MAGNA CARTA (AN EMBROIDERY) with thanks to information on Wikipedia

Moving to more recent times, the Magna Carta (an Embroidery) commemorates the 800th Anniversary of the signing of this document by King John and the Barons. It is the charter of rights and freedoms and formed the base of the Constitution of England and many other countries,

Magna Carta (An Embroidery) is a 2015 work by

English installation artist Cornelia Parker.

The artwork is an embroidered representation of the complete text and images of an online encyclopedia article for Magna Carta, as it appeared in English Wikipedia on 15 June 2014, the 799th anniversary of the document.

The making of and, the finished Embroidery, watch this video:


This is an introductory and very complete view of the Embroidery.

And, it is fascinating.

The hand-stitched embroidery is 1.5 metres wide and nearly 13 metres long. It is a response to the legacy of Magna Carta in the digital era and Parker has referred to it as “a snapshot of where the debate is right now”, the result of all open edits by English Wikipedians up to that date.

It was commissioned by the Ruskin School of Art at the University of Oxford in partnership with the British Library, after being chosen from proposals from a shortlist of artists in February 2014.

Cornelia Parker used a screenshot from the 15 June 2014 English Wikipedia article for Magna Carta and printed it onto fabric.

To read this article on line, go to

Like English Wikipedia, the embroidery was created through the collaboration of many individuals.

It was divided into 87 sections and sent to 200 individuals who each hand-stitched portions of the artwork. Cornelia Parker sought the collaboration of people and groups that have been affected by and associated with Magna Carta.

The bulk of the text of the Wikipedia page has been embroidered in various prisons by inmates under the supervision of Fine Cell Work, a asocial enterprise that trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework.

The detailed pictures, emblems and logos that punctuate the text have been fashioned by highly accomplished members of the Embroiderers’ Guild, a national charity that promotes and encourages the art of embroidery and related crafts, alongside embroiderers from the Royal School of Needlework and the leading embroidery company Hand & Lock.

At least one embroiderer was selected from each region of the UK. Many celebrities and public figures also contributed, stitching phrases or words of special significance to them.

Cornelia Parker has represented the work as

“echoing the communal activity that resulted in the Bayeux Tapestry but on this occasion placing more emphasis on the word rather than the image, I wanted to create an artwork that is a contemporary interpretation of Magna Carta.”

This piece of or nué embroidery is part of the Cornelia Parker installation. The lady who stitched this is featured in the first video.

It is difficult and time consuming to stitch this technique.

Tomorrow: The Magna Carta Panels.

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    • Diana
    • February 11, 2018

    Most interesting Ann

    1. Reply

      Thank you Diana.
      Yes, this is a most interesting subject. As far as I am aware,it has not been looked at in a collective way before. It is a historical story that is all true. The Bayeux Tapestry is an amazing record of the details of daily life in the 11th century as well as the history changing battle. It is wonderful that contemporary stitchers have added to the record. I would like to see them all displayed together when the Tapestry comes to England in 2020 or 2022.

    • Susan Marie Stevenson
    • April 9, 2018

    A fascinating art piece! Is it on permanent exhibition somewhere to view?

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