Maureen Hodge (b. 1941 Perth) Lives and works in Edinburgh.
Woven by Susan Mowatt and Ellen Lerwick, technical assistance from Arkady Hodge
Maureen Hodge was one of two textile artists commissioned to produce work for the new Parliament building. She has aimed to produce a work with many strands of meaning in order to convey a sense of the complexity of Scotland’s history and territory.
The work is a gobelin high loom tapestry, woven on cotton warps at 8 warps to the inch with wool, linen, cotton, a cotton/linen mix and flax for the seft. Gobelin tapestry can be traced back to Ancient Egypt and possibly existed as an even older tradition.
The artist has used a number of symbols, such as hearts, Saltires and crosses, in the tapestry. Less evident are the texts that are partially 'hidden' in the tapestry, including the different names by which Scotland has been known - Scotland, Alba, Caledonia, Fortrui, Pictland and Scotia, and a number of quotes that reflect on Scotland's historical and contemporary position within Europe. These are ‘We are a family, a tribe, a people’', Edwin Muir; ‘a faithful nation, most worthy of friendship and renown!’, Alain Chartier, The Chancellor of Bayeux in 1427 and ‘Act now, unconquered Scotland! Minding your fathers and your heirs!’, the Roman writer Tacitus, in his book Agricola, puts these words into the mouth of the Caledonian leader Calgacus at the Battle of Mons Graupius.
"I see myself as a European but my work is about my personal domain within this ring of stars - the places that are of particular importance to me. Hills trees skies - marks on the landscape from across the centuries names carrying the changing history the perpetual round of the agricultural year. Within this continuing circle Territory/Home is ultimately where your dead are buried. On a map X marks the place that matters - a cross either way." Maureen Hodge
Born in Perth in 1941, Maureen Hodge studied stained glass at Edinburgh College of Art from 1959 – 63 and worked for the Edinburgh Tapestry Company (now the Dovecot Studio) from 1965 – 70, where she wove tapestries by David Hockney and Sir Eduardo Paolozzi among others. She lectured in tapestry at Edinburgh College of Art from 1967 – 73, later becoming Senior Lecturer in 1994, a post she held until 2006.
She has exhibited all over the world. Recently, she represented the UK at the 12th Triennale of Tapestry at Lodz in Poland in 2007. She is represented in many public collections in the UK and abroad, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, the University of Stirling, the Crafts Council, London, the Hungarian Textile Collection and the Ararat Regional Art Gallery in Victoria, Australia. In addition to the commission for the Scottish Parliament, she has been commissioned by the Crawford Arts Centre in St Andrews and the Scottish Crafts Centre in Edinburgh.