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.

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