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Dovecot Tapestry Studios give The Prestonpans Tapestry a warm welcome

Edinburgh Gets its First Glimpse of the Prestonpans Tapestry

click to enlarge all images

The Battle Trust was delighted when the Dovecot in Edinburgh, one of the leading international centres of contemporary tapestry, suggested a two week display in its splendid Gallery. It offered the first opportunity for the Tapestry to be fully displayed in the round and almost 1000 visitors have already been to see it there by mid point. The Dovecot also offered an additional Monday opening for November 22nd - when it is normally closed.

Evening Viewing on November 19th for Dovecot Friends, Battle Trust Supporters and of course, Stitchers

The Dovecot Studios played host to a special evening viewing to celebrate this milestone exhibition. Some 80 invited guests attended, sharing their delight at the great sweeping vista of the Prestonpans Tapestry - over a glass of wine. Friends of the Dovecot Studios mingled with Supporters of the Battle Trust and, of course, a good number of those who had worked on the Tapestry project.

Trustee Arran Johnston gave a Welcome address, identifying both old friends and new in his thanks for those who had attended. He spoke of how the messages of what Prince Charlie had attempted in the í45 were embodied in the Tapestry project, and emphasised it had become far more than just an artwork. It had become overnight one of the nationís definitive pieces of Scottish heritage interpretation.

He was followed by the Tapestry's designer Andrew Crummy, who gave fitting tribute to the embroiderers emphasising the significance of bringing this extraordinary community project into an art space renowned for its association with Scottish crafts.

To conclude the formalities, Shona McManus led a group of the 'Panel-Beating' embroiderers, joined by friends of the Tapestry such as Fiona Campbell, Martine Robertson and Coreen Scott, in a moving rendition of Sound the Pibroch - as heard on the official Tapestry CD created by Ian Green at Greentrax.

The evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all, and filled the former swimming baths with a familiar buzz of laughter. It was an especial pleasure to see so many Stitchers present, whose reunions added further warmth to the overall atmosphere. The good citizens of Edinburgh continue to head to the Dovecot to catch a glimpse of the Tapestry, just as they once flocked to see the Bonnie Prince! Notably amongst these were descendants [pictured below] of Beatrix and Mary Jenkinson [who still have the snuff box the Prince gave the sisters at Duddingston on September 19th 1745] and the respected and acclaimed author Alexander McCall Smith. A group came over from Corstorphine, and from Heriot Watt there was news of Professor Colin MacLaurin's mathematical calculations used to restore the castle's cannons and fortifications as the Highlanders advanced. Others brought documents relating to their family's involvement in the '45, one telling how they prevented Colonel Gardiner being stripped of his uniform as he lay mortally wounded. Yet more proffered advice on fund raising for the Tapestry's permanent home. Everyone was keen to help and full of compliments and praise for the community's achievements.

The Exhibition at the Dovecot remains there until November 25th after which it will go to Cockenzie Power Station for the weekend of November 27th / 28th.

The programme of exhibitions in 2011 includes the Scottish Story Telling Centre in February, a tour of East Lothian in April, Kirkcaldy Museum in May and St Mary's Cathedral Edinburgh in June/ July/ August together with The Fringe.

P.S. LATE NEWS .... by popular demand the Tapestry will return for at least one further week to the Dovecot Tapestry Studios after its weekend at Cockenzie Power Station i.e. for the first week in December prior to its exhibition at Holyrood Parliament.

Published Date: November 22nd 2010

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