The Wigtown Festival Company supported Celeste Noche as their first Artist in Residence in 2017. Celeste made a photographic study of personal and private libraries across Scotland which is now displayed in an exhibition called Scotland in Books. 

Celeste Noche said:

"For the past three months, I've taken photos of bookshops, libraries, and book lovers all over Scotland. I wanted to share the stories of people and collections as I met them from Wigtown to Inverness, from bustling Edinburgh to the quiet Isles of Arran and Skye.

Part of my automatic response to the question, "why?" is that I was Artist in Residence for Scotland's National Book Town, but the real reason is that books are so evocative and beautiful, I wanted to find a way to travel all over the country to see them. Not just in grand estates and charming bookshops, but in corners of homes and quiet moments in public. Despite an ever-increasingly digital world, I can look around and see that there has always been a subtle but strong lifeblood to keep and preserve physical books. I see it in the way we laboriously move from house to house with heavy boxes, the way our eyes light up when we find a book we love and recognize on an unfamiliar shelf, and the way we continue to allow ourselves to be captivated by something which, upon looking, may very well only be a stack of paper with ink.

When first dreaming up this series, I already knew the potential of the stories and life that come from reading books. What I wanted to explore with this project was how the books themselves, in simply existing and taking up space, continue to be necessary and relevant in a world that's moving faster and becoming less tactile every day. 

My final exhibition includes 124 photos of books throughout the country, but in reality I could have shared many more. I could have continued taking more photos and visiting more places and people, hearing their stories and seeing how books are still alive and important. I could have kept going. And I want to keep going, but for now, here's this."

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Scotland in Books is currently showing through May 14th, 2017
11 North Main Street
Wigtown, DG8 9HL
Monday - Saturday10am-4pm & Sunday 12-4pm

Free admission