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Published: 27 April 2016

By Andy Ross

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The Golden Thread

The last drum song tapestry, GreenlandOn this trip, there was a group of us from various Nordic countries, exploring culture and arts in the remote areas of the region. Our Greenland partner hosted the meeting and gave us each a fantastic present when we left. 

This group of people from Iceland, Denmark, Orkney, Scotland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands and yours truly spent an incredible few days in Tassilaq, a small town on the East Coast of Greenland. At the end of the week, we were each given a gift and one of these is a book called The Golden Thread: Greenland's Woven History. 

Now, as you probably know, fibres of any description are very hard to find in Greenland which is one of the reasons why people use skins and furs as coverings. But in Denmark, of course, weaving is very much a traditional skill and one that encompasses all the variety of woven fabrics including tapestry. This book tells the story behind the creation of "thirteen large tapestries in Nuuk City Hall, and Hans Lynge, the artist behind the work", bringing together the cultures of Denmark and Greenland. The artist's drawings of life in Greenland were translated into woven tapestries by Danish artisans. The thirteen pieces depict colonial employees, communal life, hunting, rites of passage, fables and stories and, my favourite, The Last Drum Song triptych (left).   (A short video of this type of music is in the next blog entry). The book is now in the library at the studio for research or simply browsing, and I think the colours and subjects capture a little of what we saw on our trip. Thank you for the lovely gift.