Tapestry returns with new exhibition

Marketing and PR Officer Melissa Reilly is pictured putting the finishing touches to the tapestry display.
Marketing and PR Officer Melissa Reilly is pictured putting the finishing touches to the tapestry display.

New Lanark is hosting the return of the Great Tapestry of Scotland with a brand new exhibition during the summer, which opened on Friday.

After first being exhibited in 2014 to a record 13,000 visitors, the tapestry will be shown as never seen before.

The new ‘making of’ exhibition, curated internally by exhibitions officer Evelyn Whitelaw, will allow visitors to discover the story of the tapestry’s creation through original sketches, photography, memorabilia and memories from those closest to the project.

For the first time, panels from ‘The Great Tapestry of Scotland’ will be displayed alongside fascinating insights from Dorie Wilkie, lead stitcher, and her team of more than 1000 stitchers across Scotland who worked on the project.

The exhibition will also include original sketches and personal works by Andrew Crummy, the man behind the tapestry’s illustrative designs depicting key moments in Scotland’s history.

The venue will also provide the opportunity for exhibition steward volunteers to assist with the delivery the exhibition, who will play a key role in the day-to-day running of the gallery and in ensuring a welcoming and friendly environment.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland was the idea of one of the world’s best-loved writers, Alexander McCall Smith. The 44 Scotland Street author, together with historian Alistair Moffat, and with the artistic talents of Andrew Crummy, formed a team set to produce the world’s longest tapestries through one of the biggest community arts projects ever to take place in Scotland.

Taking 65,000 hours of stitching and using over 300 miles of wool - enough to lay the entire length of Scotland the unique tapestry illustrates 420 million years of Scottish history in 160 panels.

Textile production and innovation have been the continuous thread throughout New Lanark’s history, from the village’s early years as the one-time largest cotton manufacturer in Scotland, to now producing over 60 shades of high-quality woollen yarn using historic textile machinery and launching the world’s first Organic Tartan in 2015.

Through this partnership with the tapestry makers, New Lanark offers the perfect backdrop for the wonderful exhibition which will run until July 1.

Further exhibition information and tickets are available from www.newlanark.org while about volunteering are available from paige.hughes@newlanark.org.