From Essex to Galashiels: Grayson’s Panels at the Great Tapestry of Scotland

Grayson Perry, 'Friend all agree they were “A Perfect Match”'
Grayson Perry, 'Friends all agree they were “A Perfect Match”'

The Essex House Tapestries: The Life of Julie Cope

Thu - Mon 09:30 - 17:00

The Great Tapestry of Scotland Centre
14-20 High Street
Scottish Borders

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The architectural award-winning visitor centre for the Great Tapestry of Scotland in Galashiels is home for two panels from artist Grayson Perry CBE RA’s The Essex House Tapestries: The Life of Julie Cope, until 14th August.

Part of the Crafts Council Collection, Perry’s tapestries tell the life story of a fictional Essex character called Julie Cope from her birth to her untimely death following a motorbike accident. Rich in cultural and architectural details, they reflect a social history of Essex and issues of class and wealth distinct to modern Britain. To produce the tapestries Perry worked closely with weavers to translate the vivid 1970’s colour palette of his original digital drawings into a woven textile.

Sandy Maxwell-Forbes, Great Tapestry of Scotland Centre Director, said, ‘Grayson’s tapestries exemplify his love and understanding of the versatility of textiles as a fantastic story-telling medium which provides the opportunity to create so many different textures through expert selection of patterns and tensions, from a crumpled crisp packet to the movement of flowing water.’

The brainchild of author Alexander McCall Smith, The Great Tapestry of Scotland tells the people’s true story of Scotland from millions of years BC to the present day. One of the world’s largest community arts projects, it was hand-stitched by a team of 1,000 stitchers from across Scotland, using 160 linen panels and over 300 miles of wool – enough to stretch the entire length of Scotland from the border with England to the tip of Shetland. The panels were designed by artist Andrew Crummy based on a narrative written by Scottish Borders-based award-winning writer and historian Alistair Moffat.


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