Guerilla artfare



Keywords: guerilla artfare
Description: Let's rewind the clock back to March and place ourselves in the Scottish Poetry Library where this lovely tree was first discovered, seemingly appearing out of nowhere and stealing the hearts of

Let's rewind the clock back to March and place ourselves in the Scottish Poetry Library where this lovely tree was first discovered, seemingly appearing out of nowhere and stealing the hearts of this library's staff. Attached to this enchanting 'poetree' as it is fondly known in the press was a note from it's creator reading:

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.… This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas…. a gesture (poetic maybe?) In the paper eggs are the words of the poem "A Trace of Wings" by Edwin Morgan, cut out and dropped in.

Since then, paper sculptures just like this one, and seemingly from the same artist/sculptor, started appearing all over the city, tucked away in the corners of Edinburgh's public buildings.

This one is carved from a Rankin novel, and was found at the Scottish Storytelling Centre. The tag reads:

For @scotstorycenter – A gift in support of libraries, books, works, ideas…. 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…. Another was found at the National Library of Scotland. another at the Filmhouse, and two more were left at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. (I really like the book festival ones, and they're below!)

This first one is a teacup mounted on a pedestal. "Nothing beats a nice cup of tea or coffee and a really great book." "Except maybe a cake as well." Couldn't agree more and what an amazing looking cupcake. )

This one is so amazing - so intricate and really makes me feel like I'm also lost in that book. The tag reads:

To @edincityoflit ‘A gift’ 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. Robert Owen

For Central Library 'A gift' @Edinbourgh_CC. This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas. LIBRARIES ARE EXPENSIVE (crossed out 'e,' replaced with an 'a') >> LIBRARIES ARE EXPANSIVE.

So this is not just a beautiful work of art. The politically-minded aspect of this project undertaken by one anonymous paper-sculpting artist makes this a particularly interesting topic- that of guerilla artfare (as I like to call it). See, the gifts were all in support of libraries because of threats to their funding. This is a great example of guerilla art - public art with a purpose. I got an excellent book on this and as a gift from someone who definitely knows me better than I thought :) >> here on Amazon: The Guerilla Art Kit.

"I would like to expand the concept and define guerilla art as any anonymous work (including but not limited to graffiti, signage, performance, additions and decoration) installed, performed or attached in public spaces, with the distinct purpose of affecting the world in a creative or thought-provoking way. "In the 1980s, many street artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring entered into mainstream galleries and museums. The essence of their work did not change, only the context in which it was viewed. But did it lose something in the transition? A part of what makes public art interesting is how it interacts with its immediate environment. "Guerilla art is for everyone. It engages viewers who might never step foot in a gallery. It is free and accessible. "The recent political climate in the U.S. has left many individuals feeling like they have no say, powerless to a system that seems to be dominated by corruption and money. Guerilla art is one way of sharing a political ideology. It is a form of propaganda often utilized by the artist but open to anyone. Many artists see it not only as a form of personal expression but also as a way of creating community in their neighborhoods. " (Smith, p 11-13)

Although this author speaks mostly from U.S. standpoint, I believe that these principles also greatly apply to this thought-provoking project just across the pond. No one has come forth to take their claim to fame although a lot of press has come to these sculptures. Even the librarians and library-connoisseurs most touched by these gifts do not want to know the identity of the sculptor. "Don't tell us!," they say! These projects have fostered a community based around the fantasy and mystique of these projects, a twittering community head-over-heels in love.

“It’s important that a story is not too long ……does not become tedious …….

Often a good story ends where it begins. This would mean a return to the Poetry Library. The very place where she had left the first of the ten.

Back to those who had loved that little tree, and so encouraged her to try again …….and again.

Some had wondered who it was, leaving these small strange objects. Some even thought it was a ‘he’! ……. As if!

But they would never find her there. For though she does make things, this was the first time she had dissected books and had used them simply be- cause they seemed fitting….

The gift, the place to sit, to look, to wonder, to dream…. of the impossible maybe…….

So, here, she will end this story, in a special place … A Poetry Library …. where they are well used to ‘anon.’

But before exiting …a few mentions. There could be more, because we have all colluded to make this work……. Just a few though.

- and not least @Beathhigh whose books and reputation have been shame- lessly utilised in the making of a mystery ……..

…… But hold on. Someone’s left behind a pair of gloves and a cap……….?






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