Sculpture dedicated to ‘outsider artist’ Adam Christie unveiled

Adam Christie commemorative sculpture was unveiled at Sleepyhillock Cemetery, Montrose. 'Pictured left to right are Dave Ramsay, Deputy Provost of Aberdeenshire Council Allison Grant, Deputy Provost of Angus Council Alex King, sculptor Brian Wyllie, and Shetland relatives Megan and Laura Christie.

Adam Christie commemorative sculpture was unveiled at Sleepyhillock Cemetery, Montrose. 'Pictured left to right are Dave Ramsay, Deputy Provost of Aberdeenshire Council Allison Grant, Deputy Provost of Angus Council Alex King, sculptor Brian Wyllie, and Shetland relatives Megan and Laura Christie.

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The previously forgotten but now rediscovered sculptor Adam Christie has been remembered with a new commissioned memorial.

The sculpture head, unveiled on Monday, was created by Brian Wyllie, an Arbroath sculptor, after he was given the task of creating a replica by the man behind Adam Christie’s revival, Dave Ramsay.

Dave Ramsay has spent the past eight years working towards a suitable tribute.

Thanks to Dave’s enthusiasm for the Sunnyside patient of the first half of the 20th century, the works of the Shetland sculptor have been sought and documented.

Dave said: “As well as the plaque already sited by Historic Scotland and a rowan tree, I wanted this sculpture to complete a trio of recognition for the artist.

“At his funeral Christie received no eulogy and no obituary. There was just silent reflection for the unique personality.

“Megan and Laura Christie are direct descendents of Adam Christie and have come down from Cummingsburgh in Shetland for this event.

“In 2014 we dedicated the plaque to Christie and it was always the idea to finish the dedication with a sculpture. The plaque and head are sited in such a way that Adam Christie would be looking back towards Sunnyside where he spent 50 years of his life and beyond that looking towards Shetland which was his homeland and where he was born in 1901. Adam Christie died at Sunnyside hospital in 1950 at the age of 84.”

Graeme Lamb, of the Carlton Hotel, said: “Fifteen years ago I walked my dogs daily in the Sunnyside grounds. I understand the Christie legacy. I have two sculptures myself, one, a very early work dates from 1915 and another is 4ft high, it weighs 14 stone.

“Christie left over 200 sculptures in the Sunnyside grounds but a great many were smashed up in later years to make foundations which was a tremendous loss.”

Christie sculptures are still turning up and last month it was reported in this paper that three heads had been discovered in a local garden.

Graeme said: “Only last Saturday we heard from a woman who had bought a derelict house in Brechin where the only content of the house was a Christie sculpture.”

Cheryl McGeachan, who was invited to attend from the University of Glasgow, said: “I am currently working on the concept of Outsider Art. There are many examples but none are so well supported or with so many enthusiasts as Christie.”

The Angus Museums have nine heads as well as a selection of music and poetry that Christie wrote in his lifetime. The celebration party were treated to a piece of violin music which had been specially written for Adam Christie.