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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Alex Main (1940–2010)

Born in Edinburgh, he left school at fourteen, but after serving an apprenticeship with the Daily Mail, and working as a printer and compositor for the Chaucer Press, he returned to full-time education, training as an artist at Lowestoft School of Art, Loughborough College of Art, and Goldsmiths, University of London. He later moved with his family to Thurso in Caithness, where he worked as an art teacher until ill health forced him into early retirement. Among his commissions is the life-size bronze, Kenn and the Salmon, which was inspired by the novel Highland River by Neil M. Gunn, and was erected as a memorial to the writer in his home town of Dunbeath, on the east coast of Caithness, in 1991. It was, however, as a portrait sculptor that he achieved the most critical acclaim, producing bronze busts of, among others, the poets George Mackay Brown and Norman MacCaig, both c.1996 and now in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Bibliography: (Glasgow) Herald, 30 April 2010, p. 22 (obit.); R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, p. 399.

Ray McKenzie 2018