Plan to save key public artwork is welcomed

Linda Ballingall  and Lillian Sloan have welcomed the news that Malcolm Robertson mural - Life Cycle will be saved. (Pic George McLuskie).
Linda Ballingall and Lillian Sloan have welcomed the news that Malcolm Robertson mural - Life Cycle will be saved. (Pic George McLuskie).

Plans to save one of the key public artworks in Glenrothes from demolition, has been welcomed by art lovers and historians in the town

Life Cycle, a large clay tile mural by former Glenrothes town artist Malcolm Robertson, created in 1982, is to be carefully dismantled and retained for future display, if plans to demolish the former Co-op building in the town’s Albany Gate are approved.

Planners are expected to approve the request to bring down the dilapidated former department store and the company behind the bid – Lasalle Investment Management – has confirmed it has already made enquires with the artist to ascertain the best way to go about saving the large clay tile structure.

The news has been welcomed by both Lillian Sloan, chairman of the town’s long-running Art Club and Linda Ballingall, chairman of the Glenrothes Heritage Centre.

“This is an important piece of the town’s art heritage, and I’m delighted that a move to preserve it is being put in place,” said Mrs Sloan.

“Mr Robertson’s public artworks are renowned the world over. It’s vital we put in measures to save those in Glenrothes.”

Her sentiments were echoed by Miss Ballingall.

She said: “ It’s absolutely vital that we preserve works such as this. They are an integral part of the history of Glenrothes.”

Made up of 136 terracotta tiles, which are fixed to 12 metal panels, each bolted together to form the complete artwork, are to be detached, or cut, from the building’s brickwork once a fuller internal inspection of the wall cavity has been made.

The mural, which features a number of themes including an that of an Argyll landscape, a scene from the film Chariots of Fire, and the ‘Collydean Hands’ - another of Mr Robertson’s public sculptures, that is now situated on the A911 between Glenrothes and Leslie, was erected in Albany Gate in 1982, where it has been displayed ever since.