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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
How do we use walking as an art form? How do we use walking as an art form?

Kenny Hunter

Where In? Where At?


At once I followed him: I might be following a shadow,
but I never doubted I was following something.
He went out of the library into the hall,
and across to the foot of the great staircase, then up the stairs to the first floor, where lay the chief rooms.
George MacDonald, Lilith
A public monument for the fantasy writer George MacDonald depicting the raven from Lilith

Kenny Hunter came to Huntly from Glasgow in 2005. He was commissioned by Deveron Projects to produce a memorial sculpture for Huntly-born writer George MacDonald (1828-1905) in the centenary of the author’s death.

The commemoration of one of Huntly’s most influential sons gave us an opportunity to produce a new public monument - its existence a reminder both of MacDonald’s literary legacy, as well as the rich history of Huntly and its relationship with cultural development both here and internationally.


Based on one of MacDonald’s darker novels, Lilith, the sculpture refers to the ghost of a former librarian, Mr. Raven, who travels with the story’s protagonist through a mirror, into a parallel universe reminiscent of Dante’s Purgatorio and infused with Victorian fairytale. A raven is perched upon the branch of a withered tree, which stands next to a small body of water - represented by a mirrored surface. The fibreglass sculpture is presented in Kenny’s signature monumental, monochromatic style - stripping the image down to its essential forms so that the tone of MacDonald’s dark novel is present. The mirror is a contrasting material that stands out in the sculpture, inviting you to step closer to take a look. There are no surprises in witnessing your own reflection, but the familiar details of your face belong to the surface of the mirror, the doorway into MacDonald’s fantasy world.

Kenny cleverly alludes to the nature of representation and its relationship with reality, using Lilith and its connection with MacDonald’s own existence, as an allegory. The story was written during a reflective period of MacDonald’s life, after the death of his daughter, Lilia. Themes of death, redemption and afterlife in Lilith also suggest a self-conscious thought process. Kenny’s sculpture evokes the same feelings in those who view the work, and the work itself in its stripped-down modernity, is conscious of its own object-hood and representational value.

The sculpture is now placed in the foyer of the Brander Library in Huntly as a reminder of the town’s literary legacy and an inspiration to our contemporary writers who visit the library. The public was invited to witness its emergence from the crate.

A small publication was produced to commemorate the work of George MacDonald which contains images of the sculpture and an essay by Duncan McLaren.


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