A Holyrood stitch-up – the people’s contribution to great tapestry project celebrated

09.03.2016

A new panel of the Great Tapestry of Scotland which celebrates the Scottish Parliament’s enduring connection to one of Scotland’s most ambitious arts projects has been unveiled at Holyrood. 

The embroidered panel was stitched by an estimated 10,000 people from communities across Scotland and reflects the Scottish Parliament’s role in helping to launch the Tapestry back in 2013. 

The Presiding Officer, Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP, said: 

“With the participation of people in communities from Glenrothes to Glasgow and Lerwick to Largs, the Great Tapestry is a truly engaging celebration of Scotland’s history, culture and politics. The People’s Panel will serve as a permanent reminder of the involvement of both the Parliament and the many people from across Scotland in its creation. 

“I’ll long remember the queues of people who flocked to see the Great Tapestry during both of its showings here. The People’s Panel not only celebrates key moments in Scotland’s story, but it also celebrates the unique relationship between the Tapestry, the people and the Parliament.” 

The Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer, Tricia Marwick MSP, was joined by artist Andrew Crummy and historian, Alistair Moffat for the unveiling. Also in attendance were a few of the estimated 10,000 people who had added a stitch of their own to the ‘People’s Panel.’

Holyrood hosted the first public showing of the Great Tapestry in 2013 and welcomed it back after a tour of Scotland a year later. In all, the tapestry exhibition attracted more than 100,000 visitors during its time at Holyrood. During its second showing in the Parliament, visitors were invited to add a stitch to the ‘People’s Panel.’ 

The ‘People’s Panel’ includes imagery of the ‘stitchers’ as well as architectural features of the Parliament building, such as the committee meeting room ceilings in the form of upturned boats and the leaf-shaped garden lobby roof lights. 

Andrew Crummy, said: 

“It was an honour to design this panel and a joy to see so many thousands of people adding a stitch. I’ve met many people who were thrilled to have added a stitch and to have had the opportunity to contribute to a small piece of history.”

Alastair Moffat, said: 

“The Great Tapestry of Scotland is unique – a history of Scotland made by thousands of Scots. The stitchers gave more than 100,000 hours to create 162 panels – and it is only fitting that people from all over the world, those who have seen the tapestry, should have a chance to contribute and stitch another piece of our story.”

Background

At over 143 metres long and made up of 160 individual sections, the Great Tapestry of Scotland became the longest tapestry in the world when it was completed in 2013.

The People’s Panel has been located in the Parliament’s Main Hall, an area of the Parliament accessible to all visitors free of charge.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland itself will be on display at Scotland’s Jute Museum at Verdant Works, Dundee 19 March – 1 May 2016.

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