In the first of three projects funded by Outset Scotland’s ‘Bothy Circle’ over the next three years, Nick Evans, Neil Bickerton and Torsten Lauschmann were invited to take up a residency in Sweeney’s Bothy on the Isle of Eigg in July 2015. The Bothy Project is a network of small-scale, off-grid art residency spaces in distinct and diverse locations around Scotland and beyond. Its objective is to create platforms for artists to journey and explore the peculiarities of the history, mythology, landscape and people in the areas surrounding the bothies, while also having ‘unplugged’ time to focus on their own work.
The Glasgow-based artists visited Sweeney’s Bothy in order to further research and develop their ideas for their project Plutonic Archipelago – The Voyage of the Solar Eye. Evans is planning to build a small boat and has invited Bickerton and Lauschmann to undertake an experimental cruise around the plutonic archipelago – the exposed magma chambers that make up the backbone of the Small Isles, the Rum and Skye Cuillin – focusing on linkages between time, matter, consciousness and civilisation. Their residency in Eigg gave the three artists a sustained period together, thinking through the collaborative and conceptual parameters of the project.
Nick Evans (born 1976 in Mufulira, Zambia) spent his childhood years in Somerset. He graduated from the Environmental Art course at The Glasgow School of Art in 2000, spending a year of this study at the Royal College of Fine Arts in Stockholm. Important exhibitions have included: / prospect / Funktion / Disfunktion – Kunstzentrum Glasgow, Neues Museum Nürnberg, Nuremberg (2013); Solar Eyes, Tramway, Glasgow (2013); Primary School, Inverleith House, Edinburgh (2008); and Abstract Machines, Tate St Ives, Cornwall (2006). In 2011, he was awarded the National Galleries of Scotland inaugural Artists’ Fellowship Award. He lives and works in Glasgow.
Torsten Lauschmann (born 1970 in Bad Soden, Germany) studied Fine Art Photography at The Glasgow School of Art (1997), and gained his MA in Media Art from ZKM in Karlsruhe (2001). Solo shows have been staged at Dundee Contemporary Arts (2012), Collective Gallery, Edinburgh (2010) and Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol (2008). In 2010, he received the inaugural Margaret Tait Award at the Glasgow Film Festival. He was shortlisted for the Jarman Award (2011). A visiting lecturer at both Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in Dundee, and Edinburgh College of Art, he lives and works in Glasgow.
Neil Bickerton (born in Glasgow in 1976) graduated from Glasgow School of Art (Environmental Art) in 1999. He works with a variety of media including acrylic paint, chewing gum, masking tape, digital animation and sound composition. Recent works have explored interconnected human and spacial relationships, mostly through the medium of spoken word performance. Recent performances include: This Building, for Hot Dog Party, Baut Haus, Edinburgh, The Inside of This Bus, for ‘Conversation of Monuments’, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, No Trees, for Openaries, Glasgow International and A Path, The Northern Charter, Newcastle.
The Bothy Project was initiated by artist Bobby Niven and architect Iain MacLeod, who created their first art residency bothy – Inshriach Bothy near Aviemore – in 2011. Sweeney’s Bothy on the Isle of Eigg was realised in 2013, followed by Pig Rock Bothy, which sits in the grounds of the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, in 2014.