MATT STALKER: Self-Directed Residency, 2016

 Everything is slower here. In these crannies of the mountains, the mode of supplying elemental needs is still slow, laborious, personal… There is a deep pervasive satisfaction in these simple acts. Whether you give it conscious thought or not, you are touching life, and something within you knows it.”  Nan Shepherd, ‘The Living Mountain’


Inshriach Bothy

The walk from the wood store to the axe’s haggar at the chopping block; the careful assembly of a rickle of broken fingers of kindling atop the reeshle of crushed newspaper, brought to fragile life by the flame of a single match, nursed until grown-up into a blaze enough to raise the rationed water from cold, to warm, to boiling. And then its almost ecclesiastical ministry to the coffee grounds, followed by the rich smoky smell, steam rolling over itself in ascension, the heat on the lips and tongue as the cup is drawn to the mouth, and then — finally — the taste.

Everything is slower here. And gratitude comes easily.


Glossary (with thanks to Nan)
Haggarclumsy hacking
Ricklea structure put loosely together, loose heap



There must be many exciting properties of matter that we cannot know because we have no way to know them. Yet, with what we have, what wealth!

Nan Shepherd, ‘The Living Mountain’

Loch an Eilein

Such quality of light I have seldom seen. The Sun dropping behind the Cairngorms casts colours across the sky that bring to mind peaches, gold bullion, candy floss, the aphrodisiac neon of the urban — things that have no place here amidst the timeless Scottish hues of brown earth, of white frost, of mustard yellow and mauve heather.

Standing at the edge of a loch standing like glass, reflection is a natural process. The mind is drawn into reverential silence. Sentinels of the water, we stand as quiet as the venerable Scots Firs rising up from the earth around us. We don’t speak. To utter a sound now is to heave a rock into the stillness, disturbing the way things are: just as they are.

At the far side of the water, the slightest of breezes ripples the surface, trembling the Rorschach reflections of the forest. Its fringes become animated — pixelated, deconstructed, forms dissolving in skittering morse code dashes and dots.

Time doesn’t mean anything here. Each moment extends out fluidly, soundlessly, peacefully, magically.

OX ART: Self-Directed Residency, 2016


Ox On Eigg – Isle Land Life. Psychic Experiments and Site Worship is the Ox Art residency at Sweeney’s Bothy, on the Isle of Eigg, selected and hosted by The Bothy Project. Ox Art are collaborative artist duo Annabel Pettigrew and Rob MacPherson. During our time on Eigg we performed daily psychic experiments using Zenner cards, and read the Tarot. We filmed and captured lots of footage in view to making a film of our time in Eigg, which will be exhibited later in 2016. We explored the island and performed ritualistic respect to the sites we visited.



Isle Land Life, image by Ox, 2016



Black Hole Cave, image by Ox, 2016

Isle Land Life (audio)


Isle Land Life

13.00:57          A black hole of the mass of the sun

33.03:18          About to begin

34.01:04          Low 150 miles South-West

30.01:44          Now for ten years

14.03:26          But there’s another kind of Hawking radiation


13.15:06           Fragile from the storm

04.03:35          Smile a certain sadness

28.00:10          Tears must be cried

32.00:52          To forget

31.01:00           Sun is high

03.02:21           And the Loan Piper walks off into the distance


04.04:48          (Instrumental)


20.00:30          We get so close, near enough to fight

05.02:06          Recognised, if that makes sense

13.06:11            Know the positions of particles

27.05:34           Promise, melt the ice

13.11.:17            But you couldn’t come back to our universe


Isle Land Life, poem and audio by Ox, 2016


Isle Land Life, ‘The Collector’, film short by Ox, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 20.03.03

Isle Land Life, ‘The Collector Suggests The Tarot’, image by Ox, 2016


Isle Land Life, ‘The Collector Deals The Tarot’, image by Ox, 2016


Isle Land Life, ‘Polarised Ponais’, image by Ox, 2016

Isle Land Life, ‘An Sgùrr’, film by Ox, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 10.14.55

Isle Land Life, ‘An Sgùrr’, film still by Ox, 2016

Ox would like to thank the people of Eigg, and Lucy and Eddie for their tremendous hospitality.

Further credits can be found on oxart-uk.com

All images, audio, text, and moving images remain the intellectual property of the artists.



