Scottish Diaspora Tapestry : The Complete Official Guide with Commentaries
The Second Edition of the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry will be published on 31st May 2015. It will include all 305 panels which have now been completed to make the tapestry complete. The 1st Edition which sold out in 2014 only contained the initial 167 panels completed by Homecoming 2014.
The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry 2nd Edition brings extraordinary tales back home to Scotland. Tales of Scots’ accomplishments across the world after they left their homes to build new lives often many thousand miles away. Clearly they and their descendants today never lost a deeply held pride in Scotland’s culture and its democratic ideals: they took with them their religion, skills in medicine, engineering, botany, education, administration, agriculture and more besides.
Hundreds of stitchers in twenty five countries have volunteered thousands of hours to craft the panels pictured in this book. In every one of the panels their diaspora tales unfold whether it be of the arrival of tea in India, the creation of a steel works in Corby England, military leadershiop in Sweden and Russia, national parks and tobacco growing in the USA, sugar plantations in Jamaica or the gold rush in Australia. More often than not Scot’s presence around the world stimulated migration to Scotland by the peoples they lived amongst, creating ‘reverse’ diaspora from countries such as Italy, Lithuania, India and Poland.
This ambitious international artwork was conceived and led by the Prestoungrange Arts Festival in Prestonpans as successor/encore to The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry. The appetite for great embroideries, which that 104 metre tale of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s campaign to regain the throne for the Stuarts in 1745 has stimulated, demanded no less. its creation was deliberately time to coincide with Homecoming 2014. Furthermore, as can be seen in the text of this book, it champions use of the Gaelic language which many who created Scotland’s diaspora spoke when they left its shores. Beathag Mhoireasdan has made all the translations provided.
Historical and image research was undertaken by individuals and communities across the globe and in Prestonpans, to provide the bases for the designs all of which have been created by Andrew Crummy. Leadership amongst the stitchers, line and wool shipping, stretching and backing of the panels, and the gently administration of the project were the roles of Gillian Hart and Yvonne Murphy. Fund raising, exhibitions, publicity, website, facebook and finally editing this volume [in close partnership with John Unwin] have been the responsibility of Arran Johnston and Gordon Prestoungrange.