300,000 and Counting: Tapestry Exhibitions Pass Visitor Milestone
On Monday 3rd August, at the exhibition in Kirkcaldy Galleries, the Great Tapestry of Scotland welcomed its 300,000th visitor.
Alan Spiers from Glenrothes, the 300,000th visitor was congratulated by staff at Kirkcaldy Art Gallery and presented with a signed copy of the Great Tapestry of Scotland hardback book. He said: “I feel very privileged – and lucky – to be the 300,00th visitor of this wonderful exhibition. I’ve been really looking forward to it, and this book is a fantastic memento!”
Gavin Grant, Fife Cultural Trust Collections and Exhibitions Team Leader, commented:
“We have been delighted by the fantastic reaction to the Great Tapestry exhibition here in Kirkcaldy. Since we opened in late June over 27,000 people have come to the Galleries and it is proving to be one of our busiest summers ever.”
Since its hugely popular debut exhibition at the Scottish Parliament in September 2013 the tapestry has been touring Scotland. It has been enjoyed by a wide range of visitors from Scotland and across the world. To date it has been exhibited twice at the Scottish Parliament, in Cockenzie House, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Paisley Thread Mill, New Lanark, Stirling Castle and Ayr Town Hall. It is currently on display at Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Galleries until 20th September 2015. Further exhibitions are being finalised.
The Trustees would like to thank the staff and volunteers from all the exhibitions for helping to share the Great Tapestry of Scotland with so many people.
Artist Andrew Crummy comments:
“ What an amazing journey it has been. It is a tribute to not only the stitchers but also to all the other people and communities who have helped with the construction of the tapestry. It is also a tribute to the many who have helped it tour around Scotland in amazing settings. How wonderful it is to share the tapestry with so many people from around the world and I look forward to sharing it with many more in the years to come.”
Inverness Exhibition Announced
Panels from the Great Tapestry of Scotland will be on display at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery in January and February 2016. We are delighted to be exhibiting in the Highland Council Area for the first time. Over 100 residents of the region stitched Great Tapestry of Scotland panels at home during 2012-13 so we are very pleased to be bringing their work back to the community.
The exhibition will run for six weeks from Saturday, January 9 to Saturday, February 20th, 2016. The panels selected for this exhibition will cover the entire sweep of Scottish history and will include depictions of Highland events and culture from Haakon and the Lords of the Isles to the Massacre of Glencoe and the Jacobite rebellions, the invention of the modern kilt, shinty, Highland games, and the Gaelic resurgence.
All panels created by stitchers in the Highland area will be included. Visitors travelling long distances to see a particular panel are advised to check the list of panels on display either here or with the Museum before setting out. The list will be posted here later in 2015.
Tapestry Panels Visit Fife Classrooms
In advance of the tapestry’s summer exhibition at Kirkcaldy, a series of tapestry events took place in eight Fife primary schools in early June. With the help of a series of costumed volunteers at each school, children’s historian Allan Burnett told a sequence of stories from local history represented in tapestry panels: the story of St Margaret, Malcolm Canmore and the establishment of religious foundations and the Queensferry crossing (panel 21); the death of Alexander III at Kinghorn (panel 28); the origins of golf (panel 63); and witches and superstition in the 16th century (panel 49).
At schools in Dunfermline and Rosyth, Great Tapestry stitcher and Hub volunteer Susie Finlayson led stitching workshops for P5-7 pupils. Under the guidance of a team of eight more Great Tapestry stitchers, boys and girls stitched bookmarks with either their names or a Forth Rail Bridge design. After overcoming the first challenge (threading the needle) the group took to the task quickly and soon settled into an attentive silence. After the workshop, one student remarked that she would certainly try stitching again, ‘because it was fun and very relaxing.’
These events were made possible by support from the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust and the New Park Educational Trust. Thanks to their generosity, we were able to donate a classroom set of the children’s book The Story of Scotland: Inspired by the Great Tapestry of Scotland as a legacy of the tapestry for each school. Susan Wright, P5 teacher at Wormit Primary reported, ‘The class were buzzing after this event – a big hurray from P5!’
