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  • Writer's pictureRitchard Allaway

24/05/22 - Alone in Scotland

21st – 22nd April 2022


Reflecting on Wilderness

Location: Greensykes Bothy – Scotland


Experiencing Isolation and Remote Wilderness



Please note that this text is written as a conversation that is reflective within the now as things happened and as a past reflective description. Audio clips are provided and to be listened to as first-hand accounts.


On the 21st of April 2022 I drove to Glendinning Farm located just next to the River Esk in Scotland. This text outlines in chapters the purpose and findings from this intimate ‘residency’.


The Plan and Purpose

I have struggled for some time within the first period of my research degree to venture out into the wilderness for a length of time that does not count for just a couple of hours. You will have read and seen my day wilderness journeys and they have been fulfilling towards my research. I have though been keen to extend the length of those journeys from the initial stages of my academic studies. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I have not been able to obtain the time to partake in such needs. With the Easter period among us, it was only fitting that I used that ‘free’ time to partake in a longer and overnight residency.


From each day residency I have been able to be a part of a wild landscape, but I was never too far away from some form of humanity. I could always hear distant car noise or come across the odd walker etc. I knew that having more time to spend within a residency would help me locate that wanting of remoteness and intimate experiences of isolation, but I would have to go further afield to locate it.


For this residency I decided to find a suitable ‘wild’ location that would become the first of many more elongated residencies. During my time within the location, I would seek to gain knowledge through the lived experience of being within the landscape, being alone, and being with oneself, making the event an intimate discovery. I would collect ‘data’ from photography, sound recordings (that of the landscape and my thoughts) and journal entries. Once collected and returned to my studio, I would analyse and reflect upon what I had obtained and then I would use accordingly to compose an artistic outcome(s).


The Location

Due to this being my first planned overnight residency, I wanted to not go too far into Scotland as a precaution. I wanted to play it ‘safe’ and make sure there was not a great distance between myself and my known surroundings. This residency would also be a test run for me, to get some experience with wild camping and wild camping alone.


The border of Scotland is located about a two-hour drive away from Stockton – On – Tees (give or take traffic). It is an ideal country to visit due its natural beauty and wild landscapes. It is also a country where wild camping is legal within the UK. I was made aware from a colleague that Bothy’s are widely available in Scotland, and he recommended that I should look to stay at one and that Scotland would be the ideal location. He is an experienced solo traveller, and he gave me much advice and resource points to access, prepare and plan for my residency.


I was wanting to locate my residency towards the south-west of Scotland as I was quite familiar with the east coast from spending much time along that side of the country. I also considered the south-west due to this location being more in-land and far from the North Sea. It is still early on within the year and although spring is about us, the weather contains a cold chill at night. Looking after my health is vitally important, especially when considering the idea of camping alone in the middle of nowhere.


From my research I was drawn to Merrick located in the Galloway Forest Park, but from the reviews it seemed to be a more challenging walk and hike. I therefore came across GreenSykes located next to Eskdalemuir. This was a located to the east of Merrick and so took a little time off my drive up. My research helped me find a few walking routes and hikes I could easily obtain and ones that would push me deep into the wilderness. One concern of mine was where to leave my car safely and/or away from any passes by who would take it as abandoned. Luckily, Glendinning Farm (and from a YouTube video I found) had a public free ‘car park’ and once left you could access the walking routes.


Bothy or Tent

With wild camping, I expected to take a tent with me, and I planned to do just that. I managed to pick up a two-man tent from Go Outdoors for a reasonable price and one that was light and small enough to fit in my backpack or be fastened to it. When discussing my residency with the same colleague as previously mentioned, the bothy idea was still an option to consider and the possibility of not using my tent.


What is a bothy? A bothy is an abandoned farmhouse but not as abandoned as you would think. They could be described as a tent but with brick walls and a roof. Some have a fireplace, raised sleeping platforms and even a toilet, whilst some have nothing except four walls and a roof. Bothies are designed to help walkers and hikers have a dry place to rest for the night before they move on, and that is exactly the length of stay anyone should have within a bothy. If you wish to find out more about bothies, then follow this link, https://www.mountainbothies.org.uk/bothies/what-is-a-bothy/.


The idea of staying in a bothy sounded great, but on the other hand it sounded like a place where humanity could reside or did reside. As stated earlier, I was wanting to play this residency safe and keeping dry and warm was essential and I was concerned that staying in my small tent could end up being a very chilly night. Though there was conflict between bothy and tent, and I decided to aim for the bothy, but if people were residing inside, I would stay within my tent. The Greensykes location had a freshwater stream nearby, so I knew I would be able to gain access to a water supply. I could camp within a stable location with the necessities around me.


