Ian Crichton Smith was born in Glasgow and spent most of his life on the west coast of Scotland, where he worked as a teacher. He wrote poetry in both English and Gaelic, and his long poem ‘Am Faigh a Ghaidhlig Eas?’ (Shall Gaelic Die?) ponders the fate of that language and culture. Despite being much-loved as a person and poet, Crichton Smith was a troubled man who could be self-deprecating and was often preoccupied with the meaning of human existence. Yet, after watching home movies as an aid to creating the posthumous portrait, the sculptor of this bust wrote that Crichton Smith "always seemed to have a twinkle in his eye. I felt that if I could represent something of this quality then I might have managed to represent something of the man."