Fleece to Fibre: The making of the Large Tree Group tapestry
Victoria Crowe’s celebrated painting, Large Tree Group (1975), was commisioned by Dovecot in 2012 to be created into a large tapestry as part of its centenary celebrations. Using exclusively un-dyed wool sourced from around the country, the finished tapestry – complete after hundreds of hours of careful work by Dovecot’s master weavers – is at the heart of this exhibition.
Fleece to Fibre: The Making of the Large Tree Group Tapestry explores how the project came to fruition, and traces the journey from sheep to yarn to tapestry. Some 70 producers – from small-scale crofters to large estates – across Great Britain provided wool from a wide range of sheep breeds: these remarkable animals are responsible for the entire palette of colour used in the tapestry. These fleeces were, in turn, spun by a range of specialists – again from individual spinners and small groups to commercial operations on semi-industrial scale.
This series of photographic portraits was commissioned especially for this exhibition to celebrate the diversity of those who have contributed behind the scenes.
Commissioned by Dovecot
Curated by Ben Divall
Currently on display at The National Museum of Scotland
Sue Blacker, Managing Director of The Natural Fibre Company, is pictured with her own flock of Gotland sheep, a Swedish breed, whose wool has also been woven into the tapestry. Photographed en route to the Natural Fibre Company wool processing mill in Cornwall, Sue is an advocate for small-scale quality production and sustainable industry.
A small sample undyed wools with labels from growers and spinners throughout the UK. which were used in the tapestry