I spy book sculptor’s latest art creation

Ana Burkey examines the model left at Edinburgh Central Library
Ana Burkey examines the model left at Edinburgh Central Library
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They have been described as the work of a “mystery book sculptor with a heart of gold”.

Yet another miniature model fashioned out of a book has been left at one of the city’s cultural locations – and although the latest offering takes the form of a magnifying glass, there is still no clue as to who is behind them.

The magnifying glass model left at Edinburgh Central Library

The magnifying glass model left at Edinburgh Central Library

The latest sculpture, found sitting on a bookshelf at Edinburgh Central Library, brings the tally discovered in the past few months to seven.

Bearing a quote from the Scottish poet Edwin Morgan, the magnifying glass includes the line: “When I go in I want it bright, I want to catch whatever is there in full sight” from Morgan’s Epilogue: Seven Decades.

It was accompanied by a gift tag with the message: “For Central Library ‘A Gift’ @Edinburgh_cc

“This is for you in support of Libraries, Books, Words Ideas.”

Also on the card was the statement “libraries are expensive”, but with an E crossed out to read “expansive”.

Ana Burkey, communications and operations manager with Edinburgh Unesco City of Literature Trust, which is based at the library, said: “It was left here at the weekend on one of the bookshelves in the main library. It’s on display at the moment.

“They’ve quietly dropped it off completely unseen. It’s beautiful and a little smaller than some of the other ones.

“I think the quote about libraries being expansive is a reference to these sculptures being in support of libraries, at a time when many of them are undergoing funding cuts.

“If you read the Morgan quote and consider that the words ‘Let there be Light’ is etched above the door of the library, it seems that the magnifying glass is very much about books and about researching, finding and discovering different worlds.

“A huge amount of work is going in to these sculptures. It’s clearly a labour of love.

“I think it’s the work of a mystery book sculptor with a heart of gold.”

Sculptures have been left at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Filmhouse, National Library of Scotland and Scottish Poetry Library.

Last week, it emerged another two had been found at the International Book Festival, one of which was gifted to the City of Literature.

Ms Burkey said she believed the person leaving the models may have been monitoring the excitement surrounding them on Twitter.

Some of the sculptures, including the latest one, have had tags referring to Twitter accounts.

She said: “I had tweeted to say I hoped one of the mystery sculptures was sent to us after I heard one had been dropped of at the Poetry Library, and then one turned up at the book festival dedicated to the City of Literature.”

The Morgan quote was also the subject of a tweet by the Scottish Poetry Library earlier this month.

Ms Burkey added plans were afoot to get all of the sculptures together and put them on display.

Councillor Deidre Brock, culture leader for Edinburgh City Council, said: “I’m delighted that this very gifted artist has showed their appreciation for our city’s much-loved Central Library in this way. Whoever is responsible for these lovely works of art across the city has created an intriguing and fitting modern day mystery for Edinburgh, the world’s first Unesco City of Literature.”

dawn.morrison@edinburghnews.com