Bookmarking Book Art – Desperately seeking the MBAE

Paul St John Mackintosh posted some intriguing sleuth work at Teleread this month, occasioned by the Edinburgh International Book Festival.   The work—and identity—of the MBAE (Mystery Book Artist of Edinburgh) has been a recurrent theme throughout the Festival.  She has delivered works specifically for the Festival, which are part of her “Free to Fly” campaign (see @_freetofly_). One of them has attracted the autographs of some of the celebrated authors in attendance.


On his way back to his digs in Edinburgh, Mackintosh says,

I stopped off at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art to see their fascinating “Witches and Wicked Bodies” exhibition. In their permanent collection is this work by André Breton, entitled Poème Objet (Poem-Object):

Poème Objet, André Breton
Poème Objet, André Breton

Mackintosh notes several other distinctive works in the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art that find echoes in the works left by the MBAE in various places around Edinburgh such as the Leith Library and the Scottish Poetry Library.  Edinburgh’s mystery book sculptures even have their own Wikipedia page.

MBAE’s “Free to Fly” campaign, run appropriately from her Twitter account, came to a close on the 21st of August, but as she writes in her farewell,

freetofly ‏@_freetofly_21 Aug

I’m no good with protracted goodbyes so I’m flitting. Till next time. In support of libraries, books, words, ideas LITERACY IS FREEDOM

I’ll leave this twitter account open for a few days in case folk want to catch up. Thanks again. We’ve been a great team……

Books On Books hopes that we haven’t heard or seen the last of the MBAE.  May she arise phoenix-like.

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