The Artistic Reflections publication will be available from June 2017
For more information, or to order a copy, please contact: email@example.com
Designed by Marco Scerri, edited by Susan Christie and supported by Creative Scotland
Battleby Estate, Perthshire 14.9 Hectares
Scottish Natural Heritage
Project website: http://www.bootlaceandlightning.wordpress.com
Scottish Natural Heritage’s conference centre at Battleby, near Perth, hosts a wide range of events and activities in a Victorian country house with modern additions. The buildings also house many SNH staff and the grounds surrounding the house contain a wide and important range of species.
Mike Inglis describes his practice as ‘instinctive’. This is borne out by the way in which his residency at Battleby unfolded, as he developed a variety of responses to the brief and used different tactics to engage individuals from the host organisation in his work. At the outset, he established an open studio in a small garden building so that people could drop in and see him work, using the natural materials of the site to make a range of imagery and prints. As previously mentioned, he devised innovative ways of contacting staff through the internal mail and invited them to walk with him in the grounds and share their stories. He blogged about the progress of his residency so that others could share in the process.
These investigations fed into one large work – the ‘Tree Church’. This is a small structure hidden amongst Battleby’s shrubs and trees, made mostly from recycled windows and incorporating a small room with chairs. In this room the visitor can sit and read some of the key texts that inspired Inglis’ work – such as Biophilia by Edward O. Wilson – or look through the ‘archive’ of natural materials, or simply contemplate the landscape beyond the structure. Inglis says that “the starting point was the idea of an ark –
an ecosystem.” To one side, there is a small open courtyard enclosing a young rowan. The little sanctuary faces out of Battleby’s grounds, towards open countryside, and is overlooked by a skeletal wooden tower, on top of which is mounted the print that stood outside Inglis’s studio throughout his residency. It reads: ‘Everything is Hopeless But I Feel So Optimistic.’