June 20, 2013

Scotland's Mystery Book Sculptures

Between 2011 and 2012 ten literary-themed sculptures made from old books were found in uniquely chosen locations in Edinburgh. The sculptures were accompanied by gift labels addressed to the cultural institutions and people of the city and included ten elaborate scissored works. Most were left on the doorsteps of local institutes and art groups that support literature, in quiet areas, awaiting the attention of unsuspecting staff. Each of the sculptures bore a message that included the line, “in support of libraries, books, words, ideas…” 


The original gift cards celebrated literacy, decried library and arts
funding cuts, and referred to the mystery artist as ‘she.’





The sculptures were made by an anonymous female paper sculptor and included intricate models of a tiny cinema, a gramophone and a coffin, and a detailed paper tree with references to books like Peter Pan and poets like Robert Burns





An eleventh sculpture was given to author Ian Rankin, whose works had featured prominently in many of the other sculptures. The ten original Edinburgh pieces are now also privately owned but have toured throughout Scotland on exhibition.



The mystery sculptor was later commissioned to produce five more book sculptures that were then hidden in around Scotland to promote Book Week Scotland, held in November of 2012. Even while accepting the commission, the artist has managed to maintain her anonymity.






A Scottish book sculptor has given new meaning 
to the term "mystery books."