On the ground: CHINA
Yvonne Murphy gives you her account of the team's visit to China:
We arrived at the gates of the north-eastern corner of Beijing's outer city walls, and there was a woman sitting next to the ticket attendant working on a beautiful embroidery! A happy omen surely... Embroidery has a long tradition in China and so we are confident in finding stitchers for the Tapestry.
The Red Gate Gallery is Beijing’s first private contemporary art gallery and it is located in Dongbianmen Watchtower, just beyond the entry gates. It is one of the last surviving Ming dynasty towers. Brian Wallace, director of the gallery knows of several textile artists who may be interested in taking part and offered to make contact with them. An introduction by telephone made by Brian to Bruce Connolly, Scottish journalist at Radio Beijing resulted in Bruce requesting additional information that he will hopefully be able to cover on the air in due course.
John Somers, First Secretary for Scottish Affairs in Beijing is also keen to progress the project and we agreed to discuss further via conference call back in Scotland.
Ewan Smith from the Beijng Caledonian Society was unavailable to meet up but wants the society to get involved in the project.
A group of stitchers in Hong Kong will receive their first panel (East India Company and the Canton Waterfront) shortly, and others will follow so watch out for more updates in the near future...