The painstaking work of master weaver Naomi Robertson at Dovecot Studios

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Dovecot Studios keeps the traditions of handmade tapestry alive. Master weaver Naomi Robertson works on enormous commissions such as her translation of Alison Watt’s Butterfly painting (inspired by Puccini's Madame Butterfly) which now hangs in the new extension of Glasgow’s Theatre Royal.

What is unique – and infuriating – about working in tapestry
is that you can’t simply paint out areas you don’t like. As Watt says, ‘When you’re weaving, you’re making final decisions as you go along.’

Hole & Corner caught up with Robertson in Dovecot Studios
to record the painstaking process of her work and the sheer patience and commitment it requires. In fact, such is the rarity
of the skillset involved in the job that Dovecot had to establish their own course for apprentices, as Robertson bemoans that ‘tapestry weavers aren’t being trained at art college any more.’

In these former swimming baths, the lengths that they would go to are perhaps apt – with the endless runs up and down, Olympic perfection comes from practice…


Film by Pete Drinkell