The Watergaw

Al Gilham (Retail assistant)

Mixed media

For centuries, Scots has been treated as an inferior language. Hugh MacDiarmid’s poem The Watergaw was translated from its original Scots by the poet himself to highlight this friction between language and landscape. The word ‘watergaw’ binds together these two artist books in its specificity to the Scottish landscape.The concertina book encapsulates the English translation and its inability to fully represent the originality of Scots. The hand-bound book contains Scots words for natural phenomena which cannot be found in England, nor its language.