The renowned artist famous for his ‘big heid’ sculptures by the M8 is going Commando

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THE renowned Scots artist behind the “big heid” sculptures by the M8 is going Commando.

David Mach’s new exhibition is inspired by the legendary Commando comics of his youth in which elite British troops took on the evil Axis powers.

The works in the exhibition – Mach Goes Commando – feature original art from the iconic series.

Fife-born Mach’s show at the Fifespace Gallery in Lochgelly is a return to what he calls “a big part of my cultural youth”.

Mach, 57, said of the work: “They are not just based on them, they actually use bits of ‘Commando’ books.

“Really it comes from doing collage. I spent many years making collage in all sorts of varieties and shapes.

“I started collecting the magazines, ripping them up and filing them under things like explosions, seascapes, deserts, jungles.

“That was the beauty of the Commando magazines, you could go from the Sahara Desert in one story to the jungles of Borneo in the next.

“I started filing all this stuff and made things like beach scenes out of it.

“You would take bits from different Commando comic stories to make up the scene.”

He continued: “So possibly the rough seascape from one, and there would be a trawler in another story, and a full moon somewhere else and you’d piece them together to make up the scene.

“The comics were beautifully drawn by DC Thomson.

“I would look at the drawings and just follow my nose.

“They are very enjoyable to make.

“I like the way they are drawn fantastically well .

“They are a material and not just a source.”

Circulation for the Commando comics peaked at 750,000 in the 1970s, but current circulation is 9,600 copies a month.

Originally based on First and Second World War adventures, they have more recently featured Vietnam, the Falklands War and other conflicts.

Mach’s “Big Heids,” in North Lanarkshire, were set up in 1999 and are intended to pay tribute to the area’s industrial heritage.

In 2011, Mach controversially set fire to one of his own sculptures – Jesus Christ’s head made out of matchsticks.

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