Tapestry Coming to Ayr
We are delighted to announce that the tapestry will have its first exhibition in South West Scotland at Ayr Town Hall during April and May 2015. South Ayrshire Council and Ayr Renaissance have partnered to make the exhibition a centrepiece of the town’s spring programming. The exhibition will begin on Easter Saturday, 4 April, and run until Sunday, May 31.
James Knox, Chairman of Ayr Renaissance, who was responsible for bringing the tapestry to Ayr, said: “This is a great moment in the regeneration of the heart of the town. It is a real coup to get the tapestry to the town hall, where it will attract hordes of visitors keen to see one of the most amazing artworks ever created in Scotland by Scots of Scots for Scots.”
Councillor Bill Grant, holder of the council’s portfolio for Economic Development, Tourism, and Leisure, said “If you are handy with a needle and thread, interested in Scottish history, or simply want to visit a unique free exhibition, then make sure you visit The Great Tapestry of Scotland while it’s in Ayr Town Hall. With 160 historical panels each depicting a moment from Scotland’s past up to the 21st century, and created by skilled needlework enthusiasts, it will be a stunning sight. I know that I will be visiting more than once.”
Read the full press release here .
Stirling Castle Exhibition Opens
The Great Tapestry of Scotland exhibition at Stirling Castle opened on January 31st. We are delighted to be partnering with Historic Scotland to show the tapestry in such a magnificent venue. Hanging in the recently restored Great Hall of the castle, the tapestry looks superb in a setting that has been at the centre of so much Scottish history. Over 1,000 visitors attended the first weekend. The People’s Panel is available for stitching at the exhibition – come along and add your stitch!
Exhibition at New Lanark now closed
The Great Tapestry of Scotland exhibition at New Lanark is now closed. Thank you to the 11,000+ who visited the Tapestry here and to all of the staff at New Lanark and our wonderful volunteers who transform the visitor experience with their information, guidance and stories.
FINAL FEW DAYS AT NEW LANARK
The Great Tapestry of Scotland has attracted more than 10,000 visitors in just four weeks at New Lanark. Thank you to all who have visited the exhibition so far and for those still considering a visit, remember this exhibition comes to an end on 23 November 2014.
STIRLING CASTLE DATES ANNOUNCED
The Great Tapestry of Scotland will be on display in the Great Hall at Stirling Castle, from 31st January to the 8th March 2015. The exhibition will be open 7 days a week, from 9.30am–5pm. Last admissions are 4.15pm.
Please note: Admission is included in the price of entry to the castle. For group bookings of 11 people or more please 0131 668 8831/8664. For more information, please visit www.stirlingcastle.gov.uk.
SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT EXHIBITION COMES TO AN END
The 2014 exhibition of The Great Tapestry of Scotland at the Scottish Parliament has come to an end. The Tapestry was exhibited in the main hall of the Parliament building from1 July – 13 September and in that time approx 80,000 people came to see it, many spending four hours or more going round the panels.
The stitchers who gave of their time and knowledge to guide visitors through the exhibition, greatly enriched their experience and the trustees and Parliament exhibition team are grateful to them all.
During the exhibition, a ‘People’s Panel’ was stitched by visitors and volunteers. This is not yet complete but when it is, it will be displayed within the Parliament building as a permanent reminder of our two exhibitions
GOVERNMENT BACK BORDERS HOME FOR THE TAPESTRY
On 20 August 2014, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond confirmed Government support for a new centre to house The Great Tapestry of Scotland. The site, previously identified as Tweedbank, is at the end of the new Borders Railway line and it is hoped that combined strengths of the railway (with steam trains running) and the Great Tapestry of Scotland will attract tourists and local visitors alike. Feasibility studies are ongoing and will report back towards the end of the year. Media across Scotland reported the news and you can get a taste of what they said on the ITV website
and on The Herald site
Sat 20 September - an event for the family
Allan Burnett: The Story of Scotland. Allan Burnett is famous for making history exciting for all ages. He will talk about his new book, The Story of Scotland inspired by the Great Tapestry of Scotland, a humorous yet informative book for readers aged 8-12, at 11am, Far from the Madding Crowd, 20 High Street, Linlithgow. ’A trip through time and a whole lot of adventures along the way: expect props!’ Contact shop for more details.
