Sweeney's Bothy / Bothan Shuibhne

Sweeney's Bothy / Bothan Shuibnhe is an artist residency space on the Hebridean isle of Eigg. Its construction and the first program of residencies was funded by Creative Scotland; the bothy is now run in association with Eigg Box. Now that the roof is on and the stove lit it seemed the right time to collect the various posts and artist blogs in one place.

The bothy was a collaboration between myself and The Bothy Project (Bobby Niven and Iain Macleod). I was inspired by the ancient Gaelic legend of Suihbne/Sweeney, the 7th century poet-king who underwent a traumatic crisis in the clash and bring of battle, levitated, leapt, and took to sleeping in a thorn bush. His war-torn exile in the wilderness became a way to interrogate the wild mind, hutting, dwelling, survivalism, protest, and island culture. The thorn motif became an architectural reality, refined into a piloti supporting the bothy's tree-high bed.

My part was to draw in many collaborative threads, and explore hutopian thinking in Scotland, from the community at Carbeth to Kevin Langan's wild shelters. As the blogs make clear, there was a constant interplay between poetic thought and hammer & nails. The project confirmed my deep respect for Bobby's generosity and commitment to making such dwellings available to creative folk.

Each artist spends one week on the island developing new work. You can see their blog posts on the main Bothy Project website. My posts were mostly published here on this blog.

Sweeney's Bothy
Sweeney's First Leap
Sweeney: Suivi Suibhne
Sweeney: a portrait

Sweeney's Eigg: a Guide
Sweeney & Hugh Miller on Eigg
Sweeney: kree’ar
Sweeney on Eigg (Publication)
Sweeney’s Bothy: Eigg and Canna
Thomas A Clark: The Hut in the Woods

Sweeney asks: what is a hut?
A thorn shelter for Sweeney Sweeney's wild shelter
Sweeney: aviform/arboriform
Sweeney: Susan Tichy

Sweeny's Bothy: thorns
Sweeney's walking stick
Bothan Shuibhne
Thorns (Publication)

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