Translation of "tapisser" French to English can mean: to carpet, to decorate
Since 2009 to 2014 I have drawn and designed 3 large-scale tapestries, The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry, The Great Tapestry of Scotland and The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry (The "Scots Abroad") Tapestry. The aftermath of these has been other smaller tapestries such as Mount Felix Tapestry, Gordon Highlanders Tapestry, Peoples' Panel and others.
That is well over 600 drawings. getting them ready for well over 2000 stitchers to do their magic. It has been a privilege to be able to design and draw these projects.
I am honoured and humbled that so many stitchers have transformed these drawings to another level; all the historians and experts who have contributed information: all those that helped with the planning and fundraising; all those that contributed ideas and drawings (in particular the tags); all who have traced the panels onto the linen; all those who have got the kits ready for the stitchers; all those who have stretched, blocked, backed, hand stitched and prepared each panel ready for exhibiting; all those that have organised exhibitions and tours; all those that put the exhibitions up; all those that have organised a range of events around the tapestries.
The range of events that can surround these tapestries are from talks about stitching, the history and the designing, to civic receptions and part of festivals. From the very first musical interpretation of the Battle of Prestonpans in Eriskay Community Centre to the many events in Ayr Town Hall when The Great Scottish Tapestry exhibited shows how these community artworks will work in the future. These events are often not just about stitching or the artwork but a range of other artworks like music, dance, storytelling, literature, etc.
As these tapestries progress through tours, talks and events, with over 600,000 visitors, its seems they are making a wider impact. The Peoples' Panel, now housed in The Scottish Parliament had over 10,000 adding a stitch. But now there are other artworks being produced, which are not only about creativity but telling their own story or history. A Community Arts project like is this is an invitation to be creative and tell your story. These are truly community artworks.