Call closer! Large community art project seeks artists from across Caithness

Creative minds responsible for The Great Tapestry of Scotland work on a new project, creating an embroidered tapestry that captures the spirit of the Highlands and Islands.

The team needs your help and is looking for volunteer stitchers from across the Highlands and Islands to create bespoke community panels.

Sophie Gartshore, Inverness Castle Project Manager, said: “We need people’s help to build a network of stitchers based in the Highlands and Islands. Together these seamstresses will work alongside the Gobelin team, taking up needle and thread and contributing to the wonderful themes that are being developed.

An example of one of the panels created by Andrew Crummy and Kirstie Campbell.

“Sewing/textile experience is an advantage but not essential. Where necessary, we will endeavor to match inexperienced sewers with others who have experience and can help advise and guide the process. We want to encourage as many people as possible to get involved.”

Anna Marshall, Project Coordinator for the Tapestry team, said: “We are looking for committed seamstresses from communities across the Highlands and Islands to help us sew the images our team creates using wool and a variety of sewing techniques embellish to enliven and enliven them adorn the base fabric.

“There are also opportunities for those who don’t want to sew – the project will need logistical and hands-on support with equipment and outreach, so the team are also keen to hear from anyone who might be interested in sharing their carpentry skills to contribute voluntarily, textile production or performance and workshop provision.”

The tapestry is designed by artist Andrew Crummy – designer of The Prestonpans Tapestry, The Great Tapestry of Scotland, The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry and many others.

Historian Alistair Moffat will curate the content, drawing inspiration from stories submitted by local communities and drawing on his vast knowledge of Scottish history and culture.

Alistair will develop a design – reflecting the stories of the community exploring the connection between people and landscape in the Highlands and Islands – and then work with Andrew Crummy to create a series of stunning images that embody the spirit of the Highlands and Islands .

Each lane is assigned to a volunteer sewing group. These groups can vary in size from just a few people to a dozen or more.

Volunteers are invited to apply as individuals or as part of an existing group wishing to stitch together. Anyone who applies as an individual will be introduced to other approachers from their area in order to form new groups.

The panels are sewn in homes and cultural centers in the Highlands and Islands. Sewing is expected to begin in early summer 2022, and all sewing must be completed by early 2023, at which time a team will prepare them for exhibition. Some panels are designed for display in the castle, others for display in local areas.

Volunteer applications can be submitted online at:

Alternatively you can request a registration pack by emailing

Or write to: Anna Marshall, Spirit of the Highlands Tapestry, 5 West Stanhope Place, Edinburgh, EH12 5HQ

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