New home in Kirkcaldy for late Fife artist’s work

Malcolm Robertson with his portrait and Ian Wilkie's widow, Susan Wilkie, who has donated the painting, along with another of Big Country band members Bruce and Jamie Watson, to ONFife's Kirkcaldy Galleries.
Malcolm Robertson with his portrait and Ian Wilkie's widow, Susan Wilkie, who has donated the painting, along with another of Big Country band members Bruce and Jamie Watson, to ONFife's Kirkcaldy Galleries.

Two portrait paintings by late Fife artist and photographer Ian Wilkie have been donated to ONFife’s Kirkcaldy Galleries.

One work is of former Glenrothes town artist Malcolm Robertson, which is on display now, and the other is of Bruce and Jamie Watson, of Fife rock band Big Country.

The Kirkcaldy-based artist, who died in 2014, was born and brought up in Fife and lived in the Kingdom for most of his life.

Ian studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in the 1970s, where he qualified in graphic design and photography.

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He became known as the go-to artist for some of the music world’s rich and famous, including creating hand-painted miniature guitars for many musical clients, including commissions for Sting, Tom Petty and Eric Clapton.

However, he was also an immensely talented portrait painter, as the donated works highlight.

His portrait of Malcolm Robertson was painted in 2012. Malcolm is one of Scotland’s leading figures in the fields of public art and sculpture. For 14 years, from 1978, he was the town artist of Glenrothes and was responsible for art in the new town, including the giant irises and many landmark works. Both paintings have been donated by Ian’s widow, Susan Wilkie.

Gavin Grant, team leader for ONFife’s Collections, said: “I was delighted to accept the paintings from Susan. Visitors to Kirkcaldy have already been commenting on the striking image of Malcolm Robertson. The other work is currently stored at our Collections Centre in Glenrothes and people can view it by making an appointment.”

A retrospective of Ian’s work, Out of the Shadows and Into the Sun, was held recently at ONFife’s FifeSpace gallery at Rothes Halls, Glenrothes.