'Homegrown' tartan woven for National Theatre of Scotland production

29 June 2023
The Homegrown tartan being woven. Image by Jack Willison
Artists Nat McCleary and Sabrina Henry, and Glasgow weavers, Vevar have created a new tartan, Homegrown, which will be launched as part of the costume design for new production Thrown.

Written by Nat McCleary and directed by Johnny McKnight, Thrown embarks on a tour of venues on the Highland Games circuit in July, before a run at the Traverse, as part of the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2023. 

The show features a diverse, inter-generational all-female cast which tells the story of Glasgow’s most unlikely backhold wrestling team. 

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Five different women gather in the muddy fields of the Highland Games circuit to compete in the obscure art of Backhold wrestling. Can there be unity with diversity? Thrown gets to grips with identity and belonging in Scotland, challenging contemporary notions of Scottishness.  

The new tartan features in the show, as an important part of the characters’ journey to the Championships.  

The full cast is Efè Agwele, Maureen Carr, Lesley Hart, Chloe-Ann Tylor and Adiza Shardow. 

Story of the Homegrown tartan

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The tartan has been designed and created by Sabrina Henry who works as a costume designer and curator at Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow.  Beginning as a fashion stylist, Sabrina transitioned to costume design for theatre, live art and performance in 2016 to find ways to articulate character, place and identity within performance through costume and is always working to connect pre-colonial traditions with the contemporary Black diasporic experience.  Sabrina has worked with Roundhouse, Southbank Centre, Untitled Projects, Channel 4, East London Dance, Art Night and Project X. 

Sabrina said: '“Reading Nat’s script for Thrown, I immediately felt that the characters represented the many personalities, joys and complexities that we hold and that make a person. And learning about the process of tartan creation from Vevar Studios I could see this reflected in the process of making the pattern, selecting the colours, textures and their meanings. 'Homegrown' represents an understanding that there is no singular identity that is unimpacted by the presence and legacies of others and therefore no singular Scottishness'.

The Homegrown tartan being woven. Image by Jack Wilson

The tartan was created by Vevar, a company founded in 2020 by weavers Christopher McEvoy and Chantal Allen. Based in the East End of Glasgow, the city's historical weaving heart, they undertake various projects across art, design, and architecture as well as producing a line of lifestyle products that are 'uniquely Glaswegian'. 

For full touring dates and production information for Thrown, click here.