Answering the call to put a stitch in time

Jacqueline Holmes stitching

Jacqueline Holmes stitching - Credit: Archant

A woman from Shipmeadow has joined celebrities, barons and artists in helping to replicate in stitch the entire Wikipedia article on the Magna Carta.

Jacqueline Holmes answered the call to the Embroiderers’ Guild to stitch a panel on the 13m long embroidery – which was designed by sculpture Cornelia Parker and unveiled at the British Library last week - as it appeared online on the charter’s 799th anniversary in 2014.

Mrs Holmes and her friend Heather Washington, from Kent, submitted their CVs and examples of their work and were chosen to stitch the bottom section, a 30cm by 150cm wide panel, with disclaimers, licence, copyright reminder and logos.

“I was amazed when we heard we had been selected to work on it,” said Mrs Holmes who admitted that she was a little disappointed with the piece before it was finished.

“It shouldn’t have come as a surprise when I first saw our piece of printed cotton to work on, but it was. I knew the design was based on the Magna Carta page on Wikipedia, but to see the fabric with printed text, it looked so stark.

“Now I have seen the finished work, it is breath-taking and thought provoking. There was my name listed with the prisoners and judges, fighters for justice and freedom and internationally renowned artists, all of whom had added stitches.”

Sixteen panels were stitched by Guild members from around the country while the main text of the piece was stitched by prisoners involved in Fine Cell Work - a social enterprise that trains prisoners in paid creative needlework to help with discipline.

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Many well-known people were also involved in the work, Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker stitched ‘common people’ and one of the founders of the Social Democratic Party, Shirley Williams, stitched ‘parliament’.

Cornelia Parker was commissioned by Ruskin School of Art in Oxford and the British Library to create the piece of work to celebrate the 800 anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta and will be displayed at the British Library until July 24.