Equipment

Keeping my bag light was key for this residency. I knew from my research that to get to the Greensykes bothy would take around an hour’s hike through hilly terrain. I have years of experience of solo travelling around foreign landscapes and landscapes that involved a lot of hiking to reach certain points of stay. I therefore like to think that I know how to pack light with the necessities for a long hike that can be tough to endure. It was important to make sure I got this part right; I knew freshwater was available from the stream that I could access and boil for it to be suitable. How was I going to boil the water? I had to bring a small cooking stove. What would I put water into to boil? A small metal pan and one that I could cook food within. I took my dated 1945 US army mess kit, which served me well and has done on many field trips away. It might be seventy-seven years old, but it still does the job. For food, small tins of mackerel, tuna, and beans. I brought along several protein bars and a pack of nuts. I even included a bottle of red wine for the evening. With consumables packed, I looked at what else I should take. A spare of socks and pants is always key, as well as a change of top. I had a base layer for my legs and upper body, and this would be under armour. A hat, gloves, light fleece zipped top, as well as a light rain jacket were next to go into the bag (apart from the items I would wear to go and come back in). Along with my tent from Go Outdoors, I found a small inflatable sleeping mat that was light and easily packable within my small bag. A sleeping bag would be next, but I decided that this item could be fastened to the outside of my bag to save on room inside. Most of the essential items were sorted, but medical was not. I have always carried a small first-aid kit with me on all my travels which includes not just bandages but medicines and a foil blanket. This was an item that would come with me. Other items that were to be brought were, tea light candles, matches, a lighter, lighter fluid (to put on the fire), Swiss army knife, black bag (for rubbish), a small shovel, travel towel, and a hygiene bag with essentials in. To complete my bag, I would take a long some entertainment, and that would come in the form of two small books. Sarah Maitland’s ‘A Book of Silence’, (very fitting for this residency) and to keep the nerd in me happy, a Warhammer 40K science fiction novel. I did remind myself to take equipment with me to document my residency and so I brought along the full frame Nixon DSLR and a small handheld Roland RO-5 sound recorder with external microphone.


The Journey

The drive to Greensykes was straight forward until I headed into the countryside (but we will get to that shortly). I would take the A66, switch to the M6 and then the A7 before turning off into the wild. My journey took around three hours to get there and my plan was to drive to Langholm, then onto Bentpath as Bentpath was where my sturdy road would disappear and be replaced with mud tracks with many large holes and a lot of sheep. Just before I reached Bentpath I entered a beautiful landscape of hills and forest with the river Esk running between. It was a peaceful drive at that point and on many occasions, I wanted to pull over and take the landscape in, but I knew I had to keep driving and I would be rewarded with views that I craved.


The drive to Glendinning Farm where I would have to leave my car to begin the hike was a difficult task. The ‘road’ was a farmers track with many large potholes scattered across the surface. I had to be patient and take caution when navigating this road as it was not suitable for a commercial car. This road was a single track, built within the hill sides and surrounded by sheep. The sheep would also dart across the road or stand within the centre, but a small sound of the horn helped clear the road of livestock. On reaching Glendinning Farm I came across a small wooden bridge lined with railway sleepers as its ‘road’ to cross. I could just about fit my car through, but I enjoyed every part of that challenge. I knew I was outside of the ‘normality’, and I was in the wild landscape.




The Walk/Hike

I took my moment once again and as I always do, I sat in the boot of my car looking out at the landscape before me. I just wanted to take that moment in before I set off on my walk.


With my handwritten note left on the inside of my windscreen ‘Gone to make artwork, be back tomorrow’, I was ready to head further into the hillside. I began with reading the ‘no vehicles beyond this point. Access to bothy via bridal way’. Although a dirt track where vehicles had driven across was visible, I assumed vehicle access was just for the local farmers and cottage owners. Once past the first gate, I headed slightly up hill, banking to the left past a small stone cottage with the occupants clothing hung on the washing line acknowledging that this was the last sign of a liveable area between here and the bothy. The weather was mild, with some minimal scattered cloud but mostly sunshine kept me company. The dirt path was rather rocky and uneven throughout, and even though I packed light, walking on an elongated uphill section, I could feel the tension between footing and the natural surface. From my research, I understood I needed to follow the path for several miles, which I calculated to take me around one hours walk. The path gradually merged itself into the hillside, freeing up my right side to enjoy open views of the hilly landscape. Some forestry occupied certain areas, there was a small stream opposite the path in which they both followed each other, making their own way through the landscape. Farmland was another occupier, with more sheep scattered around and between man-made wire fences. My first thoughts were positive and pleasing, a sign of relief I would say, knowing I was there making my way through unknown territory.


