Cordis Groupwork

The Physic Garden Tapestry

Designed by Natalie Taylor, and led by Jo McDonald

As an exciting new development the Cordis Trust have this year decided to fund a new initiative to celebrate the place of Edinburgh in the contemporary development of the art of tapestry weaving. The Cordis Groupwork Tapestry will be the largest collaborative woven tapestry piece made in Edinburgh in living memory. On completion it will be displayed on loan in the Education Centre of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where it will celebrate the re- creation of the Physic Garden there, to be opened later this year.

The work will measure over three feet by four feet and is based on a design specially commissioned from artist Natalie Taylor who carried out extensive research into the history of Physic gardens and the representation of medicinal plants. Among other sources, she drew on the Hortus Medicus Edinburgensis, published 1683, which is the original catalogue of botanical specimens in the Edinburgh Physic Garden. This
garden went on to become the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, where the Groupwork will be created. The plants illustrated are Selfheal, Garlic and Foxglove, and the chemical symbols are the active compounds which make them medically useful.

The design will be divided into 64 sections, each measuring 6 inches by 4.5 inches to be completed by an
individual weaver.

Where to Weave

Weaving is an important heritage craft, and one that anyone can participate in. Check out our ‘Where to Weave’ section to find tuition, workshops, or exhibitions near you. 

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