Artist Miranda Creswell has this week gifted her unique ‘Butterfly Table’ to Horatio’s Garden Scotland, where it was enthusiastically received by patients and their loved ones spending time in the Queen Elizabeth Spinal Injuries Unit.
Miranda has spent the past year creating the table as part of her Looking Out Glasgow project, which began with a group of patients from across Scotland who have all been affected by spinal injury. Throughout her time as artist in residence in Horatio’s Garden Scotland, Miranda gently encouraged patients to paint and sketch and felt that creating a table was a brilliant way to showcase their works. Each painting reflects a personal story and the table as a whole illustrates the wonderful way in which nature inspires both creativity and conversation.
The table features Miranda’s own artworks too, which focus on endangered Scottish bees and butterflies. Thanks to Dr James Hogan, who manages the insect and butterfly collections for the Oxford Museum of Natural History, Miranda was able to spend many months carefully sketching the various varieties, which ensured that the table also highlighted the importance of Scotland’s stunning wildlife and environment.
The sketches were gathered into one unique design and now feature within the table, which was brought to life by Sandwood Designs carpenter and joiner, Niall Wilson. He also made his own contribution, placing a self-adjusting compass originating from a Glaswegian boat in the centre of the table. It was invented by Lord Kelvin in the 1880s and was a great way to place a little of the city’s history at the heart of the project.
As Miranda has long supported Horatio’s Garden, she felt that this was the perfect opportunity to pour her heart and soul into a project she really believed in. Knowing that the charity regularly run creative workshops to gently support patients’ rehabilitation, she felt that the ‘Butterfly Table’ would have a tangible impact here.
She said, “I envisage people using the table in a very practical way, sitting around it for cups of tea and so on. I love the idea of people glancing down and being surprised to see art displayed in a table. It’s a different way of seeing pictures and I hope these moments will lead to many interesting conversations and that the table perpetuates further stories.”
Carpenter and joiner Niall saw the value in the project from its inception too, particularly as his workshop is part of the GalGael Trust. GalGael is a social enterprise supporting a working community of creative people by reconnecting them to work, other individuals and of course, nature. Both we and GalGael have seen first-hand the positive impact the natural world has on people’s wellbeing, so it was fitting that Miranda’s project was able to bring the two worthy causes together.