My residency was at The Bothy Project, Inshriach, Cairngorms and its intention was to use this as a springboard to build a body of my own work and observations in response to the inspirational book ‘The Living Mountain’ by Nan Shepherd. The residency at the bothy gave me the opportunity to live ‘off grid’ (away from the life that we all rely on in today's modern society), focus on and experience this unique mountain environment in the spirit of Nan Shepherd’s search of the essential nature of the Cairngorms.
The onset of the Covid pandemic with its restrictions on travelling and access to studio and printmaking workshops had stalled progress to a degree with etching plates etc left in limbo for the last two years. But with things opening up again work has resumed and is now moving forward.
The etchings relate directly to my time spent at the residency and the surrounding area, they reflect on my own feelings and thoughts experienced by the ‘genius loci’, and look to echo the spirit of the locations. Time spent alone in the environment to meditate on Shepherd’s own observations and discoveries of ‘the mountain’ in itself, the contours, hidden places, colours, waters, flora and fauna.
The pen/gouache works lean towards a more topographical approach to mapping the landscape, without being too representational they seek to focus on specific formations and capture a sense of space and form in the geometric crystallization and flow of rock. Fine lines and flat washes relate to the boundaries, contours and colours often found in maps but also aim to evoke a sense of a place of deep time and layered strata constantly in a state of flux with nature’s cycles of erosion and rebirth.