Canterbury Bicentennial Tapestry

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Canterbury Bicentennial Tapestry, Campsie, 1988.

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The Canterbury Bicentennial Community Committee elected to produce this tapestry by way of the City of Canterbury commemorating the Bicentenary of European settlement in Australia. The Committee commissioned tapestry artist Ms Margaret Grafton 1 to create this tapestry which was to portray in pictures the history the District of Canterbury.

Before producing her design for the City of Canterbury, Ms Grafton spent twelve months researching historic documents at Canterbury City Council, Canterbury & District Historical Society and the Local History Collection at the City of Canterbury Library. It took Ms Grafton a further ten months to weave the tapestry.

Aesthetically, the Canterbury Bicentennial Tapestry is a beautifully designed collage of interwoven snapshots telling tales from Canterbury's past through pictures. Technically, it is a superior piece of planning because it was necessary to weave it from side to side across the scenes in the design rather then top to bottom.

Symbolism of Tapestry Scenes

Through a clever integration of scenes of historical importance to the District of Canterbury, the tapestry traces life in Canterbury City pre European settlement to 1988. These scenes include:

Today the tapestry hangs in The Chambers on the top floor of the Canterbury City Council Administration Building, 137 Beamish Street, Campsie.

Bibliography

Campsie's past: a history of Campsie and Croydon Park, NSW by Brian J Madden and Lesley Muir. [Campsie, NSW]: Canterbury Municipal Council, 1988.

Canterbury farm: 200 years by Brian Madden and Lesley Muir. [Sydney, NSW]: Canterbury and District Historical Society, 1993.

Earlwood's past: a history of Earlwood, Undercliffe and Clemton Park, NSW by Brian J Madden and Lesley Muir. [Campsie, NSW]: Canterbury Municipal Council, 1989.

They're racing at Canterbury by Lesley Muir. [Sydney, NSW]: Canterbury and District Historical Society, [1985].


  1. Margaret Grafton, with thirty years experience in tapestry weaving, had produced an heraldic Coat of Arms and a magnificent rug for the NSW Parliament building, works for Ashfield and Waverley Councils, the Holroyd Centre at Merrylands and the Tamworth City Art Gallery. return

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