Art and about in Dundee
- Louise Stoddart
- 3 March 2017
Return of the Great Tapestry of Scotland and the Dundee Design Festival cements the coastal city's cultural plans
Although Dundee was robbed of its City of Culture title for 2017, spirits remain high as the city continues to develop its cultural profile.
The waterfront is in the midst of a £1 billion redevelopment, a 30-year plan which involves the opening of the V&A Museum of Design. Ticking away in the background are numerous other design initiatives and events which aim to raise the city's cultural profile, including a two month exhibition of the Great Tapestry of Scotland (26 Aug–22 Oct) and the Dundee Design Festival (24–29 May).
The Great Tapestry of Scotland
After Verdant Works exhibited over half of the tapestry's display last summer, attracting more than 8000 visitors, the museum will show the remaining panels this autumn. The Great Tapestry is an intricate masterpiece which took more than 55,000 hours to complete, involving over 1000 stitchers who used 3000 miles of woollen yarn to make 160 panels.
The work looks back on Scottish history from the time of its launch in 2013 right back to the Ice Age and at 143 metres, it is the longest tapestry in the world.
For its autumn run, the exhibition will display 82 panels depicting significant historical events including the Vikings' invasion, the Glencoe massacre and the first ever Edinburgh Festival. Seven of the most popular panels from last year's exhibition will also be redisplayed.
Marjory Knowles, Chair of The Alexander Moncur Trust who are supporting the return of the exhibition said: 'The Tapestry is an extraordinary celebration of Scottish history and a wonderful community endeavour that has really captured the public imagination. We hope that many local people plus tourists from far and wide will visit the impressive exhibition in the stunning surroundings of the High Mill at Verdant Works.'
Dundee Design Festival
Dundee became the UK's first and only UNESCO City of Design back in 2014, an accolade which signifies the city's contribution to design worldwide. After a successful first run last year, the Dundee Design Festival makes a return in May with a five-day celebration of world-class design.
The festival explores the theme of 'Factory Floor' through a series of exhibitions, talks, demonstrations and family-friendly events. The former print factory, West Ward Works was chosen as the venue to allow the festival to explore what making means now, while supporting the popular movement of reusing abandoned spaces.
According to Siôn Parkinson, the design festival is looking to explore 'the connection between the traditional view of working factories and assembly lines together with contemporary design processes, materials and tools.'
One room at West Ward Works will be occupied by Print Festival Scotland, a collaboration between Dundee Contemporary Arts and the University of Dundee. With the help of the public the group will create an installation that combines sculpture and print, filling the space from ceiling to the floor.
Elsewhere in the building, visitors are encouraged to get creative with 3D printing, laser cutting and CNC milling, participate in other collaborative exhibitions and listen to the intriguing sounds of the Singer Machine Choir, who will imitate noises of factory machinery.