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The Great Tapestry of Scotland comes to Aberdeen

13/02/14

The artwork at the heart of Scotland's largest ever community arts project will go on public display on Saturday 15 February in Aberdeen Art Gallery, Schoolhill.

Ursula Thompson, Diane Stanley & Mary Middleton,worked on another panel depicting Aberdeen. The Great Tapestry of Scotland is a 140 metre embroidered tapestry which depicts the history of Scotland. This incredible project was spearheaded by popular author, Alexander McCall Smith.

McCall Smith together with historian Alistair Moffat and artist Andrew Crummy designed 160 historical panels each depicting key moments from Scotland's past, from prehistory to the 21st century. The artwork was then adapted for stitch by Dorie Wilkie and across the length and breadth of Scotland over 1,000 stitchers – including those from the North-east of Scotland – worked tirelessly to create this stunning homage to Scotland's past.

Alexander McCall Smith said: "I am delighted that people in Aberdeen and the North-east of Scotland will now be able to see this wonderful work of art. Volunteers from the area helped to create this - now they and their families will be able to enjoy the tapestry during its stay in Aberdeen."

A programme of free activities and events will be held in Aberdeen Art Gallery to coincide with the tapestry being on display in the Granite City.

Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums manager Christine Rew said: "We are delighted to host The Great Tapestry of Scotland at Aberdeen Art Gallery, especially as more than 80 people from the North-east of Scotland participated in making this outstanding work. I am sure it will attract many visitors to the gallery.

"Alongside this incredible piece of needlework we are running a programme of talks and workshops including an opportunity to join Inverdon Stitchers who stitched panel 142 of The Great Tapestry and to hear how the Granite Quoins and Kelly's Cats groups helped create other panels."

Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums, learning manager Fiona Mair added: "All the activities and events are free of charge thanks to the generosity of our creative partners, giving their time and expertise voluntarily.

"We are looking forward to welcoming lots of visitors to the gallery for our family fun day on Saturday [15 Feb]."


The Great Tapestry of Scotland: Activity Programme

Saturday 15 February

Family Fun Day

10am-5pm

Come along to see The Great Tapestry of Scotland and learn about the key events which helped to shape Scotland through the ages.

From paper weaving to creating your very own decorative family tree there are lots of things to do. Put young imaginations to good use and help write an alternative history of Scotland.

In the Centre Court

  • Paper Weaving – try the traditional craft of weaving and make a colourful paper wall art to take home
  • Scotland's Story – help write an alternative history of Scotland

Upstairs Galleries

  • Royals and Warriors – make a regal crown or a warrior's helmet to wear
  • The Story of My Life – create a timeline of the big events in your life
  • Mrs Scot's activity trail – help Mrs Scot collect her lost threads
  • An activity trail and colouring and drawing sheets will be available

All activities are free and no booking is required. Please note that children should be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Aberdeen's Tapestry

Join Inverdon Stitchers, the stitchers who created Panel 142 - Aberdeen, of The Great Tapestry of Scotland. Designed by local artist Shelagh Swanson of Oil and Glass the panel represents Aberdeen's most recognisable features.Stitchers will be on hand to explain how the tapestry was made and will invite visitors to add their stitches to the art gallery's panel.

The gallery's panel will be on display throughout the run of the exhibition. There will also be further opportunities for visitors to add stitches to the panel in the coming weeks. Two of the contributors on one of the Aberdeen panels, Audrey Anderson, Maureen Stuchbury, view some of the other pieces.

Friday 28 February

Knitting workshop with Carol Meldrum

Exhibition room 8, Aberdeen Art Gallery

10.30am-12.30pm – Beginners workshop (no prior knitting experience necessary)

2pm-4pm – Intermediate workshop (basic knitting skills required)

Join textile artist Carol Meldrum for this informal knitting circle. Carol's work is inspired by Scotland's textile traditions, from tartan to Fair Isle, which she will use to inspire participants to start knitting or expand their knitting repertoire.

This activity is free, advance booking is essential.

Saturday 8 March

Afternoon Talk with Andrew Crummy

Macdonald Rooms, Aberdeen Art Gallery

2pm-3pm

Andrew Crummy was the artist and designer for The Great Tapestry of Scotland. Join him as he shares his experience of being involved in this remarkable project.

This activity is free, advance booking is recommended.

Saturday 15 March

Stitching Workshop with Bruce Duncan

Studio workshop, Aberdeen Art Gallery

10.30am-12.30pm – Beginners workshop (no prior stitching experience necessary)

2pm-4pm – Intermediate workshop (basic stitching skills required)

Bruce Duncan, who co-ordinated the making of Panel 85 of The Great Tapestry of Scotland, and stitched about 60% of the panel himself. In these workshops he will take participants through the techniques used in creating the tapestry.

This activity is free, advance booking is essential.

Sunday 16 March

In Conversation: Dorie Wilkie and Alison Black

Macdonald Rooms, Aberdeen Art Gallery

2pm-3.30pm

Dorie Wilkie was responsible for supervising sewing techniques, running workshops, visiting the stitching groups to offer advice, co-ordinating all of the volunteers, keeping spirits high and preparing the finished tapestry for exhibition. Alison Black co-ordinated the Kelly's Cats group in Aberdeen, which stitched Panel 129. Join them as they share the stories of working on The Great Tapestry of Scotland.

Free admission, advance booking is essential. Fiona Mair-  Learning manager & activities organisor for Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Wednesday 19 March

Lunchtime Talk with Alison Black

Aberdeen Art Gallery

12.30pm-1pm

Community arts officer Alison Black will talk about working with local group Kelly's Cats and their involvement in The Great Tapestry of Scotland.

Free admission, advance booking is essential.

Saturday 29 March

Sweetheart Pincushions with Jennifer McHardy

Studio workshop, Aberdeen Art Gallery

10.30am-4.30pm (including 1 hour for lunch) – for intermediate level stitchers

Join textile artist Jennifer McHardy to create individual sweetheart pincushions. These keepsakes were often made by soldiers to send home to their loved ones, which is poignant as 2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. Lots of techniques will be involved including appliqué, beading and embroidery.

This activity is free but advance booking is essential.

Booking information

Places for the workshops and talks are limited so advance booking is required. Bookings can be made from Monday 17 February by telephoning Aberdeen Art Gallery on (01224) 523677.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland will be on display until Saturday 19 April 2014.

Opening times

Tuesday – Saturday 10am-5pm

Sunday – 1pm-4pm

Closed Monday

Admission free

www.aagm.co.uk