Both sound clips are to be played which feature live reflective commentary from the walk/hike.






The final stages of the walk were near because I could see two small chimneys protruding out of the hilly landscape. They were not protruding from the top of a hill, but instead were tucked away inside of the valley and appearing above the sloped landscape. There was excitement within me when I noticed these but a little uncertainty as well. A mixture of emotions emphasizing my wanting and need to be within this space but also echoing those earlier comments I made within this text about not knowing what to expect.




The Bothy

My first thoughts on the bothy when I arrived were pleasing. The look of the bothy was very much in line with the look of a picturesque cottage. The bothy was tucked away, hidden from view and I believe that added to its overall feel and appearance. It was a one-story building with two front and back windows, a small front porch, a wood store, and an outside toilet. The front ‘garden’ had a picnic table, several scattered flowers, a bird feed and what appeared to be a makeshift clothesline. Cutting its way through the ‘garden’ was a small freshwater stream with a foot bridge that led to the toilet and a viewing seat.




Inside, the bothy was split into three rooms via a small horizontal corridor. To the right a wood lined room with a fireplace and sleeping platforms, straight ahead a very basic room, and to my left was a kitchen room with sleeping platforms and a table. A simple interior to suit basic human needs and if I am honest, I thought this bothy to be on the high-end scale of the bothy world. I was expecting to just turn up to an empty shell of four walls and a roof. I decided on the wood lined room with the open fireplace as this looked a little cosier and the sleeping platforms were larger (not that it mattered when in a sleeping bag).


The kitchen room had a stove fire and supplies left from other residents such as, glasses, cutlery, tin/bottle opener, candles, matches, cleaning products and even a couple of beers. Across the room hung a washing line and fairy lights on a battery switch. The walls were lined with messages from the bothy owner and there was a series of maps that showed the location of the bothy along with a geographical survey of the landscape. On the map, previous residents had charted areas to visit that were located nearby. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing these elements of the past and the care people had put into helping other residents for when they arrive. It felt to me that it was a community spirit that wanted to make sure each new resident would be comfortable and supported throughout their stay. Along with maps, tools were neatly scattered about, saws hung on the wall, axes rested against walls, gloves and wellington boots were stacked on a raised shelf, candle holders were fixed to the wall with foil behind to amplify light and buckets of firewood lay next to each fireplace. There were shelves with books and tinned foods and ledgers with a guide from the bothy owner on how to look after the place. The ledger from past residents was a wonderful read, although the pages were slightly damp, I could still make out the entries people had written. Many telling stories of their walks, their night time games and the people they met and shared the bothy with. The resident before me stayed at the bothy two nights previous. I made sure to leave my comments the following day before I departed, and I hope someone will find comfort with what I had written.





Firewood

The side of the bothy featured a wood storage unit. It was an open style shed like unit, featuring many collected fallen branches from the nearby forest. There were two trestles to lay each larger branch (or should I say tree trunk) where you could use one of the saws inside the bothy to cut through each branch. An axe and a pickaxe were also available for use. Although fuel for the fire was left from the previous occupant, I knew I had to gather and chop more firewood and to also leave some behind for the occupant(s) that would come after me.


A saw helped me cut up some decent sized logs and due to the moisture held within the bark I decided to strip the bark away with the small pickaxe (something that helped my fire to burn easily later in the evening).


Preparing myself for the evening whilst daylight was available to me was highly important. Keeping yourself focussed and ready is key to helping yourself survive. Survive is probably the wrong word to use but having fuel for the fire to keep myself warm etc is a survival method. It will prove to have been a good move when you read ‘Night-time’.





The Forest

Along the walk to the bothy, I came across two forests on either side of me. At later inspection via the map and from my own experience of walking to and through I would come to understand that both forests joined behind the bothy and in turn encircled it. As with many of my day residencies I have often found myself in a forest and it was only fitting that I continued with that tradition in Scotland.


