The Great Tapestry Of Scotland. Konstruktion nationaler Identität mit Nadel und Faden


  • Katharina Primke



In Great Britain, a region traditionally associated with needlework, a special phenomenon of commemorative embroidery projects aiming to visualize history has emerged around the turn of the millennium. This paper focuses on one of these projects, The Great Tapestry of Scotland (2012–2013), a large-scale tapestry of 160 individual panels, hand-embroidered by over 1000 stitchers. Its topic is the history of Scotland beginning with the tectonic formation of the British Isles and ending with events close to its manufacturing date. However, in contrast to depicting a political national history concentrating on wars and battles the panels primarily follow people’s lives through the centuries. Providing the first art-historical analysis of this piece, this paper asks how and why collaborative embroidery is used to depict this particular version of Scottish history. In doing so, it pays special attention to the meta-textile framing of the shown scenery.