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Scottish Parliament can't get enough of it! More embroidery to gladden its Halls ...

Parliamentarians must be wondering ... what next!

It's just like the buses. You wait a long long while and then not one but two come along, or in the case of embroidered 'buses' from Prestonpans three!

We're talking about the official 'Launch' at the Scottish Parliament last Friday of the Great Tapestry of Scotland. It's to be Andrew Crummy's second major textile design community artwork, and as its title suggests it's going to tell the history of the nation right up to the day our Parliament was reconvened in 1999.
The Press Release below tells the story in full - that it was inspired by the Prestonpans Battle Tapestry which Sandy MacCall-Smith saw in December 2010 at The Dovecote. He not only saw it for himself but he saw how absorbed the visitors were and what a powerful artform Andrew had crafted to tell that significant part of our community's history.

Our parliamentarians had already gazed upon and enjoyed our Battle Tapestry in December 2010; now in 2012 their Presiding Officer was called upon not only to stitch a first stitch but to agree to display the finished artwork there in August 2013 - which she gladly did! The two photos below show Andrew Crummy [seated right] with Patricia Marwick MSP, Sandy MacCall-Smith and historian Alistair Moffat [seated left] - it's his role to get the facts straight for Andrew's designs. And in the second photo the stitch is stitched.

And there's a third coming too? Yes, there certainly is!

We always foresaw a Legacy from the Prince's Legacay that we so proudly stitched in 2009/ 2010 ... we weren't sure where we'd see it, but we're getting it aplenty. As noted above, there's a third grand tapestry coming along for completion in 2014, for that year's Homecoming Celebrations. It is being stitched across the world and tells of our nation's diaspora - the stories of 25 countries to which Scots people went and of their accomplishments there. It will take the name of Prestonpans embroidery to China, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa, Malawi, Australia, Canada, USA, Portugal/ Madeira, Netherlands, Sweden, Poland, Italy and more ... and the homeland communities here in Scotland from which they emigrated will take up their story today, welcoming them back for the Homecoming. More of all that in a month's time.

The Press Release tells the story of Tapestry #2

The Great Tapestry of Scotland will illustrate the history of Scotland and will involve hundreds of volunteer stitchers. It is one of the biggest community arts projects in the world and Holyrood will exhibit the embroidered tapestry in August 2013.

It's the brainchild of Sottish writer Alexander McCall Smith, artist Andrew Crummy and historian Alistair Moffat Together they've constructed a list of 150 key moments in Scotland’s history. Spanning the splintering ice dome over Ben Lomond to the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, the panels depict Scotland’s amazing history, science, culture, industry and politics over the centuries.

Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP said: “I am honoured to have been asked to sew the first stitch in a tapestry that is destined to become part of our Scottish cultural heritage.

"It will be made all the more powerful by the hundreds of volunteer stitchers from communities across Scotland who will bring the tapestry to life.

“The Scottish Parliament will be the first venue to exhibit The Great Scottish Tapestry in its record-breaking entirety when we welcome it back to Holyrood as part of our Festival of Politics in August 2013.”

Some Background

• It is believed that when The Great Tapestry of Scotland is complete at 141 metres it will be the longest embroidered tapestry in the world - so far!
• The Keiskamma Tapestry in South Africa is 120 metres long.
• The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry is 104 metres long.
• The Bayeux Tapestry is 70 metres long.
• The Apocalypse Tapestry, which depicts scenes from the Book of Revelation, was 140 metres long but only 100 metres survives today.

P.S. from Editor ... and after the Parliament here's booking Prestonpans Community Centre / Town Hall next stop in 2013 ... we need you and you owe us anyway!

Published Date: March 26th 2012

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