The Butterfly tapestry project was led by Dovecot Master Weaver Naomi Robertson and was the first tapestry commission Junior Weaver Freya Sewell had the opportunity to weave following the completion of her three year apprenticeship training in autumn 2013. Watt’s main impetus for Butterfly derives from the tragic story of Cio-Cio San, the central character to Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly. Taking inspiration from an obi, the sash worn as part of a Japanese kimono, the design of the tapestry references Oriental art and is feminine and sumptuous whilst conveying the drama of Cio-Cio San’s fate. Watt worked closely with Robertson to create the tapestry based on her design which started with sample making and colour choosing. This collaborative process began in January 2013 with weaving beginning in August 2013.

Butterfly reached completion with a ‘cutting off’ ceremony at Dovecot on Monday 19 May 2014.The completed tapestry is the largest piece of public art to occupy the Theatre Royal in Glasgow. It hangs over three floors in the foyers and is expected to draw visitors to the new-look theatre which is now open to the public during the day.

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