The past few months, I’ve began a new project working alongside artist Dr ts Beall working across the region. Remembering Together is a Scotland-wide programme, led by greenspace Scotland and funded by Scottish Government that aims to place a covid memorial in every local authority area in Scotland. In the development of this, artists have been commissioned in each area to co-create ideas for what exactly the memorial should be, and tara (ts Beall) and I have been selected to lead the D&G arm of the project.
Work began at the tail end of the Summer, and since then we have been engaged hosting creative workshops and conversations with a variety of community groups, and alongside community events and activities taking place in a variety of locations. From the Wigtown Book Festival, Stranraer’s Harvest Festival to sessions with NHS staff, Carer’s networks and young people it’s been an insightful, and lovely way to travel around Dumfries and Galloway connecting with folk.
And we’re not done yet! We’ve plenty more workshop dates up our sleeves, and a few still to be confirmed. If you are interested in taking part, check out our Linktree page with a list of upcoming events that you can attend.
Alongside the workshops and events, we now have a collection of drop boxes in place across the region where you can pick up and return handmade postcards as part of the project: an opportunity to share thoughts, suggestions, experiences or register an interest in being part of the next stages of the project. We can also send postcards to participants directly, please do get in touch for details.
It’s been a reflective process. These are not small topics, and the impacts felt by so many people across the region continue to resonate out into everyday living. The conversations have been full of all of the challenges, difficulties and terrible sadnesses that have taken place, but also of so many small joys, new discoveries, opportunities for new directions and a re-evaluating of what is precious or important to us all.
Phase One of the project wraps up at the end of the year, with a series of proposals for possible memorials shared back to the project Steering Group. Phase Two is due to take place next year (2023) with the selection, and creation of a final memorial. If you are interested in getting involved with the project please do get in touch.