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