AS 2023 draws to a close, “Remembering Together: the Scottish Borders” reaches a pivotal moment.

The public are now invited to choose between two final tartan designs, determining which one will be the official Remembering Together memorial for our region. The winning design will be produced and distributed in the new year.

The Remembering Together initiative, supported by greenspace scotland, aims to commemorate the varied experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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It is part of a nationwide endeavour to collaboratively craft memorials across all 32 local authority regions of Scotland.

While each region has chosen diverse methods to commemorate their experiences, the Scottish Borders embarked on a distinctive path by opting to co-create a new tartan design.

Since last autumn, over 700 contributions have helped shape the decision to create a new tartan, reflecting the shared experiences of Borderers.

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Lead artists Alister Lownie and Katherina Radeva, based in Duns, engaged with individuals across the region, both in person and online.

Support from Borders Care Voice, NHS Borders and Borders Community Action has further amplified its reach and impact within the community.

The project has reached an exciting point, presenting two designs that draw from the experiences Borderers shared and the particular colour and design ideas they contributed.

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One tartan design predominantly features green, reflecting the stories of landscapes and places, creating a calm, reflective tartan which also thrums with energy. The other, based on purple, expresses the full range of pandemic experiences, from grief to birth and from guilt to hope.

More complicated in design, it reflects the tension between the constant change and uncertainty faced during the pandemic.

Lead artist Alister Lownie said, "We see in these designs the many stories we’ve been privileged to hear from people across the Borders. We’ve woven those together to create these bright, contemporary designs which honour the loss and pain of the pandemic, while also celebrating the ways in which new communities were forged, people came together, and solutions were created."

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Fellow artist Katherina Radeva added, "Everyone sees colour differently, and these designs allow each person to choose what reflects their experience as a Borderer. I’d encourage everyone to vote with their intuition, letting feeling lead the way." People living or working in the Borders are invited to cast their votes before the poll closes at 6pm on 31 December.

“The winning design will be woven in the Borders for distribution to community spaces across the region in 2024. The tartan design will also be made available for community groups to work with in their own ways.

“This crucial stage invites the public to actively participate in choosing the tartan,” said Alister. “One that will stand as a symbol of resilience, unity, and shared experiences during those unprecedented times.”

The public can vote for their favourite design here: