March 13, 2014

Scottish Diaspora Tapestry

Olá! This week I bring a beautiful story that comes from Scotland...

Some days ago I received a challenging invitation...
Margaret and her team were looking for people in Portugal to become volunteer stitchers to take part in the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry, a project that celebrates and commemorates Scotland's history in its interaction with communities in countries abroad.

She told me there are over 150 panels being stitched in over 25 countries around the world and they would like to include Portugal. 

Presentation panel

This truly was a surprise for me and a very tempting one... I never doubted that it would be possible to find the volunteers needed to have it done, and of course I accepted the challenge... Next week I will talk about the panels that were sent to Portugal and I'll show you the work in progress... This week I'll try to explain this project that is so worth being shown.

A panel from India, photo by SDT
And their words are the best to describe it...

The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry is a community arts project celebrating the Scottish Diaspora through embroidery!

Over the centuries Scots have migrated all over the world and have often had a profound impact on the areas where they settled. This project will see 25 such communities documenting their Scottish connections on a series of embroidered panels. Their combined stories will pay homage to the incredible determination and courage of Scots over the centuries.

A panel from Hong Kong, photo by SDT

The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry is to be created by volunteers in communities across the globe. It will be assembled and displayed in Scotland as part of the 2014 Homecoming celebrations.

A panel from England, photo by SDT

All the panels were designed by Andrew Crummy, then traced by a volunteer team. The kits for each panel were prepared, including the colored design, the linen with the design already drawn on, the wools to be used and Guidelines. And then each kit was sent to specific country. Their individual interpretation is encouraged in the use of stitches and colors, to reflect local traditions.

A panel from Pakistan, photo by SDT

After returning to Scotland, the panels will be displayed in the Scottish Parliament in the summer this year, and eventually will travel around Scotland and then to other countries where Scots have settled or traded etc.

Panels from Holland, photo by SDT

This is such an inspiring and generous initiative, that brings out the best in each of us. I believe it is a celebration of our "global village" that was so big in the past and that today seems to fit inside our smaller and smaller screens...
In Portugal, this week we begun a journey between Portugal and Scotland on the tip of a needle! Come with us and share our joy...

1 comment:

  1. I'm involved in stitching 2 panels for this tapestry in Paisley in Scotland and we recently finished our panels. We are also staging an exhibition of whole tapestry in Paisley in September. Its a fabulous project.