Your Covid memorial questions answered…. join the event

IT’S almost two years since our world changed, and Scotland was thrown by the pandemic into its first lockdown. We have all been changed by its impact. I remember… Scotland’s Memorial Garden, created through a Herald campaign, will mark how it affected us, and will begin its installation at Pollok Country Park this month.

But what will the memorial look like? And what has it been like to collect the memories of Scots who have been impacted by Covid in so many ways? These are just some of the questions that I’ll be asking Alec Finlay in the Herald’s online event, In Conversation with Scotland’s Covid memorial artist, on Tuesday at 7pm.

You will be able to join the event on The Herald’s social media channels, on Facebook at Herald Scotland, Twitter at @heraldscotland and YouTube at The Herald.

Alec Finlay has said “The Covid Memorial is all about people’s experiences – it’s about all of our memories, about how we remember what we have been through in the last few years, and how we respond to that in the future. Already we have reached out to so many individuals and families in collecting ‘I remembers’, and this is a chance for anyone who wishes to join the conversation, to ask questions, to be part of that act of remembering. It’s also an opportunity for people to ask about any details of the final artwork in Pollok Country Park that interest them.”

He will also talk about how his own struggles with Long Covid and ME, as well as growing up, have informed his understanding of the importance and comforts of the landscape and the natural world. This is no conventional memorial in stone, but one that is as full of life as the trees which its sculptural elements interact with.

In an interview in the Herald Magazine last week, he said: “What I’m loving about the work is that I’m not feeling a heavy burden. My gift was to come up with a form [the prompt to provide a memory of the simple words, I remember…] that literally anyone could use. The form becomes a machine for making meaning. It fulfils itself in ways you hadn’t foreseen. That feels right for this political moment.The pandemic is bigger than anything. It had to be something that would include everybody. Every mind has limits and it had to not be stuck with mine.”

How we remember the pandemic, and why we should, are the subject of this online talk. It’s also about not forgetting those who still live with the virus, or the loss it has brought them. I’m hoping you will join us for an evening of sharing and remembering. I would love it if you contributed your questions too. Alec Finlay has long said that this memorial is about the people, a democratic work, in which all of us can be involved.

READ MORE AND SUBMIT QUESTIONS: In Conversation…. with the Herald’s Covid Memorial Artist

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