27 Sep, 2023 Community Creations Lifestyle & Inspiration Wood Collections

Hunterian Museum archive boxes transformed by Art School graduate

Tinsel Edwards, recent Leith School of Art graduate has used all types of reclaimed materials in her practice. She’s a big fan of the artistic potential held in the Bay F timber yard, explaining that it adds further narrative to art, along with helping to reduce creatives’ environmental impact.

Tinsel, can you tell us what made you choose these pieces of reclaimed wood to use in your work?

“Working with reclaimed materials is an important part of my art practice, I’ve made paintings on all sorts of things found on the street, in charity shops, or from home, for example cereal boxes, clothing and fabrics, old paintings and pieces of wood.

Glasgow Wood is like a treasure trove for finding painting surfaces, there is a huge range of large, flat panels. In the last few years I’ve become increasingly conscious of the impact my art practice has on the environment. So from that perspective, I try to do as much as I can to repurpose materials to make paintings.”

What was it about the Hunterian Museum archive drawers which drew you to them? (excuse the pun!)

“I like that the things I use have a history that adds to the narrative and story of the artwork. So finding the drawers from the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow Wood was so exciting.

These objects have a mystery about them, what did they previously store? and how many different people have used them over the years? I like that the story of the drawers is specific to Glasgow, the city I live and work in.”


“The series I’m working on is called ‘Holding On’, each piece is a diptych made from two reclaimed wood panels connected by a sculptural element – a pair of holding hands. Each diptych focuses on a specific artwork made by a female artist, alongside a ‘scribble person’ motif – a self-portrait of sorts.

The work engages with women artists who were excluded from the Western art historical canon, from my 21st-century perspective. I retrieve and celebrate their work and stories in my own painting by quoting brush marks, borrowing gestures and techniques and referencing imagery.”


Tinsel tells us that for this piece, the left panel of the diptych is her interpretation of the last painting Boty made before she died. Bum was made by Boty in 1966 just after a diagnosis for cancer that ended her life when she was just 28. She goes on to tell us that, no doubt because Boty was female, her work was deemed insignificant at the time. As a result, she received little recognition compared to her male peers in the Pop Art movement. Bum was discovered in the 90’s in a barn on her brother’s farm.

“My squiggly tired scribble person explores paint and responds to what is going on in the world, and my world, and holds on to Boty for support, and to connect with her.”


“These works will be part of my forthcoming solo exhibition at Saltspace in Glasgow, which will open the last weekend in October. The title of the show is Holding On and it will feature several pieces made from the Hunterian drawers.

I’ll definitely be using more reclaimed wood, another visit to Glasgow Wood is long overdue! I’ve also started working with ceramics to create the connecting hands and the little sculptural details. The drawers are perfect painting surfaces as they have ready-made ledges to place the ceramics onto.”

Check out Tinsel’s website and follow her on social media for updates on what’s next.

We think a conversation with the Hunterian Museum & Gallery needs to be had to hear more about what was previously held in these amazing drawers…


Looking for some Hunterian drawers to up-cycle for your home or next project?

Check out our timber page and visit the Bay F timber yard.

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