I scouted out the forest line directly in front of the bothy to see if I could find an entrance in and although earlier, I had spotted a clear way, it was some walk away and to save on daylight I tried to discover a clearing close by. Wading my way through the long grass and stepping over the stream to then fall flat on my face on the steep incline, I realised my first entry attempt would not be a success. The ground was very uneven and due to the grass length, I was unable to locate my footing. The tree line for the forest was incredibly dense and for that part of the forest I was not able to enter. I decided to head back to the bothy and attempt to locate an entrance on the left-hand side. With luck, I came across a small path that wound up, around and through a cutting in the forest. Along the climb pockets of space opened between the tree line and I was able to crouch and move through the branches (not before impaling the palm of my hand on pine needles).


The audio clip below documents my entrance into the forest.



I have spoken on numerous occasions about the silence found within the forest and the muted tones that appear like a blanket draped over the natural landscape. This was found once again but only when I stopped and stood and listened as at first the sound(s) found were that of my boots navigating themselves on the forest floor, as heard within the clip. The crunch and snap are a part of the journey and a showcase of the willingness one moves oneself through something to gain something else.


I often find the forest to be a curtain, you must move the heavy fabric aside to either open or close off a landscape. Picture Lucy Penvensie working her way through the coats in the wardrobe from C.S Lewis’ Narnia, there is a brief tension between transitioning from one space to another but there is a transcendence in occurring. A personal endeavour to place oneself elsewhere where there is a choice to close the curtain behind you and to either make it an intimate and/or personal experience.


My own personal experience with this forest was very intimate, as stated I was completely alone. I moved myself through and within space, and pockets of light would angle itself between the tree trunks highlighting the intense collection of green coloured moss invading the ground and anything that stood in its way. It was highly seductive, and I followed myself deeper into the forest. I stood and pondered on many occasions, listening, and watching, I collected audio recordings as well as many photographs with my DSLR. The issue with this was that I made the mistake of not taking note of certain landmarks to help me locate myself. I found myself slightly lost and disappointed with the fact I forgot to pack a compass however, due to the slight incline the forest was situated on, I knew I had to follow the decline to return to the forest edge. A minor panic and an act of stupidity was something I do not want to return too, but saying so, what if I was lost in the forest how would I navigate that experience? Is it possible to be lost but still no there is an edge to escape from? Possibly something to consider for future use.




Nothing & Alone

I have talked about this feeling before and that feeling is ‘nothingness’. It is a strange and unrecognisable feeling to have, you know something is present with you, but due to the unnatural state of said feeling it is difficult to recognise it as nothingness. Almost an uncanny or an alterity, and these are feelings I have tried to portray within my work but to have it as a genuine feeling in the moment of when being within a landscape is quite surreal.


I am here, I am within and living but still, non-moving, just present with no human around me for miles. It is a meditative state, I would not say philosophical, although one could go down that route, but it is a state of just being in a place and taking all your surroundings in. When I say ‘all surroundings’ I do not mean I am taking as much ocular information in as possible no, I am just calmly within a place that has created a meditative relationship with me.


With no human around me I was alone. Yes, I had this man-made bothy and signs of people who occupied this place before me, but I was alone. I had no signal on my phone, I was digitally cut off, which was a fantastic bonus for this residency. We all know that technology invades our everyday lives and when we remove it, whether that be with no signal, we have this opportunity to occupy oneself with other non-artificial ‘products’.


There are several points within this residency that the feeling of being alone resonated with me on a level that was above the knowing of me just being alone. You have already read one form of lonesomeness when I discussed my time within the forest, but as for another example I will talk you through a moment where I was out in the open but had that time to reflect via the perception of what lay before me.


I stepped out of the bothy door to be confronted by the picnic table that I had just left after eating a can of tuna whilst reading my book. A couple of small birds fluttered around what only one could guess was a small man-made bird feed a previous occupant had made. These birds I did not recognise, their colours were black and red and another with a blue and green shimmer, somewhat beautiful, even though one is not a huge fan of recognising beauty within flying species. I took a moment to watch the birds move and hover and push themselves into the feeder only to swing around the other side and attempt to release some more food. I walked to my left, at a north westerly direction, and headed across the small foot bridge. To my left at the end of the bridge was a wooden bench that I chose to sit on. I am not too sure why I was drawn to this bench, but I sat on it, and I looked out. The bothy to my right and the small stream was in front of me but twisting and turning westerly and heading through the valley towards the way I walked to get to the bothy. I was looking, just sat looking, and it was my own landscape before me, no one was here to share and although others before will have seen what I was seeing now, they weren’t in my now. That moment of realisation with my own view of the land was a deepening emotive that had induced a sense of appreciation mixed with some sadness. I had this gratitude to be there and present and take control of what was before me, but I wanted to share and/or give an audience a view of this natural environment. It was a conflict of wanting to share but wanting to hold onto, and the human in me is not a selfish person, but when thinking about that idea of aiding one’s own escape from the daily routine then this is an experience one should be allowed to endure alone.




