Scottish Diaspora Tapestry, first panel delivered with a surprise

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At 9.45 this morning the first of the panels for the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry, from Barga arrived at The Prestoungrange Gothenburg, on the High St in Prestonpans, Scotland.

The press conference to launch this project took place just a few weeks ago (article here) but today the women who have participated in this ambitious project can breath a collective sigh of relief. Their work, at least for the moment is finished – if everything is deemed satisfactory then the other four or five panels depicting the Barga emigration story in Scotland will then be sent back to Italy and work can begin once again in earnest for the completion and showing of the finished tapestry ready for the Scotland homecoming event in 2012.

So far six people here in Barga have been working on Andrew Crummy’s design – Lucia Pieroni, Lia Baldacci, Federica Caproni, Stefania Gugliesi,Roberta Carradini and Maria Elena Caproni and there is a short list of other people wanting to take part in this project for the new panels.

Scottish Diaspora Tapestry is a large embroidery depicting the events of the Scottish diaspora. and is the brainchild of the Prestongrange Arts Festival, the former Chairman of the Trust (Gordon Baron Prestoungrange), and the designer Andrew Crummy. Barga with its long history of movement between the city and Scotland has been given the chance to contribute to this exciting project with a series of embroidered panels in the tapestry. The main design will be done by the Scottish artist Andrew Crummy who will print his finished image onto the linen panels and which along with the needles, wool and thread will then sent to the volunteers so that they can start work stitching the final panels. The organisers are intending to have ready, finished and on show the completely new tapestry depicting the events of the Scottish diaspora as part of the Scotland homecoming event in 2012

The finished panel now in the hands of the organisers in Prestonpans, Scotland carries with it a small surprise. The organisers asked that the women leave an embroidered symbol containing their initials in the bottom right hand corner of the tapestry. Instead of a simple design they instead used part of the ibarga project which has been running in Barga since 2008 and attached a small QR code which if scanned with a smartphone or tablet with take the viewer automatically to a small video where each of the women introduce themselves.

Technology from the 21st century connected to a tapestry – a medium that has a history going back to the middle ages.

The women taking part in the project photographed in the office of giornaledibarganews in Piazza Angelio – Lucia Pieroni, Lia Baldacci, Federica Caproni, Stefania Gugliesi,Roberta Carradini and Maria Elena Caproni



Alle 9.45 di questa mattina il pannello ricamato a Barga per partecipare alla creazione dello Scottish Diaspora Tapestry è giunto a destinazione, presso la sede del Prestoungrange Gothenburg.

La presentazione del ricamo, ormai completo, era avvenuta già qualche settimana fa, ma dato che gli organizzatori avevano richiesto di personalizzare il lavoro ricamando le iniziali delle partecipanti in un angolo del pannello, è stato necessario un po’ di tempo in più prima di spedire il lavoro.

In realtà, le ricamatrici di Barga (Lucia Pieroni, Lia Baldacci, Federica Caproni, Stefania Gugliesi, Roberta Carradini e Maria Elena Caproni) hanno fatto di più, dato che, sotto la guida di Keane, è stato realizzato un apposito QR Code che rimanda a un video, dove ognuna di loro racconta come e perché è entrata a far parte del progetto.

Barga ha così onorato il suo impegno e al contempo ha mandato nel mondo un ricamo che non reca solo le iniziali delle autrici ma anche le loro voci, accostando la tecnologia del Ventunesimo secolo ad un’arte antica.

Soddisfatta del primo lavoro, adesso alla bella squadra di ricamatrici barghigiane non resta che attendere l’arrivo degli altri pannelli su cui lavorare per contribuire a realizzare il lungo “tapestry” che sarà presentato in Scozia per l’Homecoming 2012, e che sarà poi esposto in tutti i paesi partecipanti.


Overview of QR Codes

A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera,smartphones and tablets. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.

Common in Japan, where it was created by Toyota subsidiary Denso-Wave in 1994, the QR code is one of the most popular types of two-dimensional barcodes. QR is the abbreviation for Quick Response, as the creator intended the code to allow its contents to be decoded at high speed.

Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR Codes are now used in a much broader context, including both commercial tracking applications and convenience-oriented applications aimed at mobile phone users (known as mobile tagging). QR Codes can be used to display text to the user, to add a vCard contact to the user’s device, to open a URI or to compose a text message or email. Users can also generate and print their own QR Code for others to scan and use by visiting one of several free QR Code generating sites. Frank C. Hudetz, a US Marketing Services Professional, claims to have invented the idea of mapping bar codes to a URL.

QR Codes storing addresses and URLs may appear in magazines, on signs, buses, business cards, or on just about any object about which users might need information. Users with a camera phone equipped with the correct reader application can scan the image scan the image of the QR Code to display text, contact information, connect to a wireless network, or open a web page in the phone’s browser. This act of linking from physical world objects is known as a hardlink or physical world hyperlinks.


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The women of Bayeux were no match for the Belles of Barga Scozese. The tapestry’s first panel is a marvel of design and execution. Complimenti.