Tapesty prize will prove capital is a global hotspot

The world’s biggest tapestry prize is set to confirm Edinburgh as global hotspot for weaving artists.

The 2019 Cordis Prize for Tapestry is the biggest financial award available for tapestry artists.

For this the fourth edition of the prize the winning fund has been increased to £8000 which making it the biggest award of its kind anywhere in the world. Created to reward ambitious and skilled use of tapestry weaving techniques the prize and accompanying exhibition has attracts entries from all over the globe including Japan, Australia, Denmark and France.

To further increase the award’s prestige a new exhibition has been confirmed for shortlisted artists at Inverleith House Gallery in the Royal Botanic Gardens running from 16 March to 27 May.

The Cordis Prize, initiated by Ian Rankin and Miranda Harvey in 2014, is the biggest international award for tapestry. It aims to bring together the very best and most ambitious contemporary examples of the discipline, in order to celebrate Edinburgh as a centre of excellence for tapestry weaving.

Previous winners include Anne Naustdaal, Susan Mowatt and Edinburgh based Jo Barker.

Edinburgh in particular has proven to be a hotspot for the artform with world class educational facilities, a network of supportive galleries including Dovecot Gallery and a strong community of professional artists who in turn support enthusiastic amateurs through dedicated courses and other events.

Speaking at the launch of the 2019 Cordis Prize, founder Miranda Harvey said: ‘Ian and I founded the Cordis Prize to put a spotlight on the exceptional work in tapestry that often goes unheralded. Since the first prize awarded in 2015 I am continually impressed by the ambition and scale of artists who use this unique and labour intensive artform to share their genius. As an amateur enthusiast I recognise the joy weaving artworks brings and to be in a position to reward the masters of this craft in my home city is a particular honour.

‘Working with Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, these artists will now get a deserved platform at Inverleith House Gallery and I hope locals and visitors alike will be wowed by the exciting and ambitious work on show.’

Co-founder Miranda Harvey will convene the judging panel consisting of: Fiona Mathison, former head of Tapestry at Edinburgh College of Art and former Artistic Director at Dovecot Studios, Jo Barker, internationally renowned tapestry artist and winner of the 2017 Cordis Prize, internationally acclaimed fashion and portrait photographer David Eustace, Charlotte Higgins, chief culture writer for The Guardian and Emma Nicolson, Head of Exhibitions at Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.

Taking place on the opening day of The 2019 Cordis Prize Exhibition will be a dedicated symposium – The Thread Runs Both Ways: Heritage and the Future of Tapestry Art, bringing together an international panel of speakers to discuss and debate the wealth of talent and creativity in contemporary tapestry. The symposium takes place at The Royal Botanic Gardens on Saturday 16 March, 10am – 4pm.

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