Media Release: STAR* Returns with ‘Vive la Tapisserie! 3′ miniature tapestries exhibition with artist, Sue Timney


FOR the third year running STAR* returns to the French Institute with an exhibition of miniature tapestries – Vive la tapisserie!3, and a series of public tapestry workshops. This follows on from their successful retrospective That was Then: This is Now at the City Art Centre, Edinburgh, at the turn of the year.

Tapestry is a singular medium with a long history, an obsession for some, an anachronism for others, but with a unique sensuality which appeals to the senses in both a visual and a haptic way, even when the work is on a small scale. In Edinburgh tapestry came directly from the French Gobelin tradition, where content was always more important than the mere manipulation of the yarn.

STAR* began four years ago with the aim of raising the profile of Scottish tapestry and held the inaugural exhibition, Vive la Tapisserie at the French Institute. All the members of STAR* graduated from the Tapestry Department at Edinburgh College of Art and many have also been connected with the Edinburgh Tapestry Company (Dovecot Studios). The Tapestry Department was always characterised by a freedom of expression and a broad view about the possibilities of the medium, which allowed students to develop their own concerns and interests and the freshness of this approach was reinforced by an openness to what tapestry could be, rather than teaching how it was and ought to be.

Three generations of tapestry weavers are included in this show, some of whom were involved in the beginnings of the Tapestry Department, while others were among the last graduates. This membership core will be joined once again by invited exhibitors.

STAR* members exhibit regularly all over the world and their work is to be found in public buildings and collections both here and abroad including in Edinburgh the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the Royal Scottish Museum, the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Executive and the City Art Centre. Some of the group are currently showing in la 9e triennale internationale des mini-textiles which began at Musée Jean Lurcat et de la Tapisserie contemporaine  at Angers in 2009 and which will conclude a worldwide tour this summer.  

The STAR* collective is delighted to welcome as guest artist this year Sue Timney, a Postgraduate in Tapestry in 1977. Sue set up her company Timney-Fowler on leaving RCA in 1979, opening her first shop in Notting Hill in 1983. Since then the business has continued to expand and she has developed projects all over the world, while continuing in her teaching role as Visiting Professor of Textiles at the RCA where she was elected an Honorary Fellow in 2006. Prince Philip Designer of the Year in 1991 she, along with many other prizes and awards has been twice the recipient of the Roscoe Award for Product Design in USA. More recently she was commissioned to design carpets for The Rug Company and in 2010 the Fashion and Textile Museum in London held a Retrospective of her work.

As part of ‘La Tête et les Jambes’ – the programme of the French Institute for the Olympic year, a series of tapestry workshops ‘Weave a Portrait’ is run concurrently with the exhibition and a large gobelin loom will be in situ so a communal tapestry can be made over that period.

To take part in this project, people are invited to book into a two-hour workshop and explore the basics of tapestry by weaving a self-portrait or a portrait of a friend and contribute to a communal work. The small tapestries will form part of a large communal work which will gradually evolve and be completed at the end of the last workshop. This will allow each participant to perceive their work in a new, exciting context as well as to reflect on the vitality of their contribution within the collective piece.

The workshops are running 3 times a week on Tuesday mornings (10.30 am – 12.30 pm), Wednesday afternoons (2 pm – 4 pm) and Saturday mornings (10.30 am – 12.30 pm) from 5 May to 30 May 2012. Tickets are £5 (£3) and booking is strongly recommended (0131 225 5366).

STAR* exhibitors include: Sara Brennan, Amanda Gizzi, Linda Green, Alice Hannigan, Maureen Hodge, Stephen Hunter, Fiona R Hutchison, William Jefferies, Ellen Lenvik, Birgitta MacDonald, Jo McDonald, Susan Mowatt, Paul Penrice, Anna Ray and Joanne Soroka.

FRIENDS exhibitors are: Jane Christian Binks, Fionna Buck, Yoshiko Nakano, Sue Timney and Erika Ward

HD Photos are available on demand. For interviews, HD photos or to attend the preview, please contact us:

- END -

Listings Information

Title: Vive la Tapisserie! 3

Artists: STAR* & Friends with special guest artist Sue Timney

Dates: from 4 May to 2 June 2012

Preview: Thursday 3 May / 6.00 pm – 8.00 pm

Opening times: – Mon-Thu: 9:30am – 8:30pm (6.30 pm on Fridays)

- Saturday: 9:30am – 1:00pm

Venue: Institut français d’Ecosse, 13 Randolph Crescent, Edinburgh EH3 7TT

Admission free

Workshops ‘Weave a Portrait’

Participating artists: Linda Green, Fiona Hutchison, Jo McDonald

Dates: Sat 5 May 10.30 am/ Tues 8 May 10.30 am/ Wed 9 May 2pm/ Sat 12 May 10.30 am/ Tues 15 May 10.30 am/ Wed 16 May 2pm/ Sat 19 May 10.30 am/ Tues 22 May 10.30 am/ Wed 23 May 2pm/ Sat 26 May 10.30 am/ Tue 29 May 10.30 am/ Wed 30 May 2pm

(two hours each)

Venue: Institut français d’Ecosse, 13 Randolph Crescent, Edinburgh EH3 7TT

Tickets: £5 (£3)

Box office: 0131 225 5366 – Booking strongly recommended.

MEDIA RELEASE issued by Institut francais d’Ecosse. You too can post your story ideas for journalists (aka Press or media releases), on Email for more information.

Check out for your very own media releases feed…

To catch up on all the media releases recently posted on to, you need only click the link icon that you see towards the bottom right of our two media release ‘gateway boxes’.

Link iconIt’s this icon, here. It’s your route straight into the rich archive.

Institut francais d’Ecosse contact details….


Contact: Vanessa Bismuth
Phone: 01312255366