#000: Artist's Statement, 15 June 2019
The Trumped-up Tapestry is a satire based on current American politics set in the Early Medieval, Anglo-Saxon kingdom of (A)Mer(i)c(i)a. Donaeld-the-Unready is king; he rides Mare-Horse-One and he is going to Make Mercia Great Again. He is going to build a shield-wall and he is going to keep out those pesky Danes. 
The tapestry is a revolt; a rejection of the current rise in right wing politics. It aims to ridicule the leaders and highlight how their policies are brutal and selfish. It is also a record. Art can have a long life. There are no guarantees, but early medieval art is a case study in how art survives where much else is lost. In the case of the Pictish stones of Scotland, the art is preserved beyond the meaning of the images themselves. 
The early medieval period is often used as foundation and justification for far-right ideas. So much so, the language and imagery of the period has become loaded with a far-right meaning. What do you think of when you hear the term, “Anglo-Saxon”? I’m sure you think of the period, but do you also think white? And what do you think of when you see a swastika? The Christchurch shooter even left a social media post saying, “I will see you in Valhalla.” The far-right misappropriate the early medieval period to fit a modern political agenda. This misappropriation of the past sees nationhood rooted in an imaginary past; white Anglo-Saxon ancestry validated by ‘ancient DNA’; misogyny justified by classical authors and racial superiority validated by excavation and cultural appropriation. By contrast, the Trumped-up Tapestry uses the early medieval period as a lens through which to view the present. There is no ambition to validate present policy or re-write the past.
The Trumped-up Tapestry uses humour and early medieval imagery against the right and, it is hoped the tapestry will outlive their politics and survive as chronicle; holding the politicians to account into a better future. 
The tapestry is heavily influenced by a fascination with early medieval art. References to period objects are many. Wulfgar the Bard, June 2019.
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