I had a rare free afternoon a few weeks back so I headed down to the Scottish Parliament to see ‘The Great Tapestry of Scotland’ which is the worlds longest tapestry/embroidery depicting 420 million years of Scottish History.
The stats in the book state that it took:
50,000 Sewing Hours (Equivalent to Sewing 24 hours a day for 6 years)
300 Miles of Yarns
After getting through the security barriers, setting off the alarm and getting a swift frisk by a member of staff , I entered the crowded exhibition area. The place was mobbed so instead of following the orderly line travelling the length of the tapestry (all 143 metres/160 panels of it!) in chronological order I went for the more scatter gun approach – as a result of this my photos of the tapestry skipped back and forth in time so it’s taken me a while to put them in the order intended!
What surprised me the most was the sheer range of subjects that the tapestry covers, alongside the obvious inclusions of the Glencoe Massacre, the Jacobite Rebellion and the 1707 Union, it is fantastic to see figures such as Hill & Adamson – the early pioneers of Photography in Scotland – and events like the beginning of the Ordnance Survey celebrated in the Tapestry.
This is one of the most amazing piece of artwork I have ever seen, it is breathtakingly beautiful, and seeing all those people enjoying and appreciating embroidery for the art form that it is, well, it just gladdened my heart.
Over the 3 weeks it was on display it attracted 30,000 visitors with people queuing around the block to get in! I was pleased to hear that it will be returning to the Scottish Parliament from July – September 2014 so I’ll be heading down to feast my eyes upon it once more.
According to the website http://scotlandstapestry.com/index.php there are plans for the tapestry to go on tour across the UK and Overseas (40 panels will be heading down South to the Cheltenham Literary Festival from 4-13 October 2013) so I hope the work of the dedicated Scottish Stitchers gets the worldwide recognition it deserves!