The Great Tapestry of Scotland is a contemporary national treasure currently on exhibition in Paisley. It is the longest tapestry in the world at 143 metres.
Created over a two year period, the tapestry features 160 panels that explain the history of Scotland, each of which has been hand stitched in crewel by groups of makers from across the country.
The overarching designs for the panel came from Andrew Crummy, who designed the Prestonpans Tapestry, and with the stitching supervision of Dorie Wilkie, over 1000 people made their mark on this magnificent piece of work.
The panel designs are classic, making fantastic use of space and colour, with each piece being surrounded by a border that allowed the stitchers to personalise their panels in the bottom corners.
The panels tell a well-curated story of Scotland that highlights the achievements of this country, as well as paying homage to some of Scotland’s quirkier elements. The panels are filled with love, reflected in the quality of the stitching and the diversity of the groups involved.
I loved that many of the geographically-specific panels were stitched by people from those areas, and it was wonderful to realise that groups from all parts of Scotland had taken part.
Old, young, male, female, individuals and groups – the breadth and quality of work cannot fail to make you fall in love with the tapestry.
You could spend a lot of time looking at the tapestry, getting deeper into the work and understanding the form of the stitching. This panel of geologist James Hutton is a great example of the variety and quality of stitching that appears throughout the tapestry.
The tapestry will be displayed at various points around Scotland in the next year, and a permanent space is being sought. If you’re able to visit it, it’s a must-see.
The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the contemporary embroidered art book curated by Jamie Chalmers. Featuring 30 textile-based artists from around the world, it’s a must have for needlework fans.