Sorley MacLean Herm

Edinburgh Park, Edinburgh
Commissioned by National Galleries Scotland, Scottish National Portrait Gallery and New Edinburgh Limited

Dimensions: 32cm high
Date: 2003
Media: Bronze

New Edinburgh Limited invited seven Scottish sculptors to create herms representing Scottish poets of the twentieth century. These are prominently displayed within the central park around the three lochans.

Bill Scott was commissioned to create the herm for Raasey-born Sorley MacLean who grew up within a rich Gaelic culture especially of song. A highly influential figure at the heart of the Gaelic renaissance in Scotland, he published his groundbreaking collection Dàin do Eimhir in 1943. Achieving wider public attention outside Gaelic-speaking circles in 1970, he received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 1990 and died in 1996, mourned as the greatest Gaelic poet of the century.

Scott wrote of his herm subject “…Given my understanding of Sorley MacLean’s character and interests, I wanted to depict a man with inner conviction and strength, not outward show. The dynamic of the head should be produced by the organisation of the forms of the whole head to create a quiet energy as well as a resemblance.”

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