|detail of French Shore Tapestry, copyright J C Roy and Christina Roy 2007-2009|
I have been thinking about this post for a while. I want to talk about the beautiful embroidered tapestry that Ned and I visited when we were in Newfoundland last week, the French Shore Tapestry in Conche. We met Joan Simmonds, the program director of the interpretive center where the 220 foot long tapestry hangs and found out how the tapestry came about.
In 2002, Jean Claude Roy, a prolific painter of scenes of Newfoundland, was inspired to create an artwork that would show the history of Newfoundland, and he and his wife Christina developed the idea of a tapestry over the next two years. They presented their idea to the French Shore Historical Society in 2004 and offered to work with them as partners. The resulting tapestry project began in 2007, a co-production between the society and Christina and Jean Claude Roy, and involved many local men and women from the village of Conche. The complete history of the tapestry and some of the story and images from it are on the dedicated website, but nothing is better than making that trek up the northern peninsula of Newfoundland to see (and want to touch, but not touch) this artwork in person.
|detail of French Shore Tapestry, copyright JC Roy and Christina Roy, 2007 - 2009 photo Judith e Martin)|
|French Shore Tapestry detail, copyright JC Roy and Christina Roy, 2007-2009 (photo Judith e Martin)|
the website page where they introduce themselves and speak a bit about the experience of stitching together. Many of these stitchers are continuing to meet and have started work on another immense project, a tapestry that tells about the important (to Newfoundland's fishing and settlement) Treaty of Utrecht. Wow.
The famous Bayeux tapestry (900 years old) now has its own museum in Normandy, France. There is also an embroidered copy of it - with a museum in Reading UK.
|Keiskamma Tapestry (detail)|
It is inspiring that through sewing and internet we connect with each other across the world, across high art and craft. In England there is the is the Quaker Tapestry, stitched by 4,000 people and the Overlord Tapestry worked by the Royal School of Needlework. Then there is the Palestinian tapestry that I had not heard of until just now.
Last week, the Quilt of Belonging came to Manitoulin Island and that was immensely powerful. A group project that originated in Canada but takes in the entire world, it deserves a separate post.
Images of the french shore tapestry have been approved by the artists and the curator of the interpretation centre.