Creative Scotland’s Dr Gavin Wallace dies aged 54

Dr Gavin Wallace
Dr Gavin Wallace
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TRIBUTES have been paid to one of the most senior officials at arts agency Creative Scotland after he passed away.

Dr Gavin Wallace, 54, had been head of literature and publishing since the body’s formation in 2010 and was one of the best-known figures in the industry in Scotland. He is said to have been off work for some time with an illness.

He has served for eight years as head of literature at the Scottish Arts Council, the forerunner of Creative Scotland, having joined the body as a literature officer in 1997.

A graduate of Edinburgh University, his previous jobs had included teacher, lecturer, critic, journalist, editor and broadcaster at home.

He was also an associate lecturer in literature and the humanities at the Open University in Scotland from 1991-2001.

Long-time colleague Iain Munro, director of creative development at Creative Scotland, described him as a “true gentleman of great intellect.”

He said: “It is with great sadness that we heard the news of the death of our long-term colleague and friend, Dr Gavin Wallace.

“Gavin has long been a central figure in Scotland’s literature world, greatly known and respected by everyone who has had the good fortune to work with him. Our heartfelt condolences go to Gavin’s partner Pauline and their two sons.”

Nick Barley, director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, told his twitter followers: “Devastated to learn of the death of Gavin Wallace.

“Scottish literature has lost one of its greatest and wisest advocates.”

Author Louise Welsh said: “Just heard of the death of Gavin Wallace. A lovely man, cultured, good company and a great supporter of Scottish literature.”

Fellow crime writer Ian Rankin said: “Saddened and shocked by news of Gavin Wallace’s death.”

Writer and publisher Kevin Williamson said: “Such sad news about Gavin Wallace. Enjoyed our chats over the years. Always helpful, knowledgable and wise.”

Musician and cultural commentator Pat Kane said: “Scottish literature never had a more sophisticated advocate.”