Tapestry on the BBC
GREAT TAPESTRY AT THE PARLIAMENT - NEWS COVERAGE
WATCH THE BUILD OF THE TAPESTRY EXHIBITION
The Great Tapestry of Scotland team build the new exhibition at the Scottish Parliament. In real time this took three full days, but you can watch it all in just a few seconds. Click here to view
SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT EXHIBITION NOW OPEN!
The Great Tapestry of Scotland has returned to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh for the summer. Its launch and first exhibition there in September 2013 broke all sorts of Parliament records: for visitor numbers and for the number of scones sold in the coffee shop! We are delighted that the tapestry is being welcomed back for an extended stay.
You are invited to stitch!
New for this exhibition, the first time the completed tapestry has been displayed in Edinburgh, is the People’s Panel. Commissioned to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament on July 1, 1999, the panel has been designed by The Great Tapestry of Scotland artist Andrew Crummy. All exhibition visitors are invited to contribute a stitch to the panel, which will become part of the Scottish Parliament’s permanent art collection once complete.
Presiding Officer, Tricia Marwick, MSP said, ‘I am looking forward to welcoming the people of Scotland to the Parliament to stitch their way into the history of their Parliament. This will create a permanent legacy of the Tapestry at Holyrood and the work of so many hands.’ Read more about the People’s Panel here .
A number of free talks and special events by the makers of the tapestry will take place at the exhibition. Details and booking information can be found here .
Dates and Hours
July 1 – September 13, 2014
Monday – Saturday, 10am – 5pm (last entry 4.30pm)
NB – the Parliament building’s opening hours are extended when Parliament is not in recess. Full details of opening hours can be found here
Stitching of the People’s Panel is subject to availability.
One Step Closer to a Permanent Home
Scotland’s history to come home to the Borders?
The Scottish Borders Council reached a momentous agreement today at a full meeting of Councillors held in Hawick. After a full year of careful consideration of proposals from across the country, a site in the Scottish Borders has been confirmed as the preferred option for a permanent home for THE GREAT TAPESTRY OF SCOTLAND, one of Scotland’s greatest works of art and a remarkable telling of our nation’s story.
Scotland’s people’s historian and Borders man, Alistair Moffat; the much loved author, Alexander McCall Smith; and the hugely talented artist, Andrew Crummy created this remarkable project which was transformed from artwork to stitched masterpiece by Dorie Wilkie and 1000+ volunteer stitchers from across Scotland, many of them from the Borders area. Councillors for the area voted overwhelmingly to approve a move forward and business studies will now be carried out.
The Leader of Scottish Borders Council, David Parker, has identified the key site for a new building designed to house this remarkable work of art. It would stand on a green field adjacent to Tweedbank Station, the terminus for the new Waverley Line. People from all over Scotland will be able to board a ‘train to the tapestry’, and lying midway between the arterial roads, the A7 and A68, the Tweedbank site is easily accessible by road. A permanent home in the Borders would be very appropriate, a stunning piece of embroidery finding its place in a region where textile production has formed part of its history and its future.
David Parker, Leader of Scottish Borders Council said:
“The Great Tapestry of Scotland is a very special and unique work of art. It will become a treasured historical Scottish masterpiece and has the potential to be a very significant visitor attraction. Locating it in Tweedbank in a purpose built facility will truly showcase this magnificent tapestry and the story that it tells of the 420 million years of Scottish history. Its location at the Tweedbank Station will afford many visitors a fantastic opportunity to take the train to the tapestry and also to view other Borders attractions such as Abbotsford, Bowhill and the Borders abbeys. We are at an early stage of the project’s development but I can see no reason why we can’t deliver something very special for the Scottish Borders.”
