Saville’s warped take on Monarch
IT is the Monarch, but re-imagined in a post-modern weft and warp.
A new tapestry, skilfully made by weavers at the Dovecot Tapestry Studio in Edinburgh, sees Landseer’s Monarch of the Glen in a new light, re-drawn by the eyes of one of modern design’s biggest names, Peter Saville.
Saville’s take on the 1851 painting, which was recently bought for the nation by the National Galleries of Scotland, has been made into a 6.5ft by 5ft tapestry in wool and cotton.
The tapestry, which will be put on sale for around £65,000 when it undergoes its public “cutting off” ceremony next Wednesday, is entitled After, After, After Monarch of the Glen.
It was designed by Saville in 2002, inspired by another version of the image: a take on the painting by pop artist Sir Peter Blake.
Saville is perhaps best known for his work on a series of album sleeves for bands such as New Order and Joy Division and other bands on Factory Records in the 1980s.
The tapestry took three weavers more than 1,500 hours to create over eight months, led by Dovecote master weaver Naomi Robertson.
Five will be made in total, and Dovecote hopes that at least one of these will be shown in a public setting.
The tapestry will be cut from the loom next Wednesday, and the public are invited to attend: the first time the studio has invited the public to an event of its type.
The director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Christopher Baker, will talk about the painting at the event. Weaver Emma Jo Webster, said that Saville’s almost abstract design presented its own difficulties.
“What was so difficult about this is that when you were working on it, closely, you had to keep standing back to see how it was all coming together,” she said. “You had see how the image flowed.”
The real Monarch of the Glen is on a tour across Scotland until May.
It is at Paisley Museum and Art Gallery from January 20 to March 11 and Kirkcudbright Galleries from March 25 to May 12. The painting was acquired by the National Galleries of Scotland in March last year for £4 million.
Emma Jo Webster, one of three weavers who worked on the Monarch of the Glen tapestry which is expected to sell for £65,000.
Weaver David Cochrane and Ben Hymers work on the third of the Monarch of the Glen tapestries at Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh, based on Sir Peter Saville’s version of the Landseer.
Detail of the tapestry at Dovecot Studios.