December 1, 2015
Magna Carta (An Embroidery)
British artist, Cornelia Parker has produced a 13 metre-long embroidery of the Magna Carta Wikipedia page to celebrate the document's 800th anniversary.
“I love the idea of taking something digital and making it into an analogue, hand-crafted thing” says Cornelia Parker. Due to the evolving nature of Wikipedia the artist chose last year's version of the page as a basis for her work, fixing this version in a tangible form.
This epic embroidery incorporates contributions from over 200 people. The majority of the text was stitched by prisoners which was lead by the social enterprise Fine Cell Work. Hand & Lock, the Royal School of Needlework and the British Embroiderers' Guild were also major contributors.
Many other individuals were invited to embroider a few words including judges, lawyers, civil rights campaigners, members of parliament, artists and musicians. “I thought carefully about the words they should stitch. For instance, Baroness Warsi, Eliza Manningham-Buller, Julian Assange and numerous prisoners have all stitched the word ‘freedom’, but all have different relationships to it.”
“I wanted the embroidery to raise questions about where we are now with the principles laid down in the Magna Carta, and about the challenges to all kinds of freedoms that we face in the digital age. Like a Wikipedia article, this embroidery is multi-authored and full of many different voices. ”
The work is currently on tour across the UK.