A poignant return to Fife

David Mach (picture by FPA)
David Mach (picture by FPA)

Acclaimed Aberhill-born sculptor David Mach has revealed how his wife’s brave battle with illness has prompted his return to Levenmouth.

The Turner-prize nominee now divides his time between London and Largo, so he can be closer to his wife, who is being cared for in a private nursing home in Kirkcaldy.

In a recent interview with The Herald, he revealed that Lesley – his wife of 35 years – had undergone an operation in London to remove a brain tumour five years ago.

Although the operation itself was successful, she suffered a series of complications which required further surgery.

He said: “Her original operation in London was very good but the immediate aftercare was terrible. She has undergone 17 operations, a spell in critical care and a long time in the High Dependency Unit. In Edinburgh, she was in intensive care for three months.”

David, who recently completed a new memorial to the 1st Polish Parachute Brigade in Leven to mark the 70th anniversary of Arnhem, described how he was helping his wife (57) to recover.

“Les has difficulty walking and talking and her short-term memory is gone,” he said.

“She is an amazing woman; I’ve seen her cry only once and only for a few seconds. We’re now trying to get her voice back by playing music and encouraging her to sing. I find myself loving being with her.”

The artist, who has bought a cottage close to the beach in Lower Largo, also explained how returning to Fife – whose unique light he praised in a previous interview with the East Fife Mail – had helped him understand his career.

“I realise almost everything I’ve ever done has been inspired by where I come from,” he said.

David’s latest project – due for completion later this month – is a sculpture commissioned by Morrison’s supermarket for the Esplanade in Kirkcaldy.