GOLDEN THREADS REAWAKENED
Weaving a Legacy
A group of amateur tapestry weavers in Edinburgh have together created this tapestry
Background The tapestry uses golden threads collected by Hedwig Philip which had not seen the light of day for 70 years. Hedwig was a German Jew. She and her husband narrowly avoided the Holocaust. They left Berlin in 1941 and travelled to join family in Pennsylvania.
A skilled needlewoman, she collected golden threads and embroidered a Torah Mantle for the local synagogue. In 1951 she travelled with all her belongings to Britain to join her daughter in Newcastle. Hedwig died not long afterwards. Her box of golden threads remained unopened, passed down to her daughter and then to her granddaughter, Cathie Wright.
Weaving the tapestry This group tapestry pays homage to Hedwig’s story, but the quantity and beauty of the threads, the heritage and the journey travelled, called for something more. The result is a modern, secular tapestry incorporating these historic golden threads. There are 16 panels, each one designed by the weaver, drawing on the themes of Jewish heritage, refugee travel and survival, conflict avoidance, building bridges and seeking a better world with hope for a brighter future.
As Cathie has said, ‘This is a community enterprise that takes the threads from one spiritual tradition to universal themes that celebrate life and survival’.
The tapestries are woven with contemporary materials (wools and cottons) supplementing the old golden threads. They are joined with an overlay of golden braid which also came from Hedwig’s box. The overall size of the composite tapestry is 30 inches square.
For more information please contact Project Leader Jackie Grant firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo © Geoff Gardner Photography
A photo of Hedwig and the contents of her box not opened for 70 years
The Weavers and the Names of their Tapestries
Into the Light
Breaking through Barriers
From the Ruins
From the Darkness
Glimmer of Hope
Ode to Joy and Peace
Tree of Life
Return to the Light
Trunk of New Beginnings
New Life Sycamore
Dove of Peace
Stitching and assembly of the composite tapestry by Sylvia Davidson
Grateful thanks to Cathie Wright for giving us the threads and encouraging the project, and to professional tapestry artists Joanne Soroka and Jo McDonald for their invaluable advice and support.