Edinburgh Book Sculptures Tour a nationwide hit as libraries enjoy record visitor numbers (22/11/2012)
The gift of the mysterious book sculptures will return to the city where it all started as the Edinburgh Book Sculptures Tour returns to the capital on Saturday for the final exhibition at the Scottish Poetry Library from 24 November to 8 December.
To date GiftED - the exhibition of the world famous intricate book sculptures – has wowed library visitors in Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow, Dunfermline and visitors to the Wigtown Book Festival. With a record turnout at each location, over 50,000 people are expected to have seen these unique gifts when the exhibition finishes on Saturday 8th December in Edinburgh.
Between March and November 2011, 10 intricate book sculptures were found at various well-known institutions across Edinburgh. Photographed as they were found by Edinburgh-based photographer Chris Scott, they became a social media sensation. News and images of the sculptures were hosted on over 100 different blogs and news sites, the act of generosity capturing the imagination of millions around the world.
Described as a literary Banksy, the creator of these sculptures remains a mystery. Each of the pieces came with a unique message that included the line 'in support of libraries, books, words, ideas....'. The tour was made possible as the ten recipients joined together to 're-gift' the sculptures to a wider Scottish audience.
The tour is led by The Scottish Poetry Library and Edinburgh's UNESCO City of Literature Trust with support from Creative Scotland, Scottish Poetry Library Director Robyn Marsack is looking forward to its homecoming, saying:
“From Aberdeen to Wigtown, Glasgow to Fife, hundreds of people have been writing in the visitors’ book to express their delight and wonder over these gifts. We are thrilled to reunite them under our roof for a while, back where the first one was discovered, and to see the support for books, libraries, words and ideas take such a beautiful and such a visible form.”
Director of Creative Development Venu Dhupa praised the tour saying:
“Creative Scotland are excited to be able to support this distinctive and big-hearted project, an exhibition tour which celebrates not only the vital role of our local libraries and arts institutions, but the creativity and generosity of the anonymous sculptor. It's about celebrating a truly Edinburgh story of creativity - and mystery - and taking that to libraries and communities throughout the country. The project aligns with the Year of Creative Scotland, highlighting one creative gesture that has taken hold of our imaginations - here in Scotland, and around the world.”
This tour also coincides with the publication of a luscious gift book centring on the sculptures, published by Birlinn, and will be enhanced with a series of events at the Scottish Poetry Library (as in previous tour locations), celebrating the artworks and encouraging audiences to explore their purpose and inspiration.
As one story comes to a close a new one is set to begin. Edinburgh’s mystery book sculptor is to make a dramatic comeback during Book Week Scotland (26 Nov-2nd Dec), when members of the public will be given the opportunity to hunt down some of her new iconic creations. Five special paper sculptures, all inspired by classic Scottish books, have been created by the anonymous artist and hidden in five secret locations throughout Scotland. From Monday 26 Nov to Friday 30 Nov, treasure hunters across the country can attempt to track down a new sculpture each day by following clues released at www.scottishbooktrust.com/papersculptures. The first clue will be released at 9am on Monday 26th November. Once discovered, the new sculptures will be displayed in their finding place for everyone to enjoy, but each of the five successful sleuths will win their very own sculpture to keep.
To find out more about the exhibition please visit: scottishpoetrylibrary.org.uk.
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