Royal Bournemouth organ donation artwork a ‘kaleidoscope of butterflies’

Published: 19-Sep-2017

Artwork recognises the impact of organ donation

A commemorative artwork has been unveiled at The Royal Bournemouth Hospital in an effort to encourage organ donation and recognise those who have donated to save the lives of others.

A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies was officially unveiled on Friday 8 September, a date specially chosen as it fall within the national Organ Donation Week.

Butterflies, through their ongoing lifecycles, capture the idea of metamorphosis or regeneration, linking perfectly as a thought-provoking visual metaphor for organ donation.

This dramatic artwork is an uplifting memorial to organ donors and their families, and a positive way of encouraging more people to sign up to the donor register.

“Butterflies need warm sunlight and will congregate in a climbing spiral of rejuvenation leading closer and closer to the light source, guiding the viewer's eye on the sculpture to the significant message, 'the Gift of Life',” said a spokesman for Hospital Art Studio, which created the piece.

He added: “The material and techniques chosen ensures each butterfly will have strength for longevity and safety in a hospital environment, while conveying a fragile, lacy and almost-seemingly-transparent beauty.

“Each butterfly was never meant to be an exact depiction, but rather a creative representation. We chose four colourways, purple to blue to turquoise to green, to harmonise collectively and complement colours already in use at the hospital.

The coloured patterns impart a shimmering iridescent effect, beautifully picked out with the inclusion of lighting in the sculpture, to resemble the flash of a butterflies' wing in its fluttering flight.

Attending the memorial unveiling were a number of donor families and recipients. Local resident, Su Brimble, donated a kidney to her son, Lewis, aged 17.

Following his successful transplant, Lewis no longer has to endure hours of dialysis each day.

The mother and son recently went on to win gold in the 2017 British Transplant Games and World Transplant Games.

Each butterfly is individually coloured and lacquered

Each butterfly is individually coloured and lacquered

Su said: "Receiving a donated kidney has changed Lewis' life beyond belief.

“Before receiving the donated kidney, we'd spend hours in dialysis and we couldn't make long-term plans – it felt like life was on hold.

“Now Lewis has freedom and quality of life you'd expect for a 17 year old. Seeing the difference it's made and knowing what's involved, I'd donate again in a heartbeat and highly recommend others explore it as an option.

“It's a chance to make a huge difference to someone else's health – a gift money can't buy."

Michelle Scott, intensive care consultant and clinical lead for organ donation at The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: “Many people still have reservations about donating their organs, but would willingly accept one, so we have a long way to go in terms of getting people onto the organ donor register.

“If you'd like to donate your organs, please speak to your family about it so they know your wishes and sign up to the register – it takes two minutes and you could save more lives than you know."

The butterflies were fixed into place one evening

The butterflies were fixed into place one evening

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