Town holding out for a hero to tackle kelpie

Who will save Selkirk from the kelpie? You decide!
Who will save Selkirk from the kelpie? You decide!
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Souters are being challenged to find a hero among them capable of protecting Selkirk from a mythical creature.

An artist commissioned to create a large-scale mosaic on the town’s flood wall is asking townsfolk to nominate a living local hero to be depicted taming a kelpie as part of a mural stretching between the new crossing gate and the Bridge Street footbridge.

The winner will be depicted as a protector of the town by showing them bringing one of the shape-shifting water spirits under control, representing the town’s £32m new flood defences, opened last year, keeping the Ettrick Water at bay.

The mosaic is being created by artist Svetlana Kondakova as part of a community art project overseen by the Selkirk flood protection scheme team.

Her project, entitled ‘A Selkirk Legacy’, has already seen involvement from members of the public invited to design leaping salmon mosaics at workshops.

Svetlana is encouraging Souters to nominate anyone making a positive impact on the town and its people, whether it be through community work, remarkable acts, special achievements or just having an extraordinary personality.

Nominations are open to everyone.

Nominees must have strong ties to Selkirk and be living locally so they are available to model for the mosaic.

All those wishing to submit nominations must do so at www.svetlanakondakova.com by noon on Wednesday, February 7.

A shortlist will then be drawn up and put to a public vote from Thursday, February 15, to Sunday, March 4.

Svetlana said: “It is very important to me to provide everyone who cares about the town with an opportunity to make an input, so it is only natural to ask people who they would like to see immortalised in this part of the mural.

“I am hoping that the mosaic portrait will act as a contemporary monument to the winner and the achievements that led them to be voted for, inspiring visitors for decades to come.”

As well as the mythological scene, the mosaic will include other portraits of notable locals from past and present taking part in Selkirk’s annual common riding.