• Michael Wolchover

Victoria Crowe’s celebrated painting, Large Tree Group (1975), was chosen by Dovecot to be woven into a large tapestry as part of their centenary celebrations in 2012. The Tapestry Studio had previously collaborated with Victoria Crowe in 2007 on Two Views tapestry, which was commissioned by the Duke of Buccleuch. The Large Tree Group Tapestry was completed in 2013 after hundreds of hours of careful work by Dovecot’s Master Weavers. Using only un-dyed wool sourced from around the country, the tapestry was presented at the heart of the Fleece to Fibre: the making of The Large Tree Group Tapestry exhibition.

Fleece to Fibre: the making of The Large Tree Group Tapestry explored the process behind the project, tracing the journey from sheep through to yarn and then into the completed tapestry. Some 70 producers across Great Britain, from small-scale crofters to large estates, provided wool from diverse sheep breeds then spun by a range of specialists – again from individual spinners and small groups to commercial operations on a semi-industrial scale.

Accompanying the work is a series of commissioned photographic portraits from renowned Scottish photographer, Alicia Bruce, which celebrate the diversity of those people who have contributed behind the scenes to this complex project. Portraits of Victoria Crowe and the Dovecot weavers sit alongside those of some of the owners and caretakers of the sheep, as well as the spinners whose work was integral to the tapestry. Fleece to Fibre: the making of The Large Tree Group Tapestry celebrated the diversity, skill and ingenuity of artists, designers and makers who choose to work with yarn and textiles. A selection from Paul Farnham’s series of photographs, published in Beautiful Sheep (2008) highlighted the range of sheep breeds that produced the un-dyed wool used in the creation of this unique collaborative tapestry.

Since it’s unveiling in Edinburgh in August 2013, The Large Tree Group Tapestry was acquired and gifted to National Museums Scotland by Sir Angus Grossart, and was made available for tour as a result of their flexibility and cooperation.

Fleece to Fibre: the making of The Large Tree Group Tapestry was curated by Ben Divall and funded by Dovecot Foundation and Creative Scotland.

Touring Venues

Australian Tapestry Workshop
Melbourne, Australia
1 April – 6 June 2014

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
Inverness, Scotland
30 August – 24 September 2014

Fleming Collection
London, England
29 October – 14 February 2015

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