5 artists have been commissioned to create 5 Covid memorials.


Renzo Spiteri

Renzo's project will feature new music composed with a string quartet, incorporating spoken word, soundscapes and field recordings of Shetland's natural environment.

"People have had diverse experiences of the pandemic. Symbolic of this, I see my project as multifaceted, with a process that combines elements of music, spoken word, soundscapes and field recordings of the natural environment gleaned from different locations in Shetland.

Inspired by the indomitable human spirit, my compositions will strive to convey and capture uplifting emotional musical material that embodies the themes: hope, resilience, community spirit, collective strength and a profound connection with nature. The creative process and the end product will act as a sonic exploration of these themes, weaving a musical tapestry that celebrates life, that reflects the strength, resilience and unity demonstrated by us, Shetland islanders, either as individuals or communities during and beyond challenging times of the pandemic."

Instgram: @Renzo.Spiteri

Facebook: Renzo Spiteri

X: @renzospiteri

Bandcamp: renzospiteri.bandcamp.com

Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/renzospiteri

Helen Robertson

"Inspired by the influence of windows in coping with the Covid Pandemic and by the symbolism and practice of Shetland knitting, I will be knitting 21 Shetland Lace Trees of Life in precious wire. These will then be encased in Glass by Cheryl Jamieson of Glansin Glass and set on small stands made by Cecil Tait of Paparwark Furniture. The Trees will have a circle of silver on them to create an homage to Life interrupted and to provide a unique image.

Each Community Council in Shetland will receive one of these glass plaques to be placed in a community building of their choice. Community Councils that serve more than one island will receive two.

I will have one Open Studio event in March and one in April where folk can learn to knit a mini Tree of Life and share their covid memories (if they wish). I will have an open Zoom event in March and April for the same purpose."

Instagram: @helenrobertsondesign

Facebook: Helen Robertson Design

Heather Christie

Heather's memorial focuses on fostering self-care within the Bressay community through the creation of a map and guide which documents how islanders looked after themselves during the pandemic, so these ideas are shared for the future. It will be developed with contributions from community groups and individuals and with assistance from fellow artist Aimee Labourne.

This socially engaged project is an attempt to enable Bressay residents to share and document their experiences of lockdown on the island, and to use their experiences to create something positive that will be of use in the future, and which islanders can share with the wider world. Working with community groups and individuals, we will document places to look after your wellbeing in Bressay on a map, and we’ll draw some of those places too. Our outputs will be the conversation sessions, a map, the leaflet and an exhibition of drawings at two of the places mentioned in conversations.

Instagram: @heather_christie_art_co

Facebook: Heather Christie, artist and illustrator

Malcolm Innes

Malcolm will work with music students at Mareel to produce a captivating light installation and visual projections at key locations across the isles throughout March – May.

"Back to the Light" is an innovative art installation proposal designed to foster collective experiences of remembrance and reflection. Through multimedia elements like sound, light, and projection mapping, this installation aims to offer a unique sensory experience that engages audiences visually and emotionally. The project will consist of two related elements, “Together” and “Apart”.

"Together” was a live participatory outdoor event to be held at Hays Dock in Lerwick on the 29th March 2024. This interactive projection, sound and music event encouraged passersby to pause and participate in shared acts of remembering. Visitors could interact with the installation, contributing their movements and actions to enhance the collective experience. This event celebrated the kind of shared public experience that was missing during the pandemic and provided individuals with an opportunity to reflect on personal recollections and broader themes of hope, resilience, and our journeys from darkness towards a brighter future.

"Apart” will reflect the more solitary aspects of the pandemic - a time when many were alone for long periods of time. For some this was a positive experience that allowed them to reconnect with the natural world around them. For others, this was a period of great loss. “Apart” will consist of a series of small-scale projection interventions in April that are designed to be experienced through photographic images in the project book. These projection installations will be spread across various locations in Shetland and the interventions will combine aspects of the Phase 1 consultation (such as incorporating verbatim comments from participants about lockdown and shielding), alongside imagery created during the “Together” event as a reminder of the collective experiences we were missing.

JJ Jamieson

JJ will create a unique film to be screened at Mareel and online, reflecting on lockdown with community members and incorporating authentic sounds of COVID-affected environments.