The Briggait tenant, Margaret Archbold, spent two weeks on the Isle of Skye at The Admiral’s House in February 2023. We asked her some questions about her stay, and to give insight into what she got from her residency.

  • What was your first morning/afternoon/night at the Admiral’s House like?

The first afternoon had that feeling of being let out to play after school has finished for the summer – you know it’s going to rain but you don’t care. That feeling continued for much of the stay. I’ve tried to bring it home with me.

  • Did you form a routine?

I settled in quickly, the landscape felt like home. My routine revolved around meals and the weather. With no commitments or obligations, I quickly settled into purely caring for myself – and although a routine was established, it could be broken at a moment’s notice to photograph or draw, or to just stop and watch the sea.

  • Who did you meet?

I met very few people and that suited the purposes of my stay. But those I met were great and the sporadic conversations were nourishing. The guest list, a neighbour, a taxi driver, sheep, cattle, robins, dogs (in particular, a collie who ran the length of the road to meet me as I approached his house), a black cat, thrushes and blackbirds… and dolphins.

  • Did you go anywhere that really stuck with you?

I walked out onto a tiny peninsula to see remains of an old fort. It wasn’t so much the destination that resonated with me, but rather the walk itself.

  • Did you make new work while you were there or did you spend more time researching/developing/contemplating?

I spent a lot of time walking and sitting outside. I had days of purely thinking and     examining my practice from a different point of view, literally! I made a group of sketches and kept a written record of each day.

  • Have you been working on anything new since you’ve come back to Glasgow?

I didn’t unpack the art bag until I had been home for around 2 weeks. I have started working from sketches done on Skye. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what is coming next. I am working on a slower approach, in many ways.

  • Describe your experience of the residency in a maximum of five words.

I can’t do that, sorry ?

  • What did you take with you to The Admiral’s House?

Apart from the necessary clothes and general art materials, I took three objects of significance. My leather bag “the coolest bag in the world”, my anniversary edition Opinal knife and my watercolour tin – it’s around 35 years old I think. It was quite liberating to have very little else in the way of important possessions there.

  • What did you leave at The Admiral’s House?

I left some of my postcards behind, and a poster of my recent solo show.

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