Weekend Fun: The Inshriach Bothy, an artist studio in the Scottish Highlands
The Bothy Project is an artist-driven initiative to develop small studio spaces for artist residencies in unique locations across Scotland. Some of the studios will make use of space in existing structures while others will be new builds. The Inshriach Bothy was the first of these live/work studios. It sits surrounded by birch trees and heather in a small hollow in the Cairngorms National Park. It was built in 2011 through the efforts of artist Bobby Niven, architectural designer Iain MacLeod and a team of volunteer builders, supported by grants from the Royal Scottish Academy.
The bothy (a small cottage in a remote location) was constructed off-site and then disassembled for transport by truck and tractor to its site next to the River Spey. There the prefabricated panels were reassembled and the corrugated metal and wood cladding were installed. Having made a commitment to building sustainably, The Bothy Project used sheep’s wool insulation and reclaimed materials, including the windows, flooring and loft ladder, to finish out the tiny studio.
The Inshriach Bothy is a simple structure providing the necessities of shelter, warmth, and for the artists, peaceful isolation in which to work. A woodstove provides heat, lanterns and solar powered lights cut the darkness, and the roof collects rainwater. But if you want to bathe, you have to heat the water on the stove, pour it into a container, and hang it above the deck for an outdoor shower. The toilet facilities are a short walk away, where a small shed houses a composting toilet with an open view of the natural landscape. The bothy is simply furnished with hand-made furniture and a mattress in the cozy sleeping loft.
The completed bothy is used for week-long artist residencies from October to March. From April to September it is available for rent by the general public through Canopy and Stars.
Photographs courtesy of The Bothy Project.
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