New project to stitch the entire history of Scotland

30 March 2012
A new tapestry project will tell the story of Scotland from pre-history through to modern times. ...

A new tapestry project will tell the story of Scotland from pre-history through to modern times.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland is a unique project which will tell Scotland's history from the earliest days through to modern times, through the medium of needlework. The tapestry is the brainchild of author Alexander McCall Smith, who is working with historian Alistair Moffat and artist Andrew Crummy, along with stitchers from across Scotland, to create a tapestry of 49,000 metres, enough to lay up and down Ben Nevis 37 times!

Alexander McCall Smith said of the project: ''The recording of events, both great and small, on cloth is nothing new. The most famous example, of course, is the Bayeux Tapestry, which is one of the world’s best-known works of art. More recently, the completion of the Prestonpans Tapestry in Scotland has reminded us of just how effective this method of narrating history can be. When I saw that tapestry for the first time, I was struck not only by its beauty but by the story behind its creation. That led me to raise with Andrew Crummy, the artist, the possibility of creating a tapestry that would illustrate the whole history of Scotland. To my delight, Andrew agreed to take on the task. Alistair Moffat, one of Scotland’s finest historical writers, was then approached to join the project and come up with a list of historical moments that the tapestry would cover.

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'As we had all expected, Alistair’s list is both balanced and exciting – a series of snapshots of Scotland from its earliest days to the recent past. This is a collaborative project. The work will be done by volunteer stitchers working throughout Scotland. Although the overall artistic vision will be Andrew’s, and the telling of the story will be Alistair’s, the creating of the tapestry will be the task of many hundreds of people who will invest in it their feeling for the story that they will be illustrating. When the work is finished, we shall hand the tapestry over to the nation, to be displayed to the people of Scotland and visitors to Scotland. Please join us in this great community arts project. If you can support the project financially – even with a small donation – we shall receive that help with gratitude. A great project is about to be launched. I believe that it will bring happiness and delight to many people.'

The finished project will go on display in August 2013 and updates will be posted on the Great Tapestry of Scotland website.

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