The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry heads to New Lanark

With just 2 week to go, New Lanark prepares to turn their Exhibition Gallery into the home of the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry. Scots have migrated all over the world and have often had a profound impact on the areas where they settled. The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry project brings together stories from such communities, documenting their Scottish connections in 305 embroidered panels.  

The complete tapestry will be on display in the Exhibition Gallery at New Lanark World Heritage Site on its way home from a world-wide tour. The Tapestry is a heart-felt homage to the determination, courage and achievement of Scottish migrants and their descendants across the centuries.

The Biggar & District Embroiderers’ Guild, which began in 1979. It is celebrating its 40th year by exhibiting a variety of embroideries and textiles created by members over the years. This exhibition will also include the embroidery ‘postcards’ created by the Scottish branches of the Embroiderers’ Guild for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry was designed by Andrew Crummy, the artist behind the ‘Great Tapestry of Scotland’ and the ‘Prestonpans Tapestry’, both previously exhibited at New Lanark. There will be a talk by Andrew Crummy on Tuesday 19th March @ 2pm in School Theatre. The talk will be about his involvement in the design of the tapestry, and the different stories told in the tapestry itself. It will also be an opportunity to ask questions of him, and find out about his wider work. Tickets £2.

There will also be Drop-in Sewing Sessions over the course of the exhibition, run by Mary McCarron, which will be weekly drop-in sessions for any members of the public that would like to be involved. There will be sampler style projects for people to practice The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry heads to New Lanarkdifferent techniques and stitches, and Mary will be on hand to offer advice. The public will also be able to contribute to the community panel which will run in conjunction with the drop-in sewing sessions. For the Community Panel, members of the public will be asked to contribute to a A3 New Lanark panel (based on the themes of the Diaspora Tapestry, but not affiliated with it) about Robert Owen’s move from New Lanark to New Harmony in America.  This panel will be kept by the New Lanark Trust as a legacy of the exhibition. There will be a flat fee to contribute to either the tapestry panel or the sewing session (or both) - £2.

New Lanark, an 18th century former cotton-spinning Mill Village and one of Scotland’s 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, looks forward to offering visitors the opportunity to learn more about our Scottish history in the Diaspora’s 305 embroidered panels.

Textile production and innovation has been the continuous thread throughout New Lanark’s history, from the village’s early years as the one-time largest cotton manufacturer in Scotland, to now producing over 60 shades of high-quality woollen yarn using historic textile machinery and launching the world’s first Organic Tartan in 2015. Through this exciting partnership with the Tapestry makers, New Lanark offers the perfect backdrop for this wonderful exhibition which will be on show until the end of April 2019.

Make a day of it, post your visit to the exhibition, spend the rest of your day exploring New Lanark, learning about its fascinating history and when you have finished all of this, why not head out for a woodland walk in the falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve where you can admire the views before heading to the Mill Café for a bite to eat and a browse round the Mill Shop.

New Lanark is delighted that the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry of Scotland will be the fourth exhibition to open in its redeveloped Exhibition Gallery.  

The exhibition, which opens at New Lanark on the 2nd March, runs until the 28th April 2019.
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