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Scottish Diaspora Tapestry Exhibit

Scottish Diaspora Tapestry Panels Arrive in Ottawa

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In early January the 300 plus panels that make up the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry arrived at the main branch of the Ottawa public Library for an extended visit. The panels are entirely done in Crewel work on a linen background. The wool for them used was provided by the Appleton Wool company. If the panels were all put together continuously it becomes one of the largest tapestry works in the world at over 160 metres long. The embroidery on these panels was done by 1000 or so embroiderers from around the world. Some panels being completed by a single person and others by a team. Some of our friends in the Winnipeg Embroiderer's Guild worked on these panels.

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The designs for the tapestry were created by artist Andrew Crummy with stories and input from the various diaspora communities around the globe. As I viewed them, I found some of the stories to be educational sometimes sad and in some cases quite humorous. I was rather taken with the one about a town in Italy named Barga where the largest group of Scots descendants resides. I chuckled at the concept of a small Italian town having a "Fish & Chips Festival". I goes without saying the the crewel work on all of these panels is a lesson in good crewel embroidery. I noticed some amusing touches such as a bell of a locomotive engine had been stitched in yellow rayon took make it look metallic against the Appleton wool colours it contrasted with.
If you wish to view the tapestry It will be on display at the main branch of the Ottawa Public Library until January 25th. It will tour to Iceland after it leaves Ottawa. There is a guide app that you can download from the Tapestry website to help you enjoy the experience more fully. You will find it at:
Scottish Diaspora Tapestry Website
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Mike Parr

OVGS Past President

Please note all photos accompanying the article are courtesy of, and copyrighted to
Jenny Bruce and The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry Organization. We Thank them both for granting us permission to use them here.

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