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Scotland Magazine News - Diaspora Links Wanted for Giant Scottish Tapestry Project

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Issue 95 Out Now

Scotland Magazine Issue 95

Regional Focus: Firth of Clyde, Ayrshire coastal path, Exlusive interview: Ruth Connell, Shipbuilding on the Clyde, Clan MacAulay

 
Wed 14 Nov 2012

Diaspora Links Wanted for Giant Scottish Tapestry Project

A Scottish arts organisation is looking for people across the world with family connections to Scotland who would like to take part in a project to create a massive international embroidered tapestry.

Over the next two years the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry will form partnerships with 25 countries around the world where Scots migrated to over the centuries. They want to use the stories of these emigrants, as told by the communities where they settled, to create up to ten 50 cm sq tapestry panels from each place.

Once the designs have been agreed by everyone the panels will be embroidered in Canada, so volunteers are also needed to help with the stitching. Clubs and societies can take part, as can individuals and small groups of friends. Embroidery experience is not essential, as there will be lots of online guidance.

The project has the support of the Scottish Government, EventScotland, Creative Scotland and Bord na Gaidhlig.

Yvonne Murphy is in charge of co-ordinating the creation of the tapestry. She is very happy with how the project is progressing to date: “The process is well underway in many countries, but there’s still plenty of time for groups and individuals to get involved. We’d be delighted to hear from people with ideas for stories from the communities in the 25 countries we’re concentrating on.

“Scots settled worldwide in such numbers that there is no shortage of great material to chose from and hopefully we will also find lots of people interested in helping with the embroidery as well.

“As the project progresses we hope that other arts groups will also get involved. We’d love to have activities like storytelling, drama, music and dance happening alongside the tapestry to really bring the stories told in the panels alive.”

In 2014 Scotland is hosting a ‘Year of Homecoming’, and the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry will form one of the highlights of the year-long programme of celebrations.

Ms Murphy continued: “In early 2014 all the tapestry panels from around the world will be brought together in Scotland, ready for a massive party to mark the occasion. We obviously hope that lots of the people involved in creating the panels will come with them and join in the celebrations.

“We also want to help foster links with communities in Scotland, so that they can play host to the panels from their ‘twin’ town in the Diaspora.”

The organisation behind the project is the Prestoungrange Arts Festival <http://www.prestoungrange.org> , based in Prestonpans, just to the east of Edinburgh. They are the team behind another massive tapestry, the 104-meter-long Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry <http://www.prestonpanstapestry.org> which was completed in 2010 by over 200 volunteer stitchers around Scotland.

Taking its inspiration from the famous 11th century Bayeux Tapestry <http://www.tapisserie-bayeux.fr> in France, the Battle Tapestry shows scenes from the early campaign of Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army in 1745.

The countries the project is focussing on are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, China, India, Irish Republic, Italy, Jamaica, Lithuania, Malawi, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, USA.

To contact the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry team visit the project website at http://www.scottishdiasporatapestry.org <http://www.scottishdiasporatapestry.org> or find them on Facebook.