Artist and location for Covid memorial sculpture announced

Artist impression of Aberdeen’s Remembering Together Project Covid Memorial

ABERDEEN’S Remembering Together Project,  part of Scotland’s Covid Community Memorial Programme, has announced that the city’s memorial will be located in Bon Accord Gardens.

Constructed from upcycled local granite, it will be created by George King Architects .

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The programme is being delivered by Greenspace Scotland and funded by the Scottish Government. It has involved commissioned artists working with partners, communities, and faith groups to help people remember those who died during the pandemic.

Locally, the project has been delivered by Culture Aberdeen, Station House Media Unit (SHMU) and a steering group made up of representatives from Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen City Voluntary Organisations and other third sector organisations.

Councillor Miranda Radley, Convener of the Council’s Communities, Housing and Public Protection Committee, said: “I am pleased to see the creation of Aberdeen’s Covid Memorial has moved into its final stages with the appointment of the artist to create this poignant tribute within our city.

“Taking on board the ideas from the public consultation is vitally important to ensure the finished memorial reflects the wishes of the people most impacted by the pandemic.  I look forward to seeing the finished memorial in situ at Bon Accord Gardens later this year.”

Councillor Dell Henrickson, Vice-Convener of the Communities, Housing and Public Protection Committee, said: “Once completed, the Covid memorial will be a place that people from across our city can visit to reflect and remember the impact that Covid-19 had on all our lives.

“The collaborative working by the many groups involved in this project will ensure that the memorial is a fitting tribute to all the lives lost and impacted by the pandemic.”

Two public sessions with the artist and project team to discuss the next stage of the project have been arranged for Wednesday 10 April at Ferryhill Community Centre.  The first session will run from 3pm-5pm and the second from 6pm-8pm.  Members of the public are encouraged to attend.

In addition, workshops relating to the project will also run during the public sessions.  The first workshop is for children, families and adults from 3.45pm-5pm and the second is for adults only from 6.45pm-9pm.  There will also be an online workshop on Tuesday 7 May at 7.30pm. All workshop places must be booked in advance and members of the public can register here: Remembering Together – Culture Aberdeen

George King of George King Architects said: “We are honoured to have been selected as the designers of such an important new public space and art piece.  Our design encapsulates the city’s resilience, strength, and unity in the face of adversity.

“We wanted to reflect this within the design creating a contemporary reinterpretation of a traditional Scottish Cairn made entirely from upcycled granite salvaged from the city itself and given new life within the memorial. Engraved on the rear of each stone will be lines from a newly commissioned poem, written by a local poet and inspired by the experiences of the local community during the pandemic.”

Stewart Aitken, project manager on behalf of Culture Aberdeen, Station House Media Unit, and Greenspace Scotland said: “We are delighted to have George King Architects on board the Aberdeen project of this exciting national “remembering together” initiative. They bring with them a wealth of experience, including other Covid memorial projects, and we are very much looking forward to watching their design come to fruition.  

“Having more opportunities for local people to the Bon Accord Gardens area, and from around the city, to be involved in the shaping of the memorial is a fantastic element to the project and we hope many people will take up the offer.”

In earlier phases of the project, local artists were commissioned to consult with communities to collate ideas that suitably reflected local people’s experiences of the pandemic.

The results of the initial consultation highlighted that the main considerations were ensuring a location with green space that was accessible for all and with ample room for people to gather with space for healing and reflection.

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