Continuing their rich history of artistic collaborations throughout the years, in 1976, Dovecot Tapestry Studio – then Edinburgh Tapestry Company – started to focus on producing tapestries with leading British Modern artists, such as Peter Blake, David Hockney and Graham Sutherland. Even though this project was never fulfilled in its entirety at the time, a great collaboration between Sutherland and the studio began and several woven pieces were created, including a large carpet (1976), and wall tapestries Form against Leaves (1976), Emblem on Yellow, and Emblem on Red (1977). A second edition of this last work, known to be his favourite piece in the medium, was created in 1980 and is now part of the National Museum of Scotland’s collection, which holds a number of post-1950s tapestries, most of which were woven by Dovecot Studios.
The work of this renowned twentieth-century British artist was found to be highly suitable for tapestries, with his characteristic use of bold rich colours translating very well and gaining even more depth in the medium of wool. Sutherland’s original sketch for Emblem in Red was deliberately quite small, as the artist was interested to see how it would develop when transferred into a different medium.
Emblem on Red (1980) was chosen to feature in the publication ‘From Scotland to the World: Treasure’s from the National Museum of Scotland’, which celebrates the 150th anniversary of the museum and showcases over 100 of the treasures across all departments of its collections. The tapestry is also currently on display at the National Museum of Scotland.