The Great Tapestry of Scotland, the massive, 143-metre long embroidery project, which depicts the history of our country in 160 panels, caught the public imagination when it went on show in the Scottish Parliament during September, where it was viewed by almost 50,000 visitors.
For those who missed the exhibition in the summer, The Great Tapestry of Scotland can currently be viewed in its entirety at Cockenzie House and Gardens in East Lothian (exhibition running daily until 8 December 2013). But for two days in the second week of November, four of the panels will be missing – when they will be displayed in an effort to raise funds and awareness at the annual art exhibition in aid of Cancer Research at Adam House in the Cowgate.
Two of the panels on temporary loan to the art exhibition are completely new to the project as they were not ready by the time of the launch at Holyrood.
One of these depicts Ninian at Whithorn c400 AD and the other, the whaling industry in the South Atlantic which, between 1909 and 1965 was commanded from Leith Harbour (named after Edinburgh’s port) a whaling station on the northeast coast of South Georgia (near the Falkland Islands) established and operated by the famous Edinburgh-based company, Christian Salvesen Ltd.
Of the two other panels one depicts Dundee in its heyday of ‘jute, jam and journalism’ and was stitched by four ladies and one gentleman in Broughty Ferry.
In 1911 31,500 Dundonians were employed in the city’s jute industry. The association with jam stemmed from Janet Keiller’s ‘invention’ of marmalade in 1797, a production process industrialised during the 19th century, while journalism was mainly reflected by the role played by D. C. Thomson & Co, founded in 1905, which became famous for its children’s comics and The Sunday Post and Courier for grown-ups.
The other panel is by the Edinburgh Tenners, which depicts what is now Scotland following the ice age when herds of reindeer, wild horses and other species migrated north. The ‘Edinburgh Tenners’ actually consist of 13 females, and they are so-called because all reside in the EH10 postal district of the capital.
All four panels will be available to view to the public on Tuesday & Wednesday 12th & 13th November from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm. The annual art exhibition will run from the 12th to the 16th of November.
The Great Tapestry of Scotland was the brainchild of the best-selling author, Alexander McCall Smith, the historian Alistair Moffat and the artist Andrew Crummy. It was created on linen produced by Peter Greig & Co of Kirkcaldy which is Scotland’s only remaining linen manufacturer while the stitching required over 300 miles of woollen yarns from the English manufacturer, Appletons.
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