Valerie Gillies

The Spring Teller Project

Valerie describes the work:

"The Spring Teller has become a project on a grand scale. I continue to travel to the springs and wells, learning the lore surrounding them and the cures sought at them.

"Many have been very difficult to find. Asking for help brings a generous response from locals, an exchange of stories, often an invitation to visit their own favourite spring.

"What’s a spring and what’s a well? Springs bubble up and sometimes appear in new places: wells have a built stone tank or basin, and occasionally a medieval well-house or a stone canopy of some architectural interest. Domestic wells existed long before Scottish Water controlled our use of the element. Others are healing wells, visited by great numbers of people in the past and by many visitors today in search of a cure for every ailment from toothache to cancer.

"A well may have been famous for two thousand years and can still be active, frequented today. Another may be neglected, a sad symbol of disregard in our urban deserts, waiting for our attitude to water to change: it may not have to wait too long."

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