First stitch on the Skylark IX Community Tapestry!
The Skylark IX Recovery Project celebrated as Margaret Reid of Alexandria added the first stitch and marked the official start of work on the Skylark IX Community Tapestry.
The Skylark IX Community Tapestry will be created over coming months by the Dumbarton-based Skylark IX Recovery Project, which cares for the Dunkirk ‘Little Ship’ Skylark IX and runs projects helping those in need across the community.
The Tapestry, which is being created as part of the Year of Stories and is inspired by the Great Tapestry of Scotland, will feature 12 panels created by the Project’s Skylark IX in Stitches textile group.
The Skylark IX Recovery Project also plans to run summer drop in sessions to engage members of the wider community. At the sessions, participants will learn new hand stitching, embroidery and applique skills and add their own creative contribution to the Tapestry.
The Skylark IX Community Tapestry, which is being made mostly of recycled fabric, thread and yarn donated by the community, will feature a different chapter in Skylark IX’s life on each panel.
The panels will begin with Skylark IX’s journey around the country as a working pleasure boat, through her service during wartime and on Loch Lomond where she carried Veterans during Remembrance events. The panels will conclude with her new role today inspiring those recovering from addictions.
As they create the Tapestry under the guidance and tuition of textile artist and historian Suzanne Marshall, the stitchers will also weave in their own personal stories of physical and metaphorical ‘journeys’.
Work on the Skylark IX Community Tapestry will be on display at ‘Skylark Stories’, a free family event taking place in the grounds of the Scottish Maritime Museum (Denny Tank), on Castle Street, Dumbarton, on Saturday 4 June.
Jade West, Community Engagement Co-ordinator at the Skylark IX Recovery Project explains:
“We’re looking forward to watching our Skylark IX in Stitches group and folk across the community coming together to create a fabulous visual storybook, blending Skylark IX’s life, our national maritime heritage and our local industrial and social history.
“Skylark’s adventures reflect the growth of trips to the seaside at the start of last century, through the terror and heroism of World War Two, to the more peaceful stories of day trips to Portobello and Loch Lomond from the 1970s to 2000s.
“Nearer to home, the Tapestry will draw on the area’s world-famous Turkey Red dye manufacturing plant and whisky bottling through to Dumbarton’s links to Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret Macdonald, who were married in the town.
“We hope as many people across the community can pop along to our summer drop in sessions and get involved in this unique project.”
Textile artist and historian Suzanne Marshall, who is helping lead the Skylark IX Community Tapestry, adds:
“We’re thrilled to begin our Skylark IX Community Tapestry and want it to be a truly collaborative community creation.
“Along with our regular ten stitchers, we hope as many groups and individuals will get involved when we take the Skylark IX Community Tapestry out into the community during the summer.
“It’ll be a great opportunity for everyone to learn some new embroidery skills and add their own stamp on the Tapestry as they add a stitch or two themselves.”
The Skylark IX Community Tapestry builds on the success of the Project’s Skylark IX Lockdown Quilt, created by 50 people across Dumbarton during the first Lockdown, in 2020.
The Skylark IX Lockdown Quilt is currently on display at the Scottish Maritime Museum (Denny Tank) in Dumbarton as part of the Skylark IX Recovery Project’s new travelling exhibition ‘Hope Floats’.
The Skylark IX in Stitches textile group was formed last Autumn after the popularity of the Project’s free Make Do and Mend summer sessions showed that opportunities for adults to come together and learn new skills were needed in Dumbarton.
The Skylark IX Recovery Project cares for the Dunkirk ‘Little Ship’ Skylark IX and runs projects helping people in need across the community. These include a Boatbuilding Workshop delivering skills training and confidence building for people recovering from addictions.Filed under: News