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Butterflies and Books

Throughout July 2015, Aberdeen Central Library will display a sculpture made from books in a unique exhibition.

'The Butterflies' book sculpture was created by an anonymous artist and is currently touring Scotland as part of the 'Butterflies on the Move' exhibition.  Aberdeen City Libraries will also hold fun, free butterfly-themed events for all ages in July. 

Butterflies on the Move The Butterflies Book Sculpture

The sculpture depicts butterflies flying from an open book and was donated by an anonymous artist to a charity auction in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support in 2014.  It was bought by Dr Colin Mackenzie who has organised the Butterflies on the Move tour across Scotland to ensure as many people as possible can view the unique and inspirational piece of art..

Although anonymous, the female artist who created The Butterflies is known for gifting a series of book sculptures to various cultural institutions in Edinburgh Illustration of Butterflies and a book between 2011 and 2013.  In March, she revealed plans to make one final book sculpture, which will feature paper butterflies created by members of the public. 

If you would like to submit a butterfly to the artist, you can view or download  instructions here and then hand your butterfly in to any City Library before Friday 31 July. Please ensure you have read the guidance (including terms and conditions) before donating your butterfly.

The Butterflies book sculpture will be on display in the Adult Lending Department of Aberdeen Central Library, Rosemount Viaduct between Friday 03 and Friday 31 July. The Butterflies on the Move tour is sponsored by Hi-Fi Corner and The Movie Rooms.

The Really Difficult Butterfly Quiz

If you like a challenge then The Really Difficult Butterfly Quiz is for you! Consisting of 8 questions (and one tie-breaker) the quiz has been designed to truly put your knowledge of obscure butterfly-related facts to the ultimate test!  Click the link below to take the quiz and be in with a chance of winning a 20 book voucher. 

The Really Difficult Butterfly Quiz

Completed entries can be submitted to any library in the city, or via e-mail to

Family Fun Workshops Cartoon butterfly

Learn how to make your own paper butterfly at workshops for all the family in the following libraries:

  • Northfield Library - Monday 06 July, 2.30pm
  • Mastrick Library - Thursday 09 July, 2.30pm 
  • Dyce Library - Friday 10 July, 2.30pm
  • Ferryhill Library - Thursday 16 July, 2.30pm

Sessions last for approximately one hour and include a butterfly-themed Story (suitable for children aged 4 and over, siblings welcome).  Please contact the relevant Library to book. 

The Big Butterfly Count

Central Children's Library, Monday 13 July, 2-3pm

Photograph of yellow butterfly Discover all there is to know about butterflies at this free event with Butterfly Conservation Scotland.  Take part in a special themed Storytime session and design your own caterpillar in bold and bright colours!

This event is suitable for children aged 4-8 (siblings welcome) and booking is not required.

A photography exhibition on butterflies will also be on display in the Central Library throughout July.  The exhibition has been loaned to Aberdeen City Libraries from Butterfly Conservation Scotland and was previously on display in Edinburgh Libraries.

The Art of Books with Isabell Buenz

Edinburgh-based paper artist Isabell Buenz will lead two free workshops in July celebrating the creativity of The Butterflies book sculpture. Image of altered books

Altered Books Workshop - Wednesday 22 July, 6-8pm Aberdeen Central Library

Learn how to create new treasures from unwanted books. Isabell will teach participants how to create their own book sculpture using a variety of different tools and techniques.

Book Binding Workshop - Thursday 23 July, 2-4pm Airyhall Library

Mixed media artist Isabell Buenz will show participants how to bind books using paper materials including postcards and visually interesting newspaper and magazine pages. Items such as buttons, shells and feathers can be used to decorate books at the workshop to make a truly individual treasure.

Isabell Buenz is a photographer and artist based in Edinburgh. She uses paper and other recycled materials for the creation of unique artwork including altered books, paper sculptures, installations and paper fashion items.

Workshops are free but booking is essential. Contact Aberdeen City Libraries on 01224 652500 or e-mail to reserve a place.



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