Eigg Residency and Lyon and Turnbull

On the 7th February 2020, I took off from the small Borders village where I live and headed to Eigg.

The residency, which was awarded through Lyon and Turnbull and the Bothy Project group at my degree show in July 2019, was located on the North West part of Eigg in Cleadale at Sweeney’s Bothy.

I made my way around the island during the week in the teeth of Storm Ciara, taking many photographs and making sketches. In the evening I wrote up an illustrated journal and painted nine small oil paintings on paper from the window of Sweeney’s, watching the weather batter the island and the bothy.

Whilst on Eigg, reports on the radio were gathering around a new Coronavirus spreading through Europe. It was terrifying to listen to subsequent reports over the coming weeks, and within a month returning from Eigg, the entire UK was in lock-down.

On August the 10th 2020, I delivered eleven paintings to Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh for a socially distancing two day exhibition. It was frustrating after producing this work not to have had a busier, ‘normal’, exhibition, but seeing the work alongside John Bellany’s, Alan Davies and a host of other incredible works, was tremendously rewarding.

The intention originally was to produce a few small sculptures, alongside the paintings, associated with the incredible geology of Eigg. But the dramatic weather became more of a focus, watching the island light and atmosphere constantly change.