Magna Carta (an embroidery)
Since the start of the summer Fine Cell Work have been working on an exciting project which has remained under wraps until now. Fine Cell Work have been embroidering 65 sections of a new artwork by leading British artist Cornelia Parker wwhich will be shown at the British Library in summer 2015.
Responding to the legacy of Magna Carta in the digital era, Magna Carta (An Embroidery) will replicate Magna Carta’s Wikipedia article in stitch as it appeared in its entirety on the 799th anniversary on 15 June 2014. At almost 13 metres long and 1.5 metres wide the artwork will sit alongside the ‘British Library’s ‘Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy' show exploring the history and significance of this globally-recognised document. Stitched by over 200 people, much of the work has been done by Fine Cell Work prisoners alongside lawyers, civil rights campaigners, barons and MPs.
The commission aims to unpick Magna Carta’s rich history by collaborating with groups and individuals who have been associated with and affected by the document since it was first drawn up in 1215.
‘This is a snapshot of where the debate about Magna Carta is right now,’ says Cornelia Parker. ‘Echoing the communal activity that resulted in the Bayeux Tapestry, but on this occasion placing more emphasis on the word rather than the image, I want to create an artwork that is a contemporary interpretation of Magna Carta to sit alongside the British Library’s extraordinary show.’
One of our stitchers wrote ‘I feel privileged to be one part of such an important project.’
Magna Carta (An Embroidery) has been commissioned by the Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford in partnership with the British Library and in association with the Embroiderers’ Guild, Fine Cell Work, Hand & Lock and the Royal School of Needlework. The commission has been supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts
Council England and by the John Fell OUP Research Fund.
Image courtesy of the British Library/Tony Antoniou