As the #giftED tour was kicking off, the Scottish Book Trust got in touch with the still-anonymous sculptor. Would she be willing to create some new sculptures for the inaugural Book Week Scotland? Joyously, the answer was yes!
This was kept extremely hush-hush, only an handful of people knew it was happening. Even most of the staff at SBT didn't find out until the week before they were publicly announced.
After discussing the brief with the artist it was decided that there would be no more sculptures for Edinburgh and that the five new ones would be spread around Scotland, each in a location that related to the book. As Book Week approached, teasers were sent out to the press and a select number of interested parties in Edinburgh were given a preview.
As Book Week started the first clue was issued. And it wasn't long before Emma Lister turned up at the Mitchell Library in the Glasgow School of Art. What did she find? Alastair Gray’s Lanark!
And for being the first person to find this epic sculpture she received a Lanark-themed cup.
Day two dawned and now that people knew what was at stake there was quite a buzz. A series of Burns-themed clues led Jemma Dornan to the Robert Burns Museum where she found Tam O’Shanter.
On day three it was children from Eriskay Primary School who came to the Am Politician pub on the Isle of Eriskay where they found Compton Mackenzie's Whisky Galore.
And finally, on the fifth day Morag Jones was led to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island at the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick.
For the time being these will all be staying in these locations, but some are sure to move around. Who knows, perhaps there will be another tour with even more sculptures to show?
In the meantime, it’s not quite the same as seeing them in person but at least these photos can give you an idea of how detailed the wee beasts are.
A box was delivered to the Scottish Poetry Library during the exhibition with instructions that it not be opened until the end of the tour.
On December 7th, the penultimate day of the tour, a crowd gathered to watch the opening of the box.
And they were not disappointed!
Built from a copy of Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses, a girl sits under a tree wearing a crown and reading a book, while the open page shows Stevenson's poem, To My Mother.
In the tree are the words, "You in a garden green" and "With me were king and".
Then on the girl's crown is the word "Queen". On the trunk of the tree are the words, "Were hunter, soldier, tar"
and the inside of the small book reads, "And all the thousand things that children are".
Bunting in the tree reads "But time, which none can bind, While flowing fast away, leaves love behind." These are all lines from Stevenson's poem, To Willie And Henrietta.
The note accompanying the sculpture read: " .... For the Love of Books. Every ending marks a new beginning."
The story never ends!