Alistair Moffat commented:
“By any measure the Great Tapestry of Scotland is a cultural phenomenon. Massively popular, with queues winding around each venue it has visited, it reaches right across Scotland to appeal to all Scots. It tells our nation’s story, the story of a people, in the most vivid manner imaginable. All of the love and care that went into its making shines out to enrapture and set a glow on the faces of all who see it. It has been a privilege to write the narrative, decide what should be included, but nothing prepared me for the first time I saw it last September in the Scottish Parliament. I wept. For all that experience in one place, for the achievement of the stitchers in bringing our ancestors out of the darkness of the past and for the evident glory in the creation of one of the greatest works of art ever made in Scotland, I wept like a bairn – tears of joy, relief, gratitude and pride. It was moving almost beyond words to see the wonders that the Scottish people are capable of bringing forth. And as a Borderer I am delighted that Scottish Borders Council have had the vision to back the project to build a permanent home for this remarkable object at Tweedbank. The tapestry began its journey four years ago in the Borders as I started to make notes on what it might show and it is fitting that it should come full circle, that it should come back home.”
Alexander McCall Smith:
“When we started this project we very much hoped that we would be able to find the Tapestry a home that would be worthy of it. We hoped – but we were not sure. Now we have this magnificent offer from the Borders and our hopes are fulfilled. The Borders region is rich in history and it is entirely fitting that this great work of art celebrating the history of Scotland should be housed there. I am confident that this will become one of the greatest tourist attractions in Scotland and will give immense pleasure not only to visitors to our country but also to Scots themselves. This is, quite simply, the best news we could possibly have and I am most grateful to the Borders Council for showing such vision. I am also most grateful to my co-chairman, Alistair Moffat, whose love and knowledge of the Borders has helped to bring this splendid result about. All of us are delighted – the artist, Andrew Crummy, Dorie Wilkie and her team of stitchers, and the trustees of this marvellous, wonderful project: this is a great outcome for all members of the team.”
PAISLEY EXHIBITION NOW OPEN!
The exhibition of The Great Tapestry of Scotland opened in Anchor Mill, Paisley on Saturday. Don’t miss it! The exhibition is proving hugely popular already with more than 400 viewing over the first two days.
Paisley, PA1 1JR
(parking nearby is very limited)
3rd May to 8th June 2014 – please note that the exhibition is not open on a Monday.
Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 6pm
Wednesday & Thursday 10am to 8pm
Admission is free but a donation towards care and future exhibition would be much appreciated.
ABERDEEN EXHIBITION HAILED AS AN ENORMOUS SUCCESS
The exhibition of the Great Tapestry of Scotland in Aberdeen has come to an end. More than 50,000 people visited the exhibition, taking the total who have seen it in its first year to well over 100.000. What an achievement! Thank you to all who came to see the Tapestry at the Aberdeen Art Gallery and to the wonderful staff and volunteers there who made the exhibition such a success.
The Tapestry is now in storage just outside Edinburgh for a few days before it travels to Anchor Mill in Paisley for the next leg of its tour. Come and see us there!
ABERDEEN EXTEND OPENING HOURS DUE TO HIGH DEMAND
Don’t miss out! Approx 35,000 visitors have seen the tapestry in Aberdeen so far. Now, to cope with demand, the Aberdeen Gallery team have extended their opening hours:
Exhibition running to 20 April 2014
Sunday 6 April 1pm to 4pm
Sunday 13 April 1pm to 5pm
Sunday 20 April 1pm to 5pm
Thursday 10 and 17 April, Aberdeen Art Gallery will be open until 7.30pm
Regular opening hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 10am-5pm
REMEMBER! THE GALLERY IS CLOSED ON MONDAYS
Aberdeen Art Gallery
WEST of SCOTLAND EXHIBITION ANNOUNCED
The full Tapestry will be displayed in the Atrium of the Anchor Mill, Paisley, from 3 May – 8 June, 2014.
The exhibition is a community collaboration between Weaving Musical Threads, the Paisley Thread Mill Museum and West College Scotland, who are creating an exhibition space in the stupendous Atrium of the renovated nineteenth-century Clark’s Finishing Mill. We are delighted to be displaying the tapestry in a building that is a monument to Paisley’s rich textile heritage.
Details of special events and opening hours will be posted soon.
Paisley, PA1 1JR
For further information, contact Weaving Musical Threads:
Tel: 07990 981682
Our Hub Volunteers Win an Award
Voluntary Arts Epic Awards 2014
People’s Choice Award for the Key Volunteers behind the Great Tapestry.
