Valerie Gillies

Poetry in Public Places

"Valerie Gillies has been inspired to create intensely collaborative works with contemporary sculptors. The poems from these public arts installations, though included in The Lightning Tree (2002), must be seen with their sculptures in order to be fully understood, since they transform the landscape through the ever-present perception of the viewer.

In this way, Gillies finally creates an art form that lives up to the Scottish landscape's 'recreative' (rather than definitive) powers."

Professor Laura Severin
North Carolina State University


Poetry by Valerie Gillies for site-specific installations.

Quick Water, text in bronze, with sculptor Jake Harvey, at Kirroughtree, Galloway Forest Park, 2001.

Tweed's Well, panel text in stone, with sculptor Fly Freeman, at the source of the River Tweed, 1998.

The Glide, text in bronze, with sculptor Denys Mitchell, at Coldstream, 2001.

Ballad of Leaderfoot, text on stone seats, with sculptor and letter-carver Gary Fay, Leaderfoot near Melrose, 2001.

Below the Surface, text set in Albertus and screenprinted by Brian McBeath for The Trimontium Trust Museum, Melrose, 2002.

A Place Apart, text handwritten by Valerie Gillies and screenprinted by Evelyn Pottie for The Quiet Room, Marie Curie Hospice, Edinburgh, 2005.

Inscription for the opening of the new Edinburgh City Council headquarters at Waverley Court, 2007.


Cross-media work with visual artists


2008 Dewpoint with Carol Dunbar and Rebecca Marr
2007 Close, Closer, Closest with fibre artist Anna S. King.
2001Galloway Forest Park, text in bronze, with sculptor Jake Harvey
2001Coldstream, text on bronze handrail, with sculptor Denys Mitchell
2001Ballad of Leaderfoot, text on stone seats, letter-carver Gary Fay
2000Men and Beasts, exhibition with Rebecca Marr, gallery, Inverness & on tour
1999Scotland to the World to Scotland, National Museums of Scotland
1998Pax Romana, City Art Centre, Edinburgh Festival Exhibitions
1998Tweed's Well, panel text on site, with sculptor Fly Freeman, Scottish Borders

Poems by Prescription, Artlink Hospital Galleries, Edinburgh and Lothians

1996A Night of Islands, with Will Maclean, Contemporary British Art in Print, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and Yale Center for British Art, New Haven
1994River Spirits, touring Dundee, Inverness, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh
1990Tweed Journey, with Shelley Klein and Savourna Stevenson, Scottish Borders