News from ACCORD

‘I Remember’

‘I remember’: Scottish  Covid Memorial, Pollok Country Park, Glasgow

Alec Finlay (artist) & Lucy Richards (designer)

The memorial will honour lost loved ones and recognise the impact of the pandemic upon us all, helping to shape a culture of recuperation. 

During summer 2021 we are preparing to co-create a national memorial – an artwork in Pollok Park, online publication, and installations at satellite venues across Scotland – which will be confirmed in the Autumn. From June, we are offering workshops to communities affected by Covid. These informal gatherings include online meetings and socially distanced events.

You are invited to join us and contribute your memories as an ‘I remember’ written text. Whether you wish to remember a loved one who died, or contribute to a collective record of the pandemic, we have adopted ‘I remember’ as a shared form to create a national record of remembrance, recognising the cultural and political significance of the past year, and its ongoing repercussions.

Our conversations also consider the idea of ‘support’ – how we have cared for one another through this historical event, and the continuing urgency of doing so. This idea will inform the design of a series of physical structures which will be refined into the final memorial artwork in Pollok Park. 

The campaign for a national memorial was initiated by The Herald with their partners at greenspace scotland managing and overseeing the artistic commission.

The creative workshops will be guided by Lucy Richards and Ken Cockburn.

There are examples of ‘I remember’ on the following page.

This is the announcement of the project in The Herald: https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/19321212.scotlands-covid-memorial-campaign-appoints-artist-work-historic-project/

For further information contact Alec.

e: iremember2021@yahoo.com

I remember

I remember being sick in February and everyone

telling me that it wasn’t covid

I remember my first ‘walk’ in the wheelchair, meeting Annie,

and agreeing the wild garlic seems early every year

I remember when I could walk for miles and didn’t,

and now I wish that I had

I remember when I talked to my body, told her that she’s capable,

and thanked her for what she’s been able to do over the last seven months

Summary of workshops

For the research and development phase of the Scottish Covid Memorial we are inviting people to attend workshops; most are online, and the focus will be the experiences of a variety of different communities. We will use a simple written form, ‘I remember’, to create a wide-ranging portrait of the pandemic.

I remember being sick in February and everyone

telling me that it wasn’t covid

I remember when I talked to my body, told her that she’s capable, 

and thanked her for what she’s been able to do over the last seven months

I remember learning to be gentler with myself

The ‘I remember’ form was devised by the American artist Joe Brainard, and you can see more about his work here.

http://anaphoric.blogspot.com/2011/05/excerpt-from-joe-brainards-i-remember.html

https://www.awmemorypalace.com/library/joe-brainard-i-remember

A selection of these will appear on our project blog which launched in mid-June. This will be updated with new contributions weekly – the contents will grow throughout the R&D period, which ends in September, and then expand after the physical memorial opens.

A workshop lasts 1.5 hours. To ground the discussion in people’s experiences we begin by writing ‘I remember’ together. Then we will introduce the concept of support, which will inform the final form of the sculptures in Pollok Country Park. After each workshop Alec will produce further iterations of the sculptures to share on the blog. We will also discuss the role green spaces played during the pandemic and how they foster a culture of recuperation. As we are engaging with specific communities, we will also tailor some workshops; they are all intended to be informal and conversational, with no pressure to produce anything.

In August we hope to host 2 or 3 workshops in outdoor venues in Glasgow. These will be photographed and will explore how the physical ways we support one another can inform new designs for the sculpture. A selection of photographs will appear on the blog.

Alec Finlay, with Lucy Richards and Ken Cockburn

contact: iremember2021@yahoo.com