Expatriate Scots and descendants of Scottish immigrants across the world are being invited to take part in a project to create a Diaspora Tapestry to be unveiled during the 2014 Year of Homecoming.
Brazil is one of the 25 countries that have been identified and the organizers in Scotland are trying to find representatives and volunteers here who can contribute to the Tapestry by documenting the contribution Scots have made to Brazil.
Each community will be invited to produce between five and ten panels, each measuring 50cm x 50cm.
Obvious candidates for portrayal are Thomas Cochrane, the admiral who helped Brazil gain its independence from Portugal, Charles Miller, who brought football to Brazil and whose father was from Glasgow, and Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Brazil’s greatest 20th century poet who often referred to his Scottish ancestors.
The outline of the Tapestry is being designed by Andrew Crummy, the artist behind the recently launched Great Tapestry of Scotland and Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry, an extraordinary 104-meter artwork which was embroidered by 200 volunteers from around Scotland.
It shows the early part of the Jacobite campaign of 1745 and was inspired by the Norman Bayeux Tapestry.
Since its completion in 2010 it has attracted thousands of visitors as it tours the country.
The organizers believe its enormous success is due to the passion of the volunteers who created it, the astonishing quality of the artwork and embroidery, and fascinating history it depicts.
The 2014 Year of Homecoming provides the perfect arena for the assembly of the tapestry, with representatives from each community accompanying their panels to Scotland for an extensive program of events and celebrations.
Yvonne Murphy Tapestry Coordinator said: “We want the Diaspora community to tell us what the Scots did when they got to Brazil. Who were the first Scots? Important characters such as Thomas Donahue, Charlie Miller and Dr Robert Reid Kalley are already on our list but are there other stories that should be included? Andrew Crummy will translate the information and images relating to the Diaspora stories into design.
“We are also looking for people in Brazil to stitch the panels. Each panel is 50 x 50cm and we provide the traced linen, wool, reference drawing and guidelines. The stitchers need not be experts or even of Scottish descent but should have an enthusiasm for taking part in this global community project.”
The Tapestry is scheduled for completion in early 2014 and all the panels of the tapestry will be brought together in Scotland as part of Homecoming 2014 celebrations.
It will become part of a range of events throughout the year across Scotland, as well as being the focus for celebrations in its own right. After 2014, there will be an opportunity for the tapestry to travel to the Diaspora communities.
If you want to become involved or obtain further information, please contact Yvonne Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.scottishdiasporatapestry.org or find them on Facebook. John Fitzpatrick can be contacted at email@example.com.