Chosen by public vote.
A small group of our key volunteers – those who, in addition to stitching on their own panels, helped with the initial tracing and distribution of kits, keeping in touch with the stitchers and keeping spirits high, the end stages with spraying and blocking, hemming and backing, adding the final touches and very occasionally reworking, and the preparation for exhibition – have received one of the country’s key awards for volunteers.
MANY, MANY CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS FROM US ALL
The group receiving the award were
BBC Radio 4 and BBC 1 Television
One of our panels appeared on BBC Breakfast Television as Alexander McCall Smith was interviewed by Bill and Louise on the red sofa about the Tapestry. Great care was taken of the panel in the studio and travelling back and forward from Edinburgh to Salford! Watch the news item at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01rngh0
And not satisfied with that, Andrew Crummy and Susie Finlayson were interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme. Great promotion for the tapestry and the exhibition in Aberdeen.
Thank you to all who gave their time for these interviews.
ABERDEEN EXHIBITION NOW OPEN
Join us at Aberdeen Art Gallery to view the full exhibition of The Great Tapestry of Scotland – complete for the first time. Opening hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Sundays 1pm-4pm (closed Mondays). A full programme of talks, workshops and events runs alongside the exhibition.
Aberdeen Art Gallery
Tel: +44 (0) 1224 523700
Fax: +44 (0) 1224 523666
STITCHING KITS NOW IN STOCK
Our lovely ‘Tipsy Thistle’ stitching pack is back in stock and makes the ideal Christmas gift. Linen, wools and full instructions are all included. The price is £44 (inc UK p&p). Order now online or for further information please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cockenzie House exhibition now open
Join us at Cockenzie House in East Lothian to view the full exhibition of the The Great Tapestry of Scotland. Opening hours are 10am-4pm each day (last entry 3pm) and not only will you see this wonderful work of art but you will have a chance to enjoy Cockenzie House and Garden in their full Autumn glory.
Exhibition open until 8 December 2013
Cheltenham Event, Sunday 6th October
Alexander McCall Smith, Alistair Moffat, and Jim Naughtie will discuss the making of the Great Tapestry of Scotland at the Cheltenham Literature Festival on Sunday, October 6 at 12 noon. The talk is in the Town Hall, where 40 panels will be hanging on display. Tickets £10: click to purchase.
Cheltenham Festivals, October 2013
A selection of 40 panels from the The Great Tapestry of Scotland will be making their English debut at Cheltenham Festivals, 4th-13th October 2013. The panels will hang in the corridors of Cheltenham Town Hall, which is open free to the public during festival hours. Alexander McCall Smith, Alistair Moffat, and Jim Naughtie will talk about the making of the tapestry at the Festival on Sunday, 6th October. Festival information can be found here.
Tour dates available soon
We are working very hard to get dates for our tour confirmed and hope to make an announcement before the end of September. Watch this space!
Stars of the silver screen - BBC ONE SHOW
If you missed it, you can catch the Great Tapestry of Scotland team on the One Show here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b039pdtt (approx ten mins into the programme).
Congratulations to Dorie Wilkie and her co-stars!
Read all about it! Tapestry hits the Press
Four glorious pages in the Scotsman last Saturday, 31 September 2013. Find the text online at http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/tapestry-of-scotland-the-people-s-creation-1-3069918
Watch out for Edinburgh Life magazine out this week. We are hoping for a very nice splash of stitched colour.
Keep an eye on the TV – we’re on The One Show on BBC One on Monday 2 August 2013.
And listen to Front Row on BBC Radio Four on Tuesday 3 August 2013.
Alexander McCall Smith- Life, Books & The Great Tapestry of Scotland
In the company of Stuart Kelly
Saturday 7th September
Committee Room 1, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh
Free but ticketed.
Join one of the world’s best-loved authors and chairman of the Great Tapestry of Scotland Trust for an hour of sheer delight as he discusses his life, books, and this incredible artwork. The Great Tapestry of Scotland is one of the country’s biggest ever community art projects. For over 2 years, more than 1,000 stitchers have been embroidering the world’s longest tapestry depicting the entire story of Scotland’s history. And now it is on display for the very first time – all 143 metres.
