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Coronavirus / Flags of hope bring Tibetan feel to village

AS MANY people in Shetland continue to be in isolation and physically distant from their friends and families, Joyce Wark decided to bring together her local community in Bigton by encouraging them to make art.

She asked local children and adults to create hope flags, small triangles of cloth that they could draw or write on and hang on a washing line in her garden.

Joyce said she was inspired to make the hope flags after watching a documentary about Tibet.

“I was struck by the beauty of the Tibetan prayer flags and how uplifting they are visually,” she said.

“I know we’re all familiar with the symbolism, and thought it would be nice to make our own flags with words and pictures to encourage each other after the worries and isolation of last year.

“I imagined folk including their flags in their daily walks and maybe adding more as they pass by.”

So far there have been 31 flags added to Joyce’s washing line, beginning with immediate neighbours and now extending to the Ireland and Maywick communities.

They express messages of hope, peace, and connection through words, colour and pictures forming a collection of prayer flags unique to Shetland.

However, she is unsure how long the flags will stay up as she felt the “weather will dictate that as I don’t want the wind shredding them all!”

The hope flags may grow in significance in years to come as Joyce intends to “keep the flags so that at some time in the future they can be displayed again when the bairns are grown and some of us only a memory.

“A remembrance of our community in the time of Covid,” she said.

Alex Purbrick