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Well kept secret comes to light! The Swedes are back in The Pans ...

Biggest Arts Festival Project yet surfaces in The Pans!

It's not that there has been any attempt to keep it a secret. It's been one of those community artworks that simply gets on with thousands of hours of volunteering until suddenly ... Wow!

The project is the second BIG tapestry being created in The Pans. By now everyone who's anyone, and the rest of us too, have heard of and 150,000+ have seen The Prestonpans Tapestry LINKED HERE. When it was completed in 2010 those involved wondered: what next? After a great deal of contemplation an ambitious notion emerged. If we'd readily got folk across Scotland to volunteer to stitch the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745, why not ask Scots descendants all over the world to stitch their own stories?

Homecoming 2014 had been mooted, so we went to talk to Event Scotland and simply said ....

... would it not be a smart inversion of Homecoming 2009 if in 2014 we invited the diaspora to tell our nation its stories? The idea immediately caught on and Barons Courts funded Prestoungrange Arts Festival to create convincing pilot embroideries in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Barga, Italy. Seeing what we had achieved there, Creative Scotland and the Government's own Diaspora Division agreed to help fund the inevitable international travel costs and the dedicated website to gather and report the stories from some 25 countries. And that's all now in progress.

Andrew Crummy agreed to design the panels, Yvonne Murphy and Gillian Hart are gathering the stories together and co-ordinating the stitchers, and Arran Johnston designed and manages the website. It's a website in three languages - English, the local diaspora language and Gaelic. The Gaelic website is supported by Bord na Gaidhlig and there are bold plans for its use educationally. The website is LINKED HERE.

Swedish Panels are the first to be completed ...

... all the 150 expected embroidered panels, 500mm x 500mm, are due for completion by December 2013, ready for Homecoming 2014. It's a complex, multinational challenge and optimism is the order of the day although who knows, there might be a few hiccups! But The Pans great friends in Goteborg, Sweden, have come in first with their embroidered tales. And they will be personally delivered at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg on Wednesday March 27th at 6pm by Jorgen Linder, former Lord Mayor of Gothenburg on his fourth visit to The Pans. The Provost of East Lothian will be there too and Tom Ewing and Friends will be making music.[Tom was a guest of the Lord Mayor in Goteborg in 2004 when he created an artwork to celebrate Jorgen Linder's first visit to The Pans. A copy hangs in the Lord Mayor's Bar at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg, and the original in Goteborg in The Mayor's Parlour.]

The panels from Gothenburg will be on display at the Prestoungrange Gothenburg from 12 noon / 4 pm on Thursday and Friday March 28th and 29th [and maybe a bit longer if possible...]. Volunteers locally who wish to help with the project please be sure to make yourselves known to Yvonne Murphy or Gillian Hart or one of The Goth's staff. Here's a wee sample ...

The Gothenburg panels, and the Barga panels, will also be on display at the 3Harbours Festival in Prestonpans Community Centre week commencing June 3rd.

Published Date: March 21st 2013

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