In early January we journeyed up to Inshriach Bothy near Aviemore, full of anticipation, excitement and having gingerly readied ourselves for what promised to be a unique experience enveloped by the landscape in a simple shelter in the Highlands. A week's artist residency in this beautiful location. Removed from the everyday hustle and bustle, the bright lights and city noise. A time to reflect, to be inspired and restored, to regain focus and perspective and dedicate a rarely found week straight to the creative pursuits we both treasure.
Ian is a musician and independent researcher. I am a landscape architect, photographer and film-maker. Together we have interests in both the auditory and visual senses that combine with other experiential qualities to help define a sense of place.
During our days at Inshriach Bothy we explored this beautiful landscape whilst the weak winter daylight lasted, and found visual senses dominated - views of far flung snow-topped mountains against the horizon, the almost hypnotising circling swirling of the river, frozen rippled puddles along the path and bare branches swaying in the wind.
As dusk turned to pitch black inky night, auditory clues took over to translate the world around us - owls hooting from up above our heads, the crunch of footsteps along winding frosty paths, winds wailing, trees creaking, and that occasional unexpected crunch nearby that jolts you alert, filled with dread of what might be out there in the dark - heard but not seen.
You feel vulnerable, blind without a primary visual sense to guide you, auditory cues magnify in intensity, and instead you retreat to the warmth inside the bothy, lighting lanterns and a fire to give warmth. 'Outside' transcends from a serene beautiful landscape and becomes a darkened wilderness of unexpected noises that prey on your overly zealous imagination. Until morning. When you re-awake to views of a peaceful serene landscape once more.