Following on from the success of the Embroiderers Guild’s Magna Carta embroidery and the Guild’s role in its production, the UK representatives of the HBO Home Entertainment TV Network contacted the Embroiderers’ Guild with the view to creating a special artwork in stitch to form the backdrop to mark the release of the ‘Game of Thrones’ Series 5 DVD & Blue Ray boxed set.
The Embroiderers’ Guild led the design and production of the piece and invited stitch partners The Royal School of Needlework, Hand & Lock and Fine Cell Work to participate. The final image was selected by HBO in December. It features one of the most intense battle scenes in TV history – the massacre of Hardhome. The first design and production meeting took place just before Christmas 2015, stitching started in mid January 2016 and the piece, measuring 5 metres in length and 4 metres high (nearly 17ft x 13ft 6 inches), was completed during the second week of March 2016… an outstanding achievement by all concerned.
Anthea Godfrey, Artistic Director of the Embroiderers’ Guild and Project Manager, commented: “This has been an amazing project that truly has brought the embroidery community together across the whole of the UK.There is a huge variety of textile skills involved in making the piece, including digital print, surface stitch, machine embroidery, metal thread work beading, applique and quilting. We are really proud to have been involved”. The London College of Fashion, for whom Anthea has been a Principal Lecturer have a really interesting blog item on the Embroidery. Click on the link below
The Game of Thrones is a fantasy TV drama series, named after the first book in a series called “A Song of Ice and Fire” by author George R R Martin. There have been 6 series so far, the last one of which was aired over 10 weeks from April 2016. It is filmed in Belfast and on locations in Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco, Spain, Scotland and the USA. The series is set in the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos and interweaves several plot lines with a large ensemble cast. It attracted a record number of viewers and received widespread acclaim including 26 Prime Time Emmy Awards. The novels and their adaptations derive aspects of their settings, characters and plots from various events in European history, including the English War of the Roses.
The Hardhome Embroidery was assembled for the first time on Friday 18th March 2016 at Central St Martins College London. Assembly started at 6.30 am and was completed an hour later. Anthea Godfrey (Embroiderers’ Guild Artistic Director and Project Leader, Muriel Campbell (Embroiderers’ Guild Chair of the Board of Trustees) and Terry Murphy (Embroiderers’ Guild CEO) were all present along with the HBO London PR team. At the web link there is a selection of pictures showing the assembly of the piece and examples of superb work by Embroiderers’ Guild members . Anthea Godfrey was interviewed by the BBC as the centre piece of a news item broadcast on BBC London News on the same day.