Last Thursday I finally got to see the exhibition in all its glory. Wonderful it was too. A special attraction of course was our own panel on Victorian Dundee. This was my first chance to see it all done up and stretched. It does make a difference to see it hanging and it did not look out of place among all the other wonderful panels. Here it is.
The exhibition has been exceptionally and perhaps surprisingly well attended. There seems to have been queues every day. Certainly last Thursday there were still long queues to get in. It is nice to have the tapestry on display at the Scottish Parliament as the home of our democracy. Though in truth it is not a very suitable venue for such a large exhibition. Over 160 panels stretching for 143 metres! The panels were laid out in narrow rows which you had to go up and down to see them all. However there were so many people inside that you moved at a snail’s pace and you could never really stand back and see the whole thing. Still, wonderful to get it displayed at all and many thanks to all the organisers involved.
As to the other panels, too many to show here and it was too difficult to take photos of all of them anyway. But below is a selection of some of them. There is no particular reason for this choice. It starts with the first panel and includes a couple of particular interest to me – the founding of the R&A golf club in St Andrews, the opening of the Scottish Parliament. Others were chosen for the bright colours or the range of textures in the stitching. Two of my favourites in this respect are the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Scots in India. Though all the panels are tremendous achievements. I end with a couple of photos from two panels to show in a bit more detail the delicate work that has gone into the project.
So it is farewell to the tapestry. It is to be shown again at the Parliament sometime next year. Hopefully it will go on display in other parts of the country before then. In the meantime there is a lovely paperback book available on the tapestry by Susan Mansfield and Alistair Moffat. Called the Great Tapestry of Scotland – The Making of a Masterpiece, it is published by Birlinn. I have a special interest to declare here as I was interviewed for the book and lo and behold I feature in the published version. My first appearance in print I think. Good little book despite that.