You are in:  Home - Art & Photography - GiftED: The Tale of 10 Mysterious Book Sculptures Gifted to the City of Words and Ideas:Edinburgh's Paper Sculptures
Out of stock

Art & Photography
Publication Date
01 August 2012
Hardback (also available as an eBook)
Out of Stock
Birlinn Limited


Edinburgh's Paper Sculptures

The fascinating tale of ten mysterious book sculptures gifted to the city of words and ideas.


Also available to download in the iBookstore

'As symbols of love for libraries go, cutting up books wouldn’t be most readers' first thought. But the delicate paper sculptures that have been left anonymously in recent months around Edinburgh's cultural institutions have been enchanting' – The Guardian

‘It is an extraordinary thing that someone has done these beautiful things for absolutely nothing other than pleasure and interest and enthusiasm and love for places and books’ – Lilias Fraser, Scottish Poetry Library

One day in March 2011 staff at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh noticed a wonderful paper sculpture left on a table. Carved from paper and mounted on a book, it bore a tag expressing support for the Library’s work. From then until November 2011 nine more mysterious paper sculptures appeared in arts venues throughout Edinburgh, including the National Library of Scotland, the Filmhouse cinema, the National Museum of Scotland and the Scottish Storytelling Centre. Left anonymously, they appear to be the work of one highly talented and generous artist. In a farewell note, the artist identified herself as a woman and an artist/artisan, and she announced that the project had ended.

This story about Books, Words and Ideas has charmed everyone. The artist is extremely talented but like Banksy has decided not to reveal her identity, which only makes the story more intriguing. Paper sculptures are becoming increasingly popular and admired – the work of Rob Ryan is seen on book covers, ceramics and cards, and the Pottermore website uses paper sculptures on its homepage. In August 2012, during the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the artist reprised the sculptures with flowers left around the Festival.

Publication ties-in with exhibition of all the sculptures around Scotland beginning in August 2012. More about the tour and the sculptures in this video:


The artist behind the sculptures has only ever identified herself as female. All correspondence with her was by email under a pseudonym.