Svetlana’s art coming together

How the artwork will look on the wall when it is completed in May
How the artwork will look on the wall when it is completed in May

After a great start working with Selkirk pupils, artist Svetlana Kondakova is once again inviting the town’s residents to participate in her community art project where they can leave their mark on a large-scale mosaic installation.

She will host a free workshop at the County Hotel on Saturday, November 25, from 10am-5pm.

Svetlana told us: “I am very grateful to the schools for the opportunity to work with their pupils and impressed with the resulting creations.”

Residents are asked to bring small weatherproof and durable objects to be used in the artwork and to make their own mosaics, which will brighten up the flood defence wall.

The project, titled ‘A Selkirk Legacy’ was commissioned by the Selkirk Flood Protection Scheme and is midway to completion. It will depict three main themes when finished: the Common Riding community, a mythological kelpie to represent the Ettrick River, and local wildlife in the shape of leaping salmon.

The mosaics are produced by temporarily attaching pieces of tile and other materials onto mesh until they are ready to be permanently adhered to the wall.

While the first two parts are being constructed by Svetlana in her Edinburgh studio, the 100 salmon, which will appear along the length of the wall, will be made entirely by Selkirk residents.

Participants are encouraged to bring items with personal or local significance to be incorporated into the mosaic.

Svetlana added: “Anyone can take part, regardless of their age or art experience.

“This project is meant to truly capture the community spirit through participation. Contributions of objects and mosaics from the local residents will ensure that the artwork leaves a lasting legacy for future generations.”

Svetlana added: “For a chance to become a part of Selkirk history come to the workshop. There will be further opportunities to get involved in the new year, keep up to date by joining A Selkirk Legacy group on Facebook and view project progress on

The artist has already involved local primary schools in making fish mosaics out of natural and recycled materials. St Joseph’s pupils made mosaics with river pebbles in September and Knowepark pupils recycled household materials into mosaic fish in October.

Earlier in September, Svetlana also ran a pop-up workshop for individuals of all ages at the Haining, as part of the YES Arts Festival.

Installation of the artwork along the riverside walk between the Bridge Street footbridge and the new crossing gate is expected to take place in May. Svetlana’s mosaics will occupy about 65ft (20 metres) of the 650ft (200 metre) flood defence wall, while the salmon will be dotted along the remaining length of it.