Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) has launched a three-year partnership with the Bothy Project. ECA will support four week-long residencies for selected recent ECA graduates, offering them the chance to develop their creative practice in off-grid spaces.

The inaugural awardees will undertake their residencies between November 2019 and February 2020 in either the Inshriach Bothy within the Cairngorms National Park or Sweeney’s Bothy on the Isle of Eigg.

The first cohort of awardees are:

  • Alice Hayward, BMus (Hons) Music, 2019 - Sweeney’s Bothy
  • Emelia Kerr-Beale, BA (Hons) Painting, 2019 - Sweeney’s Bothy
  • Gabrielle Gillott, MA (Hons) Fine Art, 2019 - Inshriach Bothy
  • Lucy Havens, MSc Advanced Informatics, 2019 - Inshriach Bothy

ECA support time at the Bothies and each resident receives £250 towards travel and subsistence.

This partnership came about after the Bothy Project approached Stuart Bennett, whilst he was ECA's Acting Principal, to ask if ECA would be interested in using the bothies for creative residencies. Having stayed in the bothies himself and knowing how they work, Stuart says: “I thought it could be a great way to support graduating students to do research for their next body of work.”

“To launch the first year, I decided to award the first four residencies to alumnae whose performances, exhibitions and degree show work centred on the Anthropocene, land/seascape, environmental concerns, folklore and location specific work,” adds Stuart. “The Bothy Project supports writers, artists, designers, musicians and architects - much of what we do here at ECA - so I wanted to select from across our five Schools.”

    A landscape photograph taken during a hike exploring the Isle of Eigg on a sunny day.
    Image Credit: Alice Hayward
    Exploring Eigg: Alice Hayward stayed in Sweeney's Bothy on the Isle of Eigg and documented her explorations of the Island

    ""It’s daunting leaving art college and university, so I’m delighted that we can provide something valuable beyond the institution.""

    Stuart Bennett, Senior Lecturer in Art at ECA

    The Bothy Project is a charitable organisation founded in 2011. It offers opportunities for creatives to develop their practice by undertaking residencies in diverse, beautiful and inspirational environments.

    Stuart adds: “Both bothies are in such special locations that some time away to think, look and just be, would be enough. However, I did receive a lovely message from one resident who emailed me just after they got off the ferry from Eigg stating how inspirational the residency had been. If I’m honest, that makes it all worthwhile – it’s daunting leaving art college and university so I’m delighted that we can provide something valuable beyond the institution.”

    Stay tuned for the first in the series of residency takeover articles, to find out more about what the graduates got up to, coming soon in the early 2020.

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