STRIKING EXHIBITION OF TAPESTRY WEAVINGS
BRING TO LIFE A NEW UNDERSTANDING OF
THE BATTLE OF JUTLAND
Woven Waves: The Jutland Tapestries
by artist Katie Russell
Scottish Maritime Museum
Harbour Road, Irvine, Ayrshire
Saturday 14 December – Sunday 29 March 2020
Award-winning tapestry artist Katie Russell weaves together naval history, ground-breaking technology and art to explore the largest ever naval conflict, the Battle of Jutland, in her new exhibition Woven Waves which opens at the Scottish Maritime Museum on Irvine Harbourside on Saturday 14 December.
Through Woven Waves: The Jutland Tapestries, Katie reflects on what was, arguably, the world’s largest naval battle in which over 250 ships and 100,000 men clashed off the west coast of Denmark’s Jutland peninsula on 31 May 2016.
The exhibition will also include the first Scottish showing of extraordinary high resolution images of shipwrecks. Captured during the 2016 Battle of Jutland Centenary nautical archaeology expedition, they reveal what really became of the warships that vanished during that fateful battle.
The images, which were a key inspiration for Katie, were taken by nautical archaeologist and historian Dr Innes McCartney of Bournemouth University, the Sea War Museum Jutland and Danish marine experts JD contractors A/S using multibeam echo scanning technology on the seabed.
They include a scan of the shipwreck of HMS Ardent, an Acasta Class destroyer sunk on 1 June 1916 with all hands lost save her commander, Arthur Marsden, and one crew member.
Woven Waves: The Jutland Tapestries, which is included in general Museum admission, will be complemented by a series of exhibition events.
These include a talk by Nick Jellicoe, the grandson of Admiral Jellicoe who commanded the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland.
Nick Jellicoe’s talk will be followed by a signing of his books Jutland: The Unfinished Battle and The Last Days of the High Seas Fleet: From Mutiny to Scapa Flow.
Announcing the exhibition, Nicola Scott Exhibitions and Events Officer at the Scottish Maritime Museum, says:
We are thrilled to premiere Katie Russell’s rich and poignant exhibition, Woven Waves: The Jutland Tapestries and, at the same time, be able to show the fascinating multibeam images which inspired her and which have transformed our understanding of how the battle actually unfolded and what exactly happened to the vessels.
Katie is passionate about keeping the traditional craft of tapestry weaving alive so we’re also delighted to give visitors the opportunity to try out weaving for themselves through the exhibition and our complementary exhibition events.
The Woven Waves tapestries, which are also inspired by Katie’s extensive research at the Sea War Museum Jutland and Jutland Memorial Park, feature natural fibres such as wool, cotton, jute, linen and silk to mix contemporary images with traditional and historical craft techniques.
Describing one of her tapestry weavings, Splinters (Tryptic), Katie Russell says:
The title ‘Splinters’ comes from descriptions from sailors – both German and British. There were lots of references to splinters and splintering of the decks and how distorted things were…. Reading their personal accounts was pretty moving (and) I made the decision to weave words and phrases as they were incredible to read. I also liked having the jute crossing over the words and the words being hidden in the weaving.
Visitors to Woven Waves: The Jutland Tapestries will also discover a collection of artworks and objects giving an insight into the history of tapestry weaving and be able to try their hand exploring different weaving techniques on interactive tables.
Other exhibition events during Woven Waves: The Jutland Tapestries, which runs until Sunday 29 March 2020, will include an artist talk and weaving workshop led by Katie Russell and a children’s weaving workshop.