There will be a book signing opportunity after this event.
For tickets and information please contact email@example.com
JOIN US THIS WEEK FOR OUR FIRST EXHIBITION
FREE Exhibition starts 3 September 2013 at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. A feast for the eyes – don’t miss it!
The Tapestry on Tour
We are currently planning The Great Tapestry of Scotland’s nationwide and international tour in 2013/14. Discussions are underway with venues across Scotland, England, Canada and the US and we look forward to announcing this next stage of the tapestry’s journey. There will be educational and other special events running in tandem with the tour. We welcome enquiries and suggestions regarding venues and events. Watch this space to find out if the tapestry will be near you!
Tapestry Launch at Scottish Parliament
The first exhibition of The Great Tapestry of Scotland took place at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh in September 2013. The exhibition opened to the public on Tuesday, September 3rd and remained in the Main Hall until September 21st 2013. All 143 metres of the tapestry were on display, in series, for the first time (although four of the panels were incomplete and therefore shown as full size photographic reproductions) and more than 30,000 people came to view this wonderful artwork.
The Great Tapestry of Scotland exhibition
Scottish Parliament, 3-21 September 2013
Panels arrive at the Hub
Throughout the summer completed panels have been arriving thick and fast at the Hub, where they are stretched and backed by Dorie and the team. Entering the workspace is like entering an Aladdin’s cave; the collected panels look vibrant and absolutely fantastic covering every surface. While we are still waiting for a few panels to arrive, it is clear our stitchers have excelled themselves. The skills on display are astounding and have enriched Andrew’s designs as they’ve brought them to life. A number of small details added by stitching groups will really raise a smile – keep an eye out for them in the exhibition!
The Great Tapestry Blether
A gathering of stitchers from across the country will take place in Edinburgh’s Summerhall on Saturday 2nd February 2013. More than 400 are expected to attend over two sessions (11am–1pm and 2pm–4pm) for a natter about the stitching and to compare progress. Our lead stitcher, Dorie Wilkie, and her team will be on hand to answer questions and offer guidance along with the artist Andrew Crummy and the admin team. Check back here for photographs from the event in a few days.
The Scottish publisher, Birlinn Ltd will publish two books to celebrate the tapestry. The first, a guide to the tapestry, will be published to coincide with the unveiling in September 2013 and a second gorgeous, full colour book of the full tapestry will be published before Christmas. We’ll keep you posted here.
PAST EVENT - An Audience with History
Saturday 18 August, 2012, 15:00-16:30, Debating Chamber, £4.00/£2.50
What are Scotland’s key historical moments? Who has shaped the country we know today? From the swing plough to Dolly the sheep, we debate the most important events in Scottish history with leading historians and the team behind the Great Tapestry of Scotland. Panellists include authorAlexander McCall Smith, historians Alistair Moffat and Tom Devine, and The Herald Literary Editor and author Rosemary Goring. Which historical figures should be included in the Great Tapestry of Scotland’s Parliament of our Ancestors panel? Join us, have your say in how this exquisite artwork will record Scotland’s history. Chaired by Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP.
Please take a few minutes to view our additional events within History @ FoP including ‘A Stitch in Time’ where you can contribute to the world’s longest embroidered tapestry telling Scotland’s history!
In association with The Great Tapestry of Scotland.
Ticket info: www.festivalofpolitics.org.uk
PAST EVENT - A Stitch in Time
Saturday 18 August, 2012, 10:30-16:00, Education Centre, FREE
Make a Stitch in Time with the Great Tapestry of Scotland, one of the country’s biggest ever community arts projects. Hundreds of stitchers across Scotland are working to produce the world’s longest embroidered tapestry telling the entire history of Scotland- everything from Duns Scotus to Dolly the Sheep. Come and meet some of the project’s wonderful stitchers with artist Andrew Crummy, and view a selection of the sketches and tapestry panels being created as part of this exquisite artwork. You might even be able to add a stitch or two yourself.
This event will be open from 10:30 to 16:00 and you can visit the Education Centre throughout the day once you have booked a ticket.
Ticket info: www.festivalofpolitics.org.uk