Information session for potential stitchers - 18th Feb 2022
An online meeting was held with around 60 attendees.
The following information was shared and discussed.
John Fyffe, project lead, gave a summary of what's been done, what needs to be done and how everyone can get involved in producing a piece of work that will be a fantastic legacy project for the people of Dundee This is a project that could be added to going forward for future generations..
A small core group of people began leading on this project just pre covid. During the two year period of lockdowns etc, the business of engaging with people was unfortunately put on hold. We are now very happy to be on the journey to the completion of The Dundee Tapestry and welcome your interest and willingness to be involved.
Meet the team
John Fyffe - Project Lead
Frances Stevenson - Project Lead DJCAD
Andrew Crummy - Artist
Lyndsey Currie - Textile Designer
Alister Rutherford - Embroiderer
Judy Robertson - PR
Rhoda Miller - Historical Researcher
What we aim to achieve
An inclusive, collaborative, community based arts project featuring important parts from our history to Dundee’s transformation into Unesco City of Design.
The tapestry will include imagery and tales that makes Dundonian culture distinct:
Palais to Northern Soul
Timex to 4J Studios
Dragons to the Tay Whale and whaling
Jute to bio-science
Dancehalls, cinemas, and music, and much more
The finished product will be displayed initially at Verdant Works in June 2023, then in other community venues in Dundee - whether it be community centres, halls, etc. There will be no admission charge - that has been an important tenet for this from day one. The Tapestry will belong to the people, it should be free for all to see and use.
Information from the design team
The idea is to produce 35 one metre in diameter panels. It will start with the introductory panel, then eight general themes with the remaining panels connected to these across the themes.
There is a basic template design in place and pre-selected colour charts for the themes. Stitchers will receive a stitch pack with all of the relevant information for the panels they are working on.
If people are interested, there are opportunities to be involved with suggesting topics/ images for inclusion and possibly even contributing to the artwork. The idea is to try to encourage people to add stories to the gaps that are in the initial design.
In this way lots of little things can be added. From experience with previous tapestries it’s what a lot of people find really interesting - the personal stories and human touch.
This is what makes these tapestries special, adding a beauty and warmth – a love that just one person doing it all him or herself couldn't do. Lots of people stitching together can create this sort of moving experience – regardless of skill levels.
A fundamental part of this project is also to be inclusive as possible. It will hopefully be as much about meeting people, sharing information and having fun as it is about the practical creation of the tapestry.
There are currently 7 panels in initial stages of stitching and one ready for stitching. More will be available very soon. At all stages in the process the panels can change and evolve.
Structure and themes
Eight connected themes over 35 one square metre panels
Potential stitchers have been advised to send Lyndsey their contact details (including address) via firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate if you wish to be teamed up with other stitchers
Lyndsey will suggest groups and allocate panels as they are ready to go out.
A lot of the people who have panels at the moment are stitching from home and have been meeting up online or in person. Once people have been organised into groups by Lyndsey, we can try and figure out if there are places where people can meet up. During this meeting Sew Confident, Broughty Ferry have offered to explore options at their venue – more on this to follow.
Design structure - Communities
The lead panels have colour themes influenced by paintings that have been chosen as a colour reference. Here is an example of the design structure.
Don’t forget - The design team will be on hand to support you on your creative journey. Stitching information and useful links are available here.
Stitching information, instructions, thread and colour charts are included in the stitching pack that will accompany your allocated panel.
Drop in sessions have been arranged for the first Monday of each month at Menzieshill Community Centre 2pm to 5pm. These are predominantly for those who are already working on a panel and will allow stotchers to talk over practical and creative issues with the design team.
When new panels become available they will be distributed - along with the stitch packs at monthly meetings on Wednesdays at DJCAD by prior arrangement.