ERLEND TAIT: Self-Directed Residency, 2015

I now realise my journey to the bothy was like my residency there. Travelling south through blizzards the A9 was completely obscured by snow. Travelling happily, blindly forward, unable to see where I was going, eager to reach unfamiliar territory.

My aim was to get away from my normal working routine and surroundings. More specifically, I wanted to see how solitude and limited external stimuli would affect my work. Where do ideas come from? I wanted some time to explore the source of inspiration, and to see how isolation in a natural environment affects ideas. I hoped a residency at the Inshriach Bothy would enable me to examine my choices of what I make, why I make it, and how I make it. I was going to spend a week drawing from the surroundings and meditating on my artistic practice. Sketchbooks, pencils, pens and walking boots would be my tools for the week.

It was like being inside a sphere. The bothy sat in a shallow bowl of snow punctured by birch and juniper. The upper hemisphere was the ever-changing sky. The only sounds were silence or birds or the crackling of the fire. Heavenly. I spent my time drawing. After a couple of drawings of trees I looked inside and was amazed how liberated I felt. Just a snow white page, graphite and oil pastel. Monochrome. Stripped right down to the essence.









fire & ice






mount 1b



mount 2



radio valkyrie






snow stars

KYLE NOBLE: Self-Directed Residency, 2014

To escape… to escape the throbbing geometric city, to escape the patchwork of cultivated fields, to escape the shrunken islands of hemmed in woodland. Drive over the hills and far away to a northern place where the land’s ancient forest remains. Direct descendants of the first trees to arrive after miles thick glaciers gauged the earth goddess into her current form, forever changed from her forgotten deep time geography.

Alone in the birch and juniper wood, in a hut of warmth and solitude I had escaped what I wished to leave behind. Yet I could feel as the half moon rose and the cosmic night sky yawned wide open, that I had come to charged ground, a place  to confront myself and encounter something profound.

 Oh mysterious majestic forest…Oh mysterious majestic…Emerald green glowing ember canopy, bathed by inner light. Sunburst orange trunks twisting and buckling tracing the Tao of time. Orifice puckered lilac lower trunks, eyes staring through layered amethyst bark skin. Coiled iron serpent knotted roots. Granny Pine wisdom tethered to the black earth mother. Deep pine needle carpet. Follow the wandering deer path and take me to nowhere, boulder clusters and heather micro landscapes. High hiss drones of stone carving streams …Oh mysterious majestic forest…Oh mysterious majestic!.

Tree after tree I would stand and stare, beholding their comparative perpetuity, their old wisdom. Once I was startled from such a meditation by a whirring cheering sort of chant, I peered round the trunk warily. A dancing line of red and blue wee folk, then chains and chains of them dancing in mesmerising circles, clearly focused on the rhythm of their song. ‘They must not spot me’, I thought… But of course they did… Time stood still and off we went down and under a pine studded knowe… Vague memories… the deep bass throb of a belching engine, I was being shown around the elven city , details of a scaled surface, polished barbed interlocking surfaces, a three eyed coiled up wildcat ready to pounce, menace and ineffable beauty. The Celtic crone hovered over me, yammering away freely switching between Irish and Scottish accents. The air became dense with translucent filmy membranes, it was hard to breathe. The air, popped, hummed and fizzed. Unfettered ontolology blew away in the otherworldy wind… I awoke with a start, buzzards wheeling above, I found a hazel wand clutched in my hand.

A figure felt in the darkening woods. Phallic columns of the archaic temple arched up and over into fractal dome, an explosion of flame orange heavy limbs and green fire quartz…. Oh mysterious majestic forest…A crack of a branch ahead, then a thundering beat as the Capercaillie launches to fly heavily across my path. Clear crystal lochans, jewels on the majestic mountain. Forest walking by moon light, ‘the fear’ pushed through. More lochs with branches dipping into the reflected star encrusted abyss.

Finally a road, a road to somewhere, hopefully back to the start. I eventually look down across the pond to the farm yard and the familiar walk back through the Inschriach Estate. The Spey’s gentle roar cleanses me before I turn up towards the hut, I gather a few logs in the gloom to light a glowing fire, heat a meal and spend the candle lit evening drawing the days profound adventures.




Kyle Noble - Star Encrusted Abyss copy

Kyle Noble -Feshie Feshie copy


Kyle Noble - HighFrequencies copy

Kyle Noble - High in the hills copy
Kyle Noble - Granny Pines copy

Kyle Noble - Aura copy


All of the above studies were started out in the woods on board, quarter megalithic yards square (20.7 x 20.7cm)



Kyle Noble_sun

Kyle Noble_Tree Moon


Kyle Noble_pine

Kyle Noble_forest

Kyle Noble_boom


BAKERY 47: Residency, 2015

En route to the Bothy at Inshriach Bobby Niven put a question to us – what is the secret of sourdough?  Whether rhetorical, jovial, in-passing or a genuine enquiry, this simple asking became intrinsic to our week’s work and instigated an indulgent philosophical thinking during our stay.   


Sam Luntley and Anna Luntley


Sourdough bread is bread raised with wild yeast.   This wild yeast is commonly referred to as ‘the starter’ and is  usually made using just flour and water.  Once created, the starter needs to be tended daily – to be fed and cared for – in order to nurture a natural ferment.  This process of feeding and nurturing means that sourdough breads have a history and a story, and are distinctive to their baker and to the environment in which they are made.  They are in someway reflective / illustrative / informed by their time and place; document, artifact and record.

breadatthebothy was a week spent exploring of the art of sourdough bread baking at its most elemental – in the wilds and deep cold of the wintertime Cairngorm National Park using the wood heat of locally felled timbers in the Bothy’s log burning stove. 

The breads baked were fermented with natural yeasts spored by the idiosyncrasies of the highland air –  breeding loaves infused with Cairngorm flavour and spirit in their rise.  We baked in the heat of the Bothy’s wood burner – fuelled by the woods of the Inshriach estate: timbers carried and chopped by the same hands that turned, folded, mixed and kneaded.  We baked obsessively and incessantly; dawn and dusk, noon and deep night.  Our loaves documented the circumstance and environment of their creation in their crumb, crust and colour; producing a material and edible documentation of a week spent at Inshriach.  

Concurrently, the act and process of baking permeated the environment of the Bothy with warmth, scent, heat and moisture; expanding, contracting, thawing and scalding.   The care, love, tire and frustration of making meant that at times the Bothy was a snow bound haven of harmony and satisfaction, while at others a furness of fury and exasperation.  We needed the harsh cold to preserve, chill and retard, and yet also the blazing heat to prove, blister and burst.   For our week, the Bothy was a enclave of energy and production – we worked harder than in our normal working lives.  We like to think of a tension between the energetic and physical strain we experienced at / inflicted upon the Bothy and the calm, reflective and meditative retreat it has offered  many artists previously; a tension imaginably captured in our breads with their burnished, orbaned and cracked crusts contrasted by their moist, creamy and soft-hued interiors.

For the week that we baked at Inshriach the Bothy became a hub or mother of sorts; nurturing and sharing with the local inhabitants of the Spey valley.  Loaves were broken, left in porches and on steps, gifted, delivered and included on Valentines tasting menus. They inspired conversation, convivial dining, generosity of hand and month, critique and poetry.

In answer to Bobby’s question Inshriach gave us the answer in a warning before we had even reached the Bothy.  A single word which, when heeded, can result in the perfect flavour, rise, appreciation, creative awareness and savour.   

For a photographic journal of our time at the bothy please visit – www.breadatthebothy.tumblr.com