Archie Brennan (1931-2009)safety measures like physical distancing and wearing masks in indoor public spaces will continue to be applied., tapestry artist, formative director of Edinburgh’s Dovecot Studio’s modern era, and sometime pop artist of the textile world, was an innovator whose prolific output belied a life spent teaching and promoting tapestry worldwide.
Well known amongst tapestry aficionados, his light faded at home when he left Scotland in the 1970s to pursue his passion for tapestry abroad. Innovatively using photographic and mass media for images for his work, including those of Muhammad Ali and Princess Diana, and questioning the notion that a weaver should only copy paintings, he packed up his portable loom and travelled the world, a long way from his Edinburgh origins just half a mile from the Dovecot’s original studios in Corstorphine.
When he died in 2019 in upstate New York, Brennan had left a legacy worldwide, from Australia to Papua New Guinea and Hawaii. This exhibition, the first major retrospective of his long and far-flung careerrising by more than 300,000 in a single day this week. It, brings together tapestries from all points of his life, in a joint venture between Dovecot and the National Museum of Scotland.