Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Great Tapestry of Scotland

Sometimes luck is really on your side! Driving down from a week in the Torridon area we had decided to stop off to see the New Lanark World Heritage site. A stunningly presented, and incredibly preserved example of an early Industrial Revolution community with housing, school, factory and mill buildings on the Clyde. It just so happened that at this very time they were hosting The Great Tapestry of Scotland! I was thrilled, what serendipity!
The Tapestry tells the story of Scottish history in more than one hundred and sixty embroidered panels stretching for one hundred and forty three metres in length. Stitched on linen in wool yarn they each followed a layout and style that gave the whole display a homogeneous feel. The panels were designed by.   Who was also responsible for the Prestonpans Tapestry. Each panel was then stitched by volunteers from Scottish communities, from the cities to tiny hamlets and individual Islands on matching background linen and in approved colour yarns. Each panel is credited to the Stitchers involved and tells one tiny snapshot of the Scottish story. I didn't actually have enough time to do the exhibition justice!
Here are a few of the panels which particularly caught my eye:

If you ever get the chance to see this, in the flesh, so to speak, grab it with both hands, it's well worth it!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Lutterworth Embroiderers' Exhibition

Months ago I visited this annual exhibition and was again stunned by the quantity and quality of work this talented group produce each year.
In addition to the general display of members work, three areas were of particular interest to me:
 A wide ranging display of World War 1 themed pieces demonstrated the wide range of skills members have. I was, however, completely struck by one small machine embroidered piece which seems to sum up the misery, the waste, the hardship and the the loss of the conflagration. 

" For King and Country " is by Sue Townsend, and the content's very ordinariness makes it the more poignant. The skill in the stitching is wonderful.
I was also interested to see a selection of workshop pieces from Isobel Hall. Creating wonderful textures from simple stitches and unusual threads. This one is by Kate Jacklin.

One technique I'd like to master next year is Kantha and there was a charming elephant by Sue Hanger.

Each year the group have a 'Chairman's Challenge' and the skill and workmanship in Josephine Cade's piece "Giverney" was outstanding.

Finally I wanted to highlight a tiny section of one of Mary Hart's pieces to show a very effective use of tiny pieces of sweetie paper used to good effect.

This group' annual exhibition is always worth a visit in August and I have come away again this year with some lovely cards made by Sarah Adcock.


The missing months........

Apologies for the absence. I suffered a period of anxiety attacks during September which triggered a collapse of creativity and loss of interest in textiles for the first time in my life. It has taken be quite a while to return to something like my old self! Hence the silence. I'm explaining this as problems inside our heads seem to be the Cinderella complaints and we need them to be talked about and better understood. 
I have a backlog of textile artist's work to share with you in my next post.