From his experiences in mountain bothies across Europe, Fife-based artist Bobby Niven began The Bothy Project in 2011, a network of small-scale, off-grid art residency spaces in distinct and diverse locations around Scotland and beyond. His objective was to collaborate with a lead artist and create platforms for artists to journey and explore the peculiarities of the history, mythology, landscape and people in the areas surrounding each bothy.
In 2012 the project involved turning a vacant space by the canal in Glasgow into a wildflower garden with a shipping container bothy creating an alternative outdoor performance and events space. The following year the garden hosted 157 Days of Sunshine, an exhibition of work by Nicolas Party, Laura Aldridge & Kathryn Elkin, Bobby Niven, Michael Stumpf and Guillaume Gattier. In 2014 Pig Rock Bothy was completed in Edinburgh. Built on the grounds of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and hosting a series of talks, events and performances the project was part of Generation – an exhibition celebrating 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland.
Niven’s ongoing sculpture practice involves working with a range of different materials and techniques. If he were to receive the fellowship he would like to develop ways of working with mud and glass fibre reinforced concrete with the eventual aim of building a sculptural out-door kitchen. Complete with bread oven, ranger stove and a rocket mass heater all constructed from mud, the kitchen would be protected by a glass fibre concrete roof and create a space for a programme of workshops and events with longer-term benefits in mind.