Pictures of the people at Kirkcaldy Galleries

Michael Clark from Kirkcaldy, winner of the Fife Free Press competition 'The People's Pick' and the winning picture 'The Queer-Like Smell'.
Michael Clark from Kirkcaldy, winner of the Fife Free Press competition 'The People's Pick' and the winning picture 'The Queer-Like Smell'.
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IT’s just over a week until the opening of the refurbished, and re-named, Kirkcaldy Galleries - with its first exhibition chosen by the public!

‘The People’s Pick’ is made up of pictures chosen by art lovers from across the Kingdom who had nearly 500 oils and acrylics to chose from, and Alice Pearson, interpretation team leader, was delighted with the response.

She said: “Overall the response to The People’s Pick was fantastic!

“Over 1000 votes were cast, and some famous names also got in on the action - Jack Vettriano and Val McDermid both got in touch to tell the gallery why particular paintings mean so much to them.”

The competition was run in conjunction with the Fife Free Press and one lucky winner ensured that their favourite painting would be included in the exhibition.

Michael Clark (78) from Bandon Avenue, Kirkcaldy, picked the painting ‘The Queer Like Smell’ depicting workers at Nairns factory, and revealed that his choice was for personal reasons.

He said: “I began working at Nairns when I was 16 or 17 years old and remained there until I retired 14 years ago.

“What I love the most about the painting is that it brings back so many memories.

“I had a roving commission and being on inspection I would go down to the factory and if the door was open to the block shop I would sneak a look - I was always nosey!

“I’d watch them creating the blocks and I was always amazed that they did it backwards.

“It was all part of the process of making linoleum, and it’s a pity that we’ve lost that queer like smell.”

Mr Clark said he was delighted that his picture was chosen: “I was quite amazed when I got the call - I’ve never won anything before!

“From what I’ve seen we’re going to have a first class art gallery. I do like to look at paintings. To be able to get shapes correct and to create something like this takes an awful lot of skill - it’s not just slapdash.”

Alison Pearson said the overall winner won’t be announced until the opening weekend, where Mr Clark will be a guest. She said: “To find that out people will have to come along to the family fun weekend on June 8!

“I will say that the winning work received 45 votes – making it a very popular picture!”