A K Bell Library,
Perth PH2 8EP
t: +44 (0)1738 477062
The Soutar House,
27 Wilson Street,
Perth PH2 0EX
t: +44 (0)1738 643687
This unicorn statue is awarded annually for the best recital of a Soutar poem at the Schools' Festival organised by Perth Burns Club.
The inaugural winner in 2011 was Isobel Spence of Strathallan School.
This bronze bust was sculpted by Benno Schotz, RSA, and is on view in the Museum and Art Gallery, George Street, Perth.
It was commissioned by the William Soutar Commemoration Committee with funds raised by public subscription, and was presented to Perth Art Gallery on 25 April 1959.
The inscription reads: "His poems grew in quiet"
This grew in the making. It was one of the first pieces of sculpture I made in the public domain and has been one of my most popular pieces, perhaps because it has both simplicity of composition and drama. Researching the sculpture introduced me to the work of William Soutar and made me think about working with living poets. Poetry adds a fourth dimension to sculpture and makes people linger longer with the work and get more from it. The figure wearing a blindfold could be a metaphor for darkness as mentioned in the poem. The other figure has that 'glint' of happier times but, as with most art, some mystery should remain.
This sculptural composition answers the demanding criteria of public art, combining heavy engineering, street furniture, local history, poetry, even irony and despair. As a composition it is as tight as the poem itself and equally accessible, important factors in both poem’s and sculpture’s philosophies.
The actual title of this piece of sculpture was The Dark and Singing Tide which is taken from another of William Soutar’s poems, The River. I have tried to 'extract' a cubic metre of water from the River Tay and in it a swimming Goldeneye searching for molluscs. This sculpture tries to create an underwater scene that emphasises three-dimensionality.
The Tay is the most powerful river in Britain with more water flowing through Perth than the Thames and Severn combined. Sometimes it is as shallow as the sculpture. At high tide, in spate, it can rise to flood the streets - and would do, were it not for the defence systems installed to protect the town.
The memorial plaque is carved from Forest of Dean sandstone by local sculptor and stone-carver Gillian Forbes. It
commemorates the volunteers from Perthshire who served in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-9.
The plaque was unveiled by Provost John Hulbert in June 2010 and is located on the North Inch by the old Perth Bridge and
Charlotte Street. Further information can be obtained from the
Perthshire International Brigade web page.
The inscription contains Soutar's lines:
Even as blossoms fall
Circling about a tree
Our deeds within a world
Define our world
Membership of FoWSS is free, and you have the opportunity to organise or participate in projects designed to promote Soutar and his works. In addition, members receive an annual newsletter, notification of all FoWSS events and publications, and are invited to an annual Soutar Tea held at the Soutar House. Please use the Contact page if you would like to find out more about FoWSS.