Andrew Crummy MBE to receive Honorary Degree from University of Dundee

  09 Jun '23   |  Posted by: Birlinn

Andrew Crummy MBE, is to receive an honorary degree from the University of Dundee at a Summer Graduation ceremony. Andrew, the artist who stole the heart of the nation with his work for The Great Tapestry of Scotland, is an alumnus of the University.

Professor Iain Gillespie, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, said Andrew had made ‘a startling impact’ in his field of community art.

‘In awarding honorary degrees, we are marking the achievements of individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to society, and who can inspire our students, staff and others.’

Andrew is being honoured for his outstanding work in illustrating Scotland’s history, culture and heritage through magnificent community art works such as the Great Tapestry of Scotland and the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry.

Born in Craigmillar, Edinburgh, which is often seen as a deprived area, Andrew’s introduction to art came through the Craigmillar Festival Society, leading to childhood memories full of community arts events involving festivals, drama, music, clowns, colour and laughter.

He trained as an illustrator at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, then on an MA Design course at Glasgow School of Art, before embarking on a successful professional career working for bands, newspapers and magazines and design agencies.

He has been involved with many mural projects around the world and, over the past 20 years, has been the designer for The Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry, The Great Tapestry of Scotland and The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry. He is currently working on The Spirit of the Highlands Tapestry with historian Alistair Moffat and volunteer stitchers from across the region. And the Dundee Tapestry.

He also illustrates books, paints skyscapes, murals, portraits and draws with a 2B pencil.

He was awarded an MBE in the 2023 New Year Honours List for services to art and to cultural heritage in Scotland.

Andrew responded to the announcement of the award: ‘Forty years ago I graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, taking the first steps towards a life of drawing and painting. I am aware that this is also about all those who have helped create The Great Tapestry of Scotland and other tapestries, creating art in a community art tradition. It is an honour to accept this award.

Awards will also go to Professor Sir Pete Downes, Professor Dame Carrie MacEwen, Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, Dr Ollie Folayan MBE and Professor Kamlesh Khunti CBE.

The honorary Doctor of Laws degree will be conferred on Andrew at the graduation ceremony taking place on the afternoon of 22 June at the Caird Hall in Dundee, one of the major celebrations on the University calendar.

The Great Tapestry of Scotland is the longest hand-embroidered tapestry in the world. It tells the story of Scotland from the last ice age to modern times. The idea to use this platform to tell the story of a nation came from Alexander McCall Smith and the historical narrative was written by Scotland’s historian, Alistair Moffat. Andrew Crummy designed the artwork for the project and worked with more than 1000 volunteer stitchers across the country to deliver the completed tapestry. The artwork is now on display in a purpose-built award-winning gallery in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders.

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