LENA VURMA & THOR KLEIN: Self-Directed Residency, 2015

Thank you Bothy Project! Thanks especially to Rachel & Bobby and Nicole & Matt. Two filmmakers with no electricity going back to the roots of storytelling – what a wonderful & unforgettable time!



motto of the week
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAstorytelling by the fire
long walks every day

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe tale of the tree

magic forest
my favorite tree
his favorite tree
chop chop
singing in the rain
moon on earth
7 nights without electricity
the view from the throne
after the flood comes the snow
love to the bothy





JENNY & IAN HUMBERSTONE: Self-Directed Residency, 2015

Crisp frost adorns the crunching heather./ Moonlight brightens, illuminating every patch of frozen ground, every bare branch./ The night sky, above this small shelter, this haven of home, sheltering us from the brisk cold and wailing winds./ A crackling hearth, the warmth of a wood/ fuelled fire, simple comfort and protection from natural elements we are rarely so exposed to./ The River Spey lies beneath us, its roaring crescendo-ing cacophony of continuous water./ Winding its way down from the hills above through this striking and interwoven patchwork landscape/ of tree roots, thawing cold soil, grass and gravel and heather and rock.



In early January we journeyed up to Inshriach Bothy near Aviemore, full of anticipation, excitement and having gingerly readied ourselves for what promised to be a unique experience enveloped by the landscape in a simple shelter in the Highlands. A week removed from the everyday hustle and bustle, the bright lights and city noise. A time to reflect, to be inspired and restored, to regain focus and perspective and dedicate a rarely found straight week to the creative pursuits we both treasure.

Ian + Jenny Humberstone at Bothy

Ian is a researcher, artist and musician. I am a landscape architect, photographer and film-maker. Together we have interests in both the auditory and visual senses that combine with other experiential qualities to help define a sense of place.

During our days at Inshriach Bothy we explored this beautiful landscape whilst the weak winter daylight lasted, and found visual senses dominated – views of far flung snow-topped mountains against the horizon, the almost hypnotising circling swirling of the river, frozen rippled puddles along the path and bare branches swaying in the wind. As dusk turned to pitch black inky night, auditory clues took over to translate the world around us – owls hooting from up above our heads, the crunch of footsteps along winding frosty paths, winds wailing, trees creaking, and that occasional unexpected crunch nearby that jolts you alert, filled with dread of what might be out there in the dark – heard but not seen.

You feel vulnerable, blind without a primary visual sense to guide you, auditory cues magnify in intensity, and instead you retreat to the warmth inside the bothy, lighting lanterns and a fire to give warmth. ‘Outside’ transcends from a serene beautiful landscape and becomes a darkened wilderness of unexpected noises that prey on your overly zealous imagination. Until morning. When you re-awake to views of a peaceful serene landscape once more.

Humberstone_IanWoodsHumberstone_Mountain 02Humberstone_RainbowRedTreesJenny Humberstone photographyHumberstone_LandscapeHumberstone_LochAnEileennight sky bothy

Together we made a film exploring this transition in the way we interpret the world around us, the way our experience of place changes as different senses dominate – day to night, visual to auditory, from an instantly visual and explained world in plain sight, to a primal fear induced by auditory cues we either hear or imagine but cannot see or anticipate.

The audio for this film primarily comprises original field recordings taken by Ian at the Inshriach Bothy site and locale (including piano at the Old Bridge Inn) in addition to original compositions responding to the night scenes and outro. Film and photography was recorded entirely on-site by Jenny. The film represents the collaboration of the senses which combine to create the ‘genius loci’ of this unique landscape as this changes from day to night and back to day again.


Whilst at the bothy I became interested in the notion of layering sensory information, which in combination forms a unique perspective in creating a sense of place. This sense of place is always fluid and personal – a landscape and its experiential qualities change not only with time of day, season, meterological conditions, but also with the specific places someone explores and subjective experiences personal to them within that landscape. In the following series of photographic works, I looked specifically at layering different visual information from varying scales in the landscape around Inshriach Bothy – by combining landscape-wide views and detailed abstractions at the closest scales of leaves, textures and macro elements to combine and create a series of snapshots which together help form a visual sense of this beautiful place and landscape.

Humberstone_WaterFireHumberstone_Mountain 04Humberstone_MountainWater

JASPER COPPES & CRISTINA GARRIGA: Self-Directed Residency, 2015

The thing about living on an island that is only reachable by boat, Martin Creed writes, is that every time you leave you have to “watch it get smaller and smaller in the distance until it is gone [which] is amazing and sad”. The isle of Eigg is special because standing on it you can see another island that constantly appears and disappears without ever getting smaller. The window of Sweeney’s Bothy is an instrument for longing, directed at that other place out there – sometimes veiled in cloud or snowstorm, sometimes shimmering in the sun.




Behind the writing desk we found ourselves become Asian Connoisseurs of the scholar rock there sticking out of the ocean; a rock that educates the viewer in the art of perception and dwelling, in what it means to be somewhere.

The notions of perception and dwelling can be extended in the mind to become the practices of observation and craft, of writing and making.

But writing also shapes the land, just as the soil can teach one how to read.


While straying further and further away from common tracks we became absorbed by lumps of grey matter that, after a gentle drizzle, responded by bursting into colour – we realised right there that the thing and its name both meet upon the hand. They come forth from its silent and sensitive interaction with the world.


Jasper Coppes & Cristina Garriga


Supported by My Bookcase