In March 2011, a librarian found a delicately crafted paper sculpture of a tree, ‘growing’ from an old book, on a table in the Scottish Poetry Library. The artist left no name, but made it clear that this was a gift to the library.
The sculptures promoted the importance of reading and learning, and the value of the spaces which enable this: libraries, museums, arts venues. The first Book Week Scotland was initiated by Scottish Book Trust in 2012 and, to coincide with this, the Trust commissioned five special book sculptures. It is these five commissioned works that are to be offered in The Magic of Stories: Scotland's Book Sculptures, with all money raised going to Scottish Book Trust’s fundraising campaign to ensure that everyone in Scotland has equal access to books.
The themes of liberation and the freeing power of imagination are reflected in the artist’s Peter Pan sculpture, as Peter beckons Wendy to leap from the top of the book and fly with him towards the moon. Tam O’Shanter’s mad gallop away from the spooky and magical underworld of the graveyard is testimony to the enduring (and sometimes macabre) power of Scottish storytelling, whilst Treasure Island speaks of adventure, journeys and exploration. Books are vital for the development of imagination, self-awareness and achieving a sense of escapism, promoting good mental health and wellbeing. We hope that each sculpture offered for sale can help Scottish Book Trust provide the vital gifts of reading and literature that can change lives.
Scottish Book Trust launched a fundraising campaign as part of their mission to ensure that everyone in Scotland has equal access to books.
Many children are growing up without any access to books or owning their own books at home, and since the pandemic the situation has worsened. Without books, children are missing out and we know the impact of this lasts a lifetime.
Books help families bond, bring joy and comfort, give children a sense of escapism and, importantly, improve their mental health and wellbeing.
The need for Scottish Book Trust’s work has never been greater. The charity has been overwhelmed by demand to reach and support more vulnerable children and families.
Funds raised from the auction of these sculptures will support Scottish Book Trust to deliver more of its life-changing work. Some examples of its programmes include specialist outreach support for young families through Bookbug for the Home, providing tactile books for children with additional support needs, supporting those living with dementia and their carers, and giving books to families through food banks and community hubs.