Yesterday I was at the Scottish Parliament to attend the stitchers' preview of The Great Tapestry of Scotland. As you may know if you've followed fairly recent posts here, I am a member of the group which stitched the 1914-1918 War panel, and while we've spent many months working on our piece, and have seen a few other panels in various stages of completion at preview events, yesterday was the first opportunity we've had to see the Tapestry in its entirety.
It is a stunning thing: 143m long (so 70m longer than the Bayeux Tapestry), the work of 1,000 stitchers from across Scotland, the product of countless hours of painstaking embroidery, and a representation of 12,000 years of a country's history (read the news story here). Yesterday we all stood and looked in awe and admiration at the concept and its execution in finished form, from its striking design by artist Andrew Crummy to interpretative needlework of the highest standard.
There was so much to take in on a comparatively brief viewing, and my pictures were hastily taken and are not in order, but I've put most of them* in an album which you can access by clicking here or on the image over there in the righthand sidebar (and once in you can click on each picture to enlarge it), so that should give an idea of the piece. Of course, it's still effectively a work-in-progress as panels can be added as events in Scotland's present and future dictate. Andy Murray's Wimbledon win was stitched in at the last minute (we were watching him take the title as we completed our panel), and doubtless next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will feature in a dedicated panel in due course.Hot off the press is the accompanying book, The Great Tapestry of Scotland by Susan Mansfield and Alistair Moffat, and if you go to see the exhibit in the Parliament Building (it's on until the 21st. of September), you can also buy postcards of six of the panels and an embroidery kit. I think there are plans to produce more related merchandise and if I get any information about that I shall be sure to pass it on.
As to the Tapestry itself, it will go on tour in Scotland and the rest of the UK, then to America and Canada, and then - it is hoped - it will find a permanent home, so do see it if you can; as someone who played a small part in its making, I'd like to say that it was a privilege and a pleasure to be involved.
*Dark Puss, you suggested James Clerk Maxwell be included, and he has been.