Janet has historic artwork all sewn up

Artist Janet Payne with the part of the new Magna Carta she is embroidering.

Artist Janet Payne with the part of the new Magna Carta she is embroidering. - Credit: Archant

Keen stitcher Janet Payne is playing her part in a major artwork commissioned to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.

Part of the new Magna Carta that Artist Janet Payne is embroidering.

Part of the new Magna Carta that Artist Janet Payne is embroidering. - Credit: Archant

Mrs Payne from Whittlesey was invited to join 99 other stitchers from across the country to create an embroidery depicting the Magna Carta’s entry on the on-line encyclopedia Wikipedia.

The entire entry has been digitally printed and broken into sections with Mrs Payne being allocated panel 70 - John of England signs the Magna Carta - the artwork has been split into a total 83 individual sections.

Mrs Payne, who is a professional artist, who works in many mediums, was chosen to represent the Eastern Region of the Embroiderers’ Guild. At least one person from each region has been selected to ensure all parts of the UK are represented in the mammoth artwork, which was commissioned by the Ruskin College of Art at Oxford University, who asked renowned artist Cornelia Parker to create the piece, which will be 14 metres long and 1.5 metres wide.

The finished article will be displayed in the British Library next summer as part of a major exhibition celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.


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Mrs Payne, who learnt to sew from her mother, was provided with the material and some thread for the lettering on her panel but it was up to her to choose her own yarns and stitches that she felt was most appropriate for her image.

She is an an Alumni and benefactor of Central St Martin’s College in London and has been a professional artist since 2001.

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Mrs Payne said she has already spent countless hours creating her piece of the artwork puzzle, and is confident she will hit the completion deadline which is January 12 next year.

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