Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Magic in Edinburgh

Posted by Simcha 7:21 PM, under | 12 comments

I came across this article today about these fantastical paper sculptures that have been mysteriously appearing in various literary and artistic institutes around Edinburgh.

This "PoeTree" was left on a table in the Scottish Poetry Library in March.

Mysterious paper sculptures

In June the National Library of Scotland found this paper sculpture of a gramophone and a coffin, carved out of a copy of Ian Rankin's Exit Music

Mysterious paper sculptures

And then this amazing paper sculpter of a cinema and its audience was found later in June at the Edinburgh Filmhouse.

And in early July the Scottish Storytelling Centre found this dragon in an egg hiding on the windowsill, carved from the novel Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin.

At the Edinburgh International Book Festival, last month, two more paper sculptures were discovered. 

According to the article:

It includes a teabag filled with cut out letters, on the tag of which are the words "by leaves we live". The cup on the top has a swirl of words which read " Nothing beats a nice cup of tea (or coffee) and a really good BOOK", and on the 'tray' next to the cupcake it says "except maybe a cake as well".

Mysterious paper sculptures

The second sculpture was carved out of The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg, which, like nearly all the other sculptures, has a connection to Scottish author Ian Rankin

Mysterious paper sculptures

These sculptures, and their mysterious appearance around Edinburgh, just seem so magical. And it's such a wonderful way for someone to express their appreciation to those institutes that help support art and literature. I'd love to get the chance to see these paper sculptures myself some day.


whoa. those are AWESOME!!! hey! i'm spreading the word about Teen Shiver, a new group of YA authors that have combined together! stop by the Teen Shiver blog and follow us?? :)


I'm kind of two minds here. I love these they are amazing. But my heart breaks some with the thought of the pages being out of the places they should be and cut up to make this amazing art. :) Thanks for sharing these as they really are beautiful.

I can't decide which one I like the best but I think I'll go with the dragon hatching out of the egg. They're all so whimsical. I hope the artist is never revealed and that they retain their mystery.

Oh am I so in love with these! I wish I could make something as lovely!! I'm into arts and crafts but this is true art - lovely absolutely lovely! Thank you so much for sharing!

This sounds really cool! I'll have to check it out! Thanks for sharing :)
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Simcha, what a wonderful and gorgeous post.These pictures are a feast for every book addicted.

Melissa: The thought did cross my mind as well but perhaps these were books that the author had read so many times that they were already falling apart ;)

StephanieD: I hope so as well. The anonymity of the artist and his donations adds additional magic to the sculptures.

Pabkins: I know. I really wish I had the skill to make something even has as wonderful.

ediFanoB: Thank you. I love looking at these pictures as well, and now I'm curious about the author who seems to have inspired the artist to make them.

I'm in love with the tree. What a wonderful thing for someone or a group of people to be doing.

I love all the sculptures and the way they just "appeared"! So creative and magical!

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