Book Sculptures: The Full Set

During Book Week Scotland 2012 an exciting treasure hunt through classic and well-loved Scottish books took place - with clues posted online and loads of people taking part to solve the mystery of the sculptures' locations. Lucky treasure hunters in the area have then raced to the uncovered locations to seek out the sculptures, with the first person to find them winning a little mini sculpture of their own. The beautiful paper scuptures were made by a mystery sculptor whose identity remains a secret, the same sculptor left a series of beautiful and anonymous sculptures around Edinburgh in 2011 - all of which celebrated the importance of libraries, words and ideas. All that is known about the sculptor is that she is female and that she believes passionately in the importance of libraries, books, words and ideas. Each sculpture bears a tag with a message about the importance of stories, books and reading - which have been the focus of Book Week Scotland and at the centre of the work of Scottish Book Trust.


On Monday 26th November - the first day of Book Week Scotland - the first sculpture was found by Emma Lister (a teaching assistant from Glasgow University) hidden in the Glasgow School of Art Library. The sculpture was inspired by (and made out of) Alasdair Gray's famous novel Lanark after Emma solved the online clues and rushed to find it. Emma won her own 'cup' - a trophy in the form of a teacup and with elements of the Lanark theme. Emma said: “I am so excited as I am very interested in the book as an art object. I only discovered the competition today and decide to take a chance. I am a big Alasdair Gray fan – he’s my favourite author and Lanark is one of my favourite books. I’ll treasure my sculpture.” Members of the public can go and see the Lanark sculpture in the reception area of the Glasgow School of Art Lending Library.

Sculpture based on Alasdair Gray's Lanark


On Tuesday 27th November the second sculpture was discovered in the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway - based on the Robert Burns poem Tam O' Shanter - a very apt location since that is where the famous poem is set. The sculpture was found by Jemma Dornan after unravelling a series of Robert Burns-related clues and arriving at the Robert Burns Museum in the nick of time. Jemma, who is studying Scottish Literature at Glasgow University, said: “The sculpture is amazing, I was gutted to miss the treasure hunt yesterday and I thought it was going to be somewhere too far away today but when I found out it was in Alloway I said ‘Tam o’ Shanter here we go!’.” Jemma's prize was a teacup featuring a horse's tail - if you know the poem you will know why! You can go and visit the amazing Tam O' Shanter sculpture in the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum

Sculpture based on Tam O'Shanter by Robert Burns


On Wednesday 28th November, the third treasure hunt took place which led the children of Eriskay Primary School to the Am Politician pub on the Isle of Eriskay to find a sculpture inspired by Compton Mackenzie's Whisky Galore - the 9 children from the school celebrated by singing some Gaelic songs and their teacher Katy MacDonald said: "The pupils and I have had great fun following the mysterious trail, which led us to a beautiful Whisky Galore-inspired sculpture – a story we all know and love." The sculpture will remain in the Am Politician pub on Eriskay, which is one of the places which inspired Whisky Galore and you can drop in to see it if you are passing that way.

Sculpture based on Whisky Galore by Compton Mackenzie


The fourth in the series of five book sculptures created by the mystery sculptor to celebrate Book Week Scotland was inspired by J M Barrie's classic tale Peter Pan. The sculpture was found, appropriately enough, at J M Barrie's Birthplace in Kirriemuir, Scotland. Stephen Ryan (60) drove all the way from Edinburgh to discover the clue after being drawn in by the online Treasure Hunt. He said, "I drove up from Edinburgh today with my wife Maureen. I brought her along as a navigator – and to check for speed cameras! I took part as I'm generally interested in books and love puzzles, so the Book Week Scotland Sculpture Treasure Hunt caught my eye when I saw it in the press. I've loved taking part in the hunt and I am delighted to have won."



Sculpture based on Peter Pan by JM Barrie 


Success was sweet for Morag Jones (60) who found the fifth and final special book sculpture created to celebrate Book Week Scotland by the Mystery Sculptor. Morag has been on the hunt for sculptures all week and today she was successful, beating the largest crowd of treasure hunters yet to solve the riddle and discover the artwork inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island at the Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick at 14.39.

Morag, who is a retired teacher from Glasgow, was thrilled to finally be first to find a sculpture: "I found myself becoming increasingly obsessed with the treasure hunt as the week went on and was keen to see one of these magnificent artworks in person. Today, as soon as I knew I had solved the location I gulped my sandwich, grabbed my coat and left. I am absolutely delighted to have been the finder. It is a truly beautiful work of art."

Sculpture based on Treasure Island by RL Stevenson

All photos on this page by Chris Scott.