Following a national competition, works by a number of amateur and professional artists have been selected to feature in a new exhibit based on people’s experiences of the Covid-19 lockdowns. Reflections of a Nation will show at the Great Tapestry of Scotland gallery and exhibition space, which is due to open in Galashiels later this year. Telling the story of Scotland from prehistory to the present day, the tapestry was the vision of the author Alexander McCall-Smith, who selected the winning submissions.
The competition winners are: Margot Montgomerie, an amateur artist from Galashiels who submitted an imagining of Arran from Prestwick seafront; Daisy Alderson, now aged 18, with a portrait of a senior respiratory staff nurse on the Covid 19 frontline at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary (pictured); Chris Moody, a professional artist from Dumfries whose landscape of the view from her window, said McCall-Smith, ‘expresses the loneliness of these last months’; Heather Wilson, a professional artist and printmaker from Edinburgh who submitted a range of wood engravings and small, editioned prints; and Ally Pritchard, now aged 9, from Tweedbank in the Scottish Borders, whose digital depiction of Shetland’s Up Helly Aa festival captures a desire to return to Scotland’s cultural events when restrictions allow.
The Great Tapestry of Scotland was designed by artist Andrew Crummy, based on a narrative by the writer and historian Alistair Moffat. It was hand-stitched by a team of 1,000 volunteers using 300 miles of wool – enough to lay the entire length of Scotland from the border with England to the tip of Shetland.