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Calling Canadian & US Stitchers ... best laid plans ...

We are now putting together the details of the Diaspora Tapestry's touring exhibitions in North America ... can you help?

Our 'Promise' was that once the tapestry was complete we would take it across the diaspora to as many communities who had helped stitch it as we could, so they might see the magnificent outcome and share it with all their friends. Already this has taken us to Bergen in Norway, Veere in The Netherlands, and soon to Barga and Picinisco in Italy and Paris in France. And last year we exhibited in England in Doncaster and Corby.

After Paris we plan to ship the tapestry early November 2015 by air freight to Goolwa and Adelaide in South Australia, then to Hobart Tasmania, across to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and optimistically to Otago in New Zealand. And then ...

Then we plan to air freight the artwork across the Pacific mid April 2016 to the USA and Canada before flying her back home from Montreal for a big party in London for Burns-tide 2017 and her final homecoming to Scotland by Easter.

Of course as the Immortal Bard reminds men and mice the best laid schemes .. aft gang agley!

Thus far it's hard to call it a scheme however. We have emergent destinations in North America where communities have flagged an interest in arranging an exhibition - as follows:

Marquette County Wisconsin
Mobile
Maryland
Maine
Princeton

Victoria/ Vancouver
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Scarborough/ Kitchener/ Guelph Ontario
Nova Scotia/ Prince Edward Island
Montreal, Quebec - November 30th 2016

The present challenge is to go firm by end October on dates and the logistical sequencing across North America. It could mean landfall at Vancouver then crossing the Prairies to Winnipeg; next down to Wisconsin and then full south to Mobile. Run up the east coast through Maryland, Maine and Princeton into Ontario and the Maritimes; lastly end up in Montreal.

How it works!

The best comparison is a relay race. Each exhibitor receives the tapestry panels and is responsible for getting it along with the accumulated wisdom to the next destination. It comes in 8 manageable strong cardboard boxes and readily fits in a UHaul trailer or small van. The 540mm x 540mm panels have velcro at the heading to attach to boards. If hung from wires, there is a sleeve along the heading that can take a wee pole. Some do the first, some the second and some a mix!

Although it's 305 panels it subdivides into 8 Clusters of 20/ 65 each and can be exhibited on the safari method! That means more than one room or even more than one neighbouring location. And so that visitors can learn the full tale behind each panel an APP is provided [ready October 2015] in English, Gaelic, French & Italian.

It's vital that each exhibiting community has stitchers on the ground to take care of the artwork and to talk the talk to visitors arriving.

What help do we need?

We need to get fixed dates from the several potential exhibitors and we need Scotland, Canada and US based volunteers who can make the journey to either Canada or the US to help the relay paradigm keep rolling.

And when such volunteers can be present we ask that the local community takes care of their accommodation and subsistence. The community also provides the venue and arranges local publicity. We're keen on school groups of course as well as embroiderers, historians, descendant Scots and those who are just plain curious.

Those who've thus far shared the challenges are universally describing it all as an 'adventure' whether it's taking ferries across the sea, driving across snow capped mountains in Norway or Switzerland, or just cruising a freeway paying tolls. So clearly, adventurists are what we need.

If you are such already, or aspire to become one sooner rather than later, please get in touch with us @ prestoungrange@scottishdiasporatapestry.org


Published Date: June 7th 2015


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