The Wild Escape Mosaic was part of a new project, funded by the Art Fund, which was designed to bring the animals in the museum's collection to life and to tie in with World Earth Day in April 2023.
The first stage of the project was to work with the children in P4 at Melrose Primary School, The children learnt about making Roman Mosaics using cut up painted paper as their tesserae. They learnt about the borderline rule, using keystones for curves, and keeping the mosaic tiles similar sizes to make a harmonious and Roman like mosaic.
The next stage of the project was to replicate the paper mosaic in ceramic tiles with the help of the local community, making a permanent artwork for the museum,
Trimontium was the site of a major cavalry. There are many horse bones and items of horse's armour in the museum, so the main animal in our mosaic is the horse. Our horse, though, is more of a racing horse - the Romans loved racing horses too, and we used an image of an existing Roman mosaic from a villa in Spain to base it on. The mouse is because there is a tile with mouse footprints in it in the collection. A mouse in search of a grain, obviously left wet footprints in a tile left out to dry! And lastly we have included the boar, the symbol for the 20th Legion based at Trimontium, that once roamed the hills here but no more...So you see the boar here barely visible , just a reminder of their once importance in this landscape, the Eildon Hills, then known as Trimontium - the three mountains, when the Romans occupied this territory.