President Macron is lending the Bayeux Tapestry for exhibition in the British Museum; the medieval tapestry masterpiece The Lady and the Unicorn is on loan to the Art Gallery of NSW from 10 February; and Morning Star the new Melbourne-made tapestry is about to be placed in the Sir John Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux. The common threads here are France and tapestries. The 11th century Bayeux is technically not a tapestry but an embroidery on linen, in a sense visiting home, as it was almost certainly made in England. It depicts the Norman Conquest so there may be a message in Macron’s offer. The Lady and the Unicorn is a tapestry, indeed six panels, woven in Paris c.1500. Regarded as some of the greatest surviving masterpieces of medieval European art, they are enigmatic, for mystery surrounds their origin and meaning.
Morning Star, on the other hand, is designed to be a perpetual commemoration of the 46,000 Australian lives lost on the Western Front. It’s being hung for the opening on Anzac Day of the Sir John Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux. Woven entirely at the excellent Australian Tapestry Workshop, South Melbourne, Morning Star is designed by Lyndell Brown and Charles Green who have been official war artists in Iraq and Afghanistan. Seven weavers took over 4,000 hours to realise the image (above), briefly on display until 25 February at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance.
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