During my trip last September to the UK we went to see the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry at Anchor Mill in Paisley, Scotland. Anchor Mill is now an exhibition space, but it’s the original building of the Anchor threads that we fiber artists know. This exhibition celebrates Scottish heritage and culture not just in Scotland but around the world, wherever Scots have settled. The Tapestry is actually comprised of well over 300 embroidered panels and counting, as stitchers continue to send them in. Artist Andrew Crummy drew the outline of all of the panels which were then sent to interested stitchers. Some panels are completed more simply while others have obviously been stitched by master embroiderers. The exhibition was hung by country, and it was fascinating to see what Crummy selected to portray in his drawings for the various countries.
Among the images below, notice the amazing embroidery in the woman’s collar and the panel from India featuring Anchor Mill and thread. A panel from the US features John Muir. It was only one of three of Muir, showing the importance he has played in our country’s history. I love the panel from Pakistan, because it looks just like what I would expect if I were there–very colorful. My favorite panel is from France and shows Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret MacDonald. We had just visited the couple’s House For an Art Lover in Glasgow, one of the most original homes I have ever seen. Not only is the structure wonderful, but it is filled with furniture and art the couple designed and created specifically for it. It may seem surprising the Mackintosh/MacDonald panel came from France, but this is where the couple ultimately lived. I’ve also included a panel from Great Britain showing the advent of the Industrial Revolution.