Friday, September 16, 2011

Library leavings

An extremely talented someone is leaving beautiful whimsical sculptures at Edinburgh's libraries. There has been much speculation about the identity of the serial artist, but no one has come forward to claim a growing fame. I've illustrated the post with my favorite, but here is the sequence with links (best photos here):

Scottish Poetry Library

Tree, March 2011
"It started with your name @byleaveswelive and became a tree.…We know that a library is so much more than a building full of books…a book is so much more than pages full of words..."

National Library of Scotland

Gramophone and Coffin, June 2011
"A gift in support of libraries, books, words, ideas..... (& against their exit)."

The Filmhouse Cinema

Theater, June 2011
"For @filmhouse – a gift – In support of Libraries, Books, Words, Ideas...& All things *magic*...I think cinema, movies, and magic have always been closely associated."

Scottish Storytelling Centre

Dragon, July 2011
"Once upon a time there was a book, and in the book was a nest, and in the nest was an egg, and in the egg was a dragon, and in the dragon was a story."

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Cup of Tea, August 2011
(pictured, more photos here)
"This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas...... & festivals xx...By leaves we live."

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Book Forest, August 2011
"LOST (albeit in a good book) This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas....No infant has the power of deciding..... by what circumstances (they) shall be surrounded."

Edinburgh Central Library

Magnifying Glass, August 2011 (more photos here)
"Libraries are Exp[e]ansive....When I go in I want it bright, I want to catch whatever is there in full sight.”

Each of these sculptures bears a tag stating, "A gift in support of libraries, books, words and ideas." They have connections to Scotland's most prominent poet Edwin Morgan (1920-2010) and Scottish author Ian Rankin. After sculptures #5 and #6 were left at the crowded Book Festival, "Puzzled staff were left scratching their heads as to how the objects had been left without anyone noticing." The identity of the artist remains tantalizingly elusive!

A shout out to follower Lisa Wood today, and hugs to Sue Jacoby for bringing this great story to my attention!


  1. What a neat expression of serial art! Are the sculptures staying at the places they were left?

    There has been an artist putting up "Where's Waldo" graffiti on buildings around Boulder, CO, and there's been disagreement between some of the business owners and individuals in the community that want to leave the paintings up and the city laws requiring that all graffiti be promptly removed.

  2. Wow, it would be so incredible to encounter one of these in a dreary library. I love people like that who just anonymously sprinkle curiosity and joy throughout the world. Great post.


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