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‘Watch where you are…’ The Enduring Town Art of Glenrothes

Wed 17 Oct 18

A Celebration in Photography and Film of David Harding’s Creation of Place… and Belief in the Incomplete


Kingdom Shopping Centre, Glenrothes


Sat 20 – Sun 28 October 2018, 10am – 5pm

(weekdays 11am-3pm)


Twitter: #glenrothestownart


This year marks the 50th anniversary of the appointment of David Harding as Town Artist in Glenrothes. The Enduring Town Art of Glenrothes pop-up exhibition (in a retail unit within the Kingdom Shopping Centre) celebrates the occasion with a display of archive and newly commissioned photographs of the town artworks, as well as a short documentary film about the artist.

David Harding (b.1937, Leith) is a Scottish artist best known for his work as town artist in Glenrothes. Between 1968-78 Harding lived and worked in in the town, creating artwork installations across the precincts, a few in the centre but many more in residential areas. These were created for the people that lived there, some being made in collaboration with local school children and others – e.g. Dog Cemetery, Piano Keys, Bottle Openers – named by local residents.

Harding was employed by the Glenrothes Development Corporation and worked within the Architecture and Planning Department alongside colleagues at all levels, from the Chief Architect and planners to the engineers and bricklayers.

With no budget to speak of, Harding used the same building materials that were used to create local housing such as bricks and concrete. Most notable works include the Henge, a stone circle created from cast concrete slabs, the Heritage, a row of concrete embossed columns, and the Industry murals on the West Freeway pedestrian underpass.

After leaving Glenrothes, Harding moved into education and his approach grew more conceptual. In 1985 he introduced the new Environmental Art course at Glasgow School of Art, eventually becoming Head of Environmental Art and Sculpture. His influence extended to the next generation of Scottish artists, and many of his former pupils have been nominated for or received the Turner Prize and other international awards. Harding retired from teaching in 2001, was awarded an OBE in 2002 and an Honorary Doctorate from Glasgow University in 2018.



Andrew Demetrius (curator) [email protected]

Andrew is Visual Resources Curator at the School of Art History, University of St Andrews. He is working on a part-time PhD, The Public Art of Glenrothes and David Harding.


Further Information


Sylvia Borda is a Canadian photographer and teacher living in Vancouver, BC.


Sean Dooley is an Australian photographer based in Fife.


Carolyn Scott is a photographer and film maker based in Fife.


Andy Sim is a film maker based in Glasgow.


Aase Goldsmith (1942-2015, born in Denmark) and her husband Peter were photographers living and working around Glenrothes.



The exhibition organisers would like to thank David Harding for his assistance and generosity, Rachel Nordstrom at University of St Andrews Special Collections, David Carson (Kingdom Centre) and Andrew Walker (Fife Council).


This project has been made possible thanks to funding from Fife Council and support from the University of St Andrews.

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