A SCOTTISH artist is collecting 1984 copies of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four for a display on the Scottish island where it was written 75 years ago.

Orwell (below) wrote the dystopian novel on Jura in the Inner Hebrides between 1946 and 1948, while living in a cottage with no heating or hot water.

The National:

The writer, known to islanders by his real name Eric Blair, left the island in January 1949 due to severe tuberculosis, and the novel was published on June 8 of that year.

READ MORE: Jura - Visiting the Scottish island that spawned George Orwell's 1984

It became a literary classic, loved by many for its satirical exploration of class and resistance against authority.

Artist Hans K Clausen (below), who first read it aged 16, is collecting used copies of the book for an art installation, The Winston Smith Library Of Victory and Truth, to go on display in Jura Village Hall on June 8 and 9, 2024.

The National:

Clausen described the project as “a sort of homecoming for Nineteen Eighty-Four".

He has 1200 copies of the book in 20 different languages so far and has appealed for donations of “worn and personalised” copies.

Most of the books are annotated and some contain mementoes, including pressed flowers, old bus tickets and sweet wrappers.

Others contain personal and birthday messages, doodles, and names – including a copy from a school library which has a log showing one pupil borrowed the book repeatedly.

The National: The exhibition will open on Jura in 2024The exhibition will open on Jura in 2024 (Image: Hans K Clausen/PA)

Clausen, who attended Edinburgh College of Art and has a studio in Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop said: “Opening the packages, it’s like Christmas every day.”

He added that the display is intended to celebrate the “defiance” of print and the power of sharing books, as well as spark “creativity, curiosity and conversation”.

“This is about creating a monument to publishing and the defiance of the printed word – affirming the timeless power of storytelling that transcends borders, cultures and ideologies,” Clausen said.

READ MORE: George Orwell in Scotland - Where Big Brother and 1984 were born

“It’s also a celebration of the ethos of public libraries, the pleasure and enlightenment of reading, and the timeless joy of holding a book in your hands.”

Alongside the installation, Clausen also said he hoped to collaborate with a gin distillery on Jura to create a Winston Smith Gin – because the spirit is the only pleasure allowed in Orwell’s post-war London, known as Airstrip One.

Visitors will be encouraged to take copies from the shelves, explore them and add their own responses so the library continues to evolve.

There will be a 1930s Remington Home Portable typewriter identical to the one Orwell used alongside the display, on which visitors will be invited to leave comments or reflections.

All book donors will receive an enamel badge, symbolising lifetime membership of The Winston Smith Library Of Victory and Truth.

To donate, email winstonsmithlibrary@gmail.com.