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A co-ordinator has been appointed to the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands tapestry project to oversee an army of volunteer stitchers, including a sizeable contingent from Lochaber and the Hebrides.
Kirstie Campbell works as a freelance designer and educator for the V&A Museum in Dundee, delivering creative workshops to audiences of all ages across a range of creative disciplines with a design focus.
The tapestry is being created as part of the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project which will be delivered in partnership with VisitScotland and aims to generate benefits for communities, helping to unlock economic potential and improve visitor experiences across the region by engaging people with our rich natural and cultural heritage.
The tapestry team recently issued a call for volunteer stitchers and say they were ‘overwhelmed’ with the response with more than 400 people looking to take part.
The tapestry will be designed by artist Andrew Crummy, designer of The Prestonpans Tapestry, The Great Tapestry of Scotland, The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry and many others.
Historian Alistair Moffat will curate the content, drawing inspiration from stories submitted by communities and using his extensive knowledge of Scottish history and culture.
Ms Campbell, who will be part of the team managing the project, said she was delighted to be offered the position of stitch co-ordinator.
‘It’s such an honour for me to learn from the team which conceived and delivered the epic Great Tapestry of Scotland,’ she added.
‘A huge part of my role as stitch co-ordinator is going to be working with the volunteer stitchers, from beginner stitchers to experienced ones. This is where the project will really come alive as everyone gets involved in sharing their stories through stitch. I can’t wait.’
Each panel will be allocated to a voluntary stitching group. These groups may vary in size from just a couple of people to a dozen or more.
In Lochaber, this includes a large group in Nether Lochaber, numbering around 16 people. In the Small Isles there is a group of one person on Canna, three on Rum and three on Eigg.
On Skye there are two groups, one in the north and one in the south, and combined they total 23 people. The Outer Hebrides currently has a group on Lewis as well as South Uist/Benbecula.
Panels will be stitched in homes and cultural hubs across the Highlands and Islands. Stitching is expected to start shortly, with all sewing complete by early 2023, at which point a team will prepare them for exhibition.
The panels will then be exhibited in the newly-transformed Inverness Castle and in exhibitions in communities.
The tapestry project is supported by a grant from the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund led by NatureScot and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
The team behind the Inverness Castle Project is working with the creative figures responsible for The Great Tapestry of Scotland on a new project, creating an embroidered tapestry that captures the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands.
Kirstie Campbell has been appointed as the project team’s stitch-co-ordinator. NO F24 KirstieCampbell