‘Soft Pants’ Sculpture at the Pig Rock Bothy

James Brown sang ‘you make the pants’ which is what participants were invited to do on a wet Saturday afternoon in November.

I ran the workshop as part of the 2015 Glasgow School of Art residency. The pants theme came about after a brief introduction to the Bothy. In the talk it was pointed out how part of the design of the Bothy has come to signify a pair of pants for the artist/architect team. This anecdote was the invite to transform the Bothy into a workshop of colourful pants for the day.

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Eduardo Paolozzi never understood the moment when people decide they are no longer a child. While Brian Eno has said that art is just a continuation of the child’s impulse to play but with an intellectual rigour that is arrived at through a developed brain.

After the experience of the “Soft Pants” sculpture workshop I can claim with some certainty that the distinction between childhood and adult is not definitive.

Sadly for me as all participants were allowed to take their creations home with them I now have no pants left!


RYAN MILLER: Self-Directed Residency, 2014

Valley of the cliffs.  “I don’t want to know what time it is. I don’t want to know what day it is or where I am. None of that matters.” ― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

























































Singing Drake while walking miles to the local shop
Hitchhiking bakers
Finger of god pointing to the solar eclipse
Lumberjacks drinking brews
Leaving my camera up a hill
Island drifters
7 day egg menu while on the Isle of Eigg

Special thanks to the Bothy Project & the Isle of Eigg residents.

Ryan Miller

SHIREEN TAYLOR: Self-Directed Residency, 2015

The Inventiveness of Procrastination.  A computer malfunction means that all my thoughts, those that I recorded at the time, are lost. Now I have the memory of those records of my thoughts. And photographs and drawings of course. Here I will note them down for you:

Outward. My departure from the city is honoured by the appearance of deer playing in the Clyde estuary; a stag, hidden in the woods; waterfalls; gorges. I’m still on the train. I didn’t have time for breakfast or to withdraw cash. Not enough signal to use the wireless card machine on the snack trolley. Reading about post-war art movements, my stomach complains: ZERO ZERO ZERO.

The boat (after some soup). Heinz Mack’s theories of constant motion are further undermined. Cloudy arrival. Eddie in a Land Rover, first sight of the bothy over the ferns.

So, after the initial excitement of arriving, solo: no dog, no child, I sit at the window, drawing feverishly, like I have to prove the value of solitude. I forgot my ruler, I search the bothy for edges: a knife, a spatula, a trivet. The drawings are not very good.

I leave my work out in the rain. Morning. The colours do not wash off.

Clouds lift. Sunshine. A visit to the singing sands, cow sentries along the cliff top. Rock forms and waterfalls, the sands stay silent.

So, I plough into my books, which I should have already read, and the text I should have already written. I distract myself by finding more edges to draw.

The inventiveness of procrastination sees me dancing to the sunset. Light shows to rival the largest stadiums. Beams strobing across the sea.

I rarely photograph sunsets.

Third day in, I only leave the cabin to relieve myself, I am trying to write.

Next day, I walk on the beach, discover skeletons and re-write everything, scrawling in a notebook, whilst perched uncomfortably on a boulder.

It does not look like Scotland in September.

I walk an hour and a half to find internet and send the writing away. An hour and a half to return to my solitude.

The following days, I carve up the map of the island, selecting one area to explore. I collect the same objects that all visitors collect, shells, sea-worn rocks, bones and plants.

As the sun sets, the lamp gives me a fixed shadow to work by. I draw around the outlines of my collection, cheating, repeating, shading, making it up.

Denied access to Massacre Cave, I meet a family who have just moved to Eigg, they take me to Cathedral Cave, switching prospective fear for awe. As I attempt to return, I lose the path momentarily and discover a massacre. A lamb. I collect the bones, some weathered, some pink.

There are no batteries in my camera.

I make a new friend. And break a couple of rules.


The reproduction of life requires a radiating seed, a sacred island, mountain inundated – entrusted
to man rather than the gods. The origin gives way to repetition, the moment to series.

.evans laig


Swimming in the Loch nam Ban Mora it is better not to dwell. Although chilly the water is not
exactly cold – the dark shallows’ solar gain. Or perhaps the enticement of a doom-enchanted,
drowned warrioress.

Either way the daytrippers on the Nose can see me far off, pink nude.

We: Torsten, Neil and myself are trying out for a project, but the funding has fallen through and it’s
hard to focus on abstractions, hypothetical grand schemes. Instead we pay attention to things at
hand: forage for herbs and fish, taste fungi, tramp bogs, smoke cigarettes to keep the insects at

An otter turns and turns in the surf at the far end of Camas Sgiotaig till eventually we too turn; face
instead the cropped sward, the steep climb. The otter is still there, but receding, a formality.
At the top we spread out; phone family, stay in touch. Torsten has arrangements to keep. I make
small news and enquiries. I don’t know about Neil – he has gone ahead.

Across the sea is blue Skye.

We search for An Cruachan but come across the summit cairn by accident, it’s outcrop barely
differentiated from the boggy plateau. Then rain from the south.

We compare gear.

The island is a cosmic egg, a principle of segregation, a beginning again.

Searching for possibilities I talk to the others about a new boat, a tiny boat, no more than a dinghy.
Excited, I can build it in my garage, or my studio, or my shed. I would barely need the Arts Council
this way. Neil is pragmatic, perhaps tired of speculation. He agrees.

I put the idea to the skipper of the large and worldly aluminium yacht we’ve borrowed for a few days
to get a feel for the seas around here. The skipper is adventurous, a mountaineering veteran and
ocean going yachtswoman, who affirms the notion.

Her son, 11 years, grown up on yachts, is engrossed in fantasy novels below. Neil, happy to
windward, puts the rail under as an enormous gust knocks everything off the shelves. The fantasy
novel and its reader come on deck: “You almost capsized!” he declares.

We talked of making into Loch Scavaig on Skye, casting an eye upon the site of the Viking
boatyard at Loch na h-Airde, the ruined shark fishery, or the sublime anchorage at Loch na Cuilce,
but with the southerly strengthening I know that we won’t make it this time.

We harden up to round the point of Sleat and make for the daymark, a daubed white masonry paint
target on the cliffs marking the winding passage into Loch nan Ceall and Arisaig.

We take our leave in the quietness after dawn and wait for the first train home.

Image: Neil Bickerton.

Text: Nick Evans.