Remembering Together Moray is a project created with the Moray community involving events, music and story, providing a space for collective reflection on the Covid-19 pandemic. Lead artists Graeme Roger (wildbird) and Caroline Inckle (Studio Constella) have worked with community groups, artists and musicians to co-create a constellation of sound, words and images to support the Moray community in remembering together. 

During phase one, Graeme and Caroline worked with community groups and individuals across Moray, focusing on a diverse range of age groups and locations to ensure that a wide range of lived experiences from across Moray fed into the development of a project proposal for phase two. The focus was on depth of engagement and making space for reflection and conversations with those who had been impacted most by the pandemic. Participants in phase one included primary pupils, young people and care home residents, as well as parents of very young children. Pop-ups were also staged in libraries and hospital settings to capture a broader audience and perspective.

Phase two which is currently taking place, comprises three commissions, each of which continues the approach of considering the creation of a memorial to be as much about the process of co-creation and community involvement as the final outcomes and legacy. 

Remembering Together in Moray comprises digital, physical and experiential artworks. These include an immersive soundwalk, in which over 500 people participated across Moray at 11 locations as diverse as the Cabrach, Cullen Beach and Elgin Tesco. One participant said:

Thank you for the chance to openly and honestly explore the COVID experience and recognize the wounds and hurts still being carried and for powerful words and music - so beautiful.

Many people simply took a moment to experience the sounds, music, poetry and voices of Moray and to reflect on their Covid experience in their favourite beauty spot or while shopping. Artists Graeme and Caroline said:

We have been absolutely delighted with the response to the sound walks, the feedback and conversations with participants have been particularly touching, with some people taking the sound walk as an opportunity to say goodbye to loved ones or to let go of difficult Covid experiences. The diverse responses to the sound walk reflect the varied impact that Covid had and continues to have on us all as a community.

There is also a written commission and the premiering of a new traditional tune, ‘The Beauty of Moray’ by renowned musicians Duncan Chisholm and Hamish Napier and community players at Fochabers Village Institute on the evening of 22 Sept. The last part of the project will be the publication of a hardbound book in early 2024 to be kept in the local history section of libraries throughout Moray. An audience member described the experience:

Wonderfully emotive. I had tears in my eyes and joy in my heart. A thoughtful and creative way to reflect on a time no one was left unchanged by.

You can watch and listen to an excerpt of the premier of ‘The Beauty of Moray’ below...

Quotes from participants – Soundwalk

Thank you. A poignant walk through a range of emotions from the pain of loss, loneliness, missing family and friends, 'real' contact, fear and sorrow and hope for a better future, resilience and strength of community. There were many positives to celebrate too!

I minded my dad, who I never got to say bye to. This gave me a fine wee moment to mind him, thank you.

Quotes from participants - Workshop and performance

What a wonderful evening of positivity after a cruel and gruelling period during Covid and thoughts of Will things ever be normal again?

Thank you! A fitting tribute to come together young and old in a way we couldn't during the pandemic.

Moray Council, tsiMoray, UHI Moray, Findhorn Bay Arts, M:ADE (Moray Arts Development Engagement) and Moray Lieutenancy are local project partners in Moray and have supported the project. The project is part of Scotland’s Covid Community Memorial Programme, delivered by greenspace scotland supported with funding from the Scottish Government.

All images credited to: Graeme Roger

Remembering Together Moray