Night-time

The fire! The frustration I had with getting a fire started was rather annoying. I decided to use the pre-cut logs a previous resident had placed by the fire, but due to the bark the logs would not burn and/or ignite. I swapped those logs for the pre-cut logs I cut up earlier, the ones with no bark. There was some small segments of kindling and fire lighter blocks to help with ignition. For extra measure, I stepped outside and collected up several handfuls of dried long grass. This I thought would burn easily and if placed under the logs it would act as a good ignition. It was a wise decision and at last after thirty minutes of earlier moments of frustration and panic I had a fire for the evening. Whilst some daylight remained, I quickly stepped back outside with a pickaxe in hand and stripped bark off more logs to ensure there was enough fuel for the night.


With darkness creeping into the valley and into the bothy I prepared myself for a peaceful evening a head. As stated earlier, there were some worries around being alone in the dark, but I believe that to be human nature. The mind can drift and wonder at every sound that is made and so for my own sanity I kept myself buried within my books.


For comforts I had brought a couple of books and a bottle of red wine. The setting was one of rustic romantic interior (not exactly romantic but it had that warmth to it). I was surrounded by candlelight; I had a crackling fire on the go and stories of fiction and non-fiction keeping me entertained. After some time of reading Sarah Maitland tell me about her strict upbringing and then Commander Farsight going against his own overlords, I took the decision to put myself in a position of silence. I let go of all entertainment and sat there on the wooden chair, still and I remained in a situation of being present (Dasein) in an otherness I had not encountered before.


I stated earlier about my time within the forest and sat on the bench, and the stillness found when not reflecting on the present but instead existing within the moment as a form of phenomenology. There is an ability in us all (and it is a privilege) to be able to stop and not act as your daily routine would have you do but to instead just be within that moment as a body in a landscape. I think it is very hard to do so, to just switch off but as for my location and opportunity, I did so. Thinking back to that moment I recall the surrealness of the experience, it was something new. I can say it was a meditative state but at points sounds would enter the space and cause a minor distraction.


The sound clip below is an audio recording I made from the early evening.




Morning

The wake up was an early one and to be honest I did not have the best of sleeps, not that was expected when lying on a two-inch inflatable matt on a hard flat wooden box during a cold Scottish evening. What hit me was the feeling inside of my throat, I felt as if I had a raw slapped sensation at the back of my mouth as if I had not drunk any water for several days. I then had this urge to cough violently, and my thoughts as to why this was happening was answered when I looked to the fire, to see the logs charred and slightly smoking still. My idiotic self, fell asleep with the fire on and with no ventilation apart from the chimney breast, I was lucky to just wake up with a sore throat and cough. A word of advice for myself next time would be to make sure enough ventilation is available to relieve any smoke from a fire and not risk inhalation poisoning.


It was somewhat of a relaxed morning, a slight chill and aside from the throat and cough, I felt good inside. I sat on the edge of the box with my legs in my sleeping bag and starred out of the window for a couple of minutes. I thought about how grey it was compared to yesterday and I observed the small trickles of moisture in the corner of the window. I wondered about each spider that resided in the corners of the window frames, where the moisture appeared. I wondered how it resonated with their habitation and daily events. We are always told spiders do not like water, but what about that moisture droplets invading their webs. Looking past questions, I needed to ask David Attenborough I surveyed my interior landscape, I found scatterings of dried grass on the floor and some particles of ash, but other than that, all was intact. Little to tidy up when it was time to leave.


My mornings usually begin with a shower, but with no such luxury, a freshwater stream wash would be the next best thing. I grabbed my towel and headed outside in my briefs and oh my was it rather chilly outside. That chill was nothing compared to the freshwater stream. A blast of clean water which felt like a slab of concrete had just broken across my face hit me as I threw the water from my cupped hands. What a feeling, as I stood in the stream and looked about my surroundings. Did I just really wake up in the middle of a lush green landscape surrounded by hills and forestry? Still alone I was, working with the land to benefit my cleanliness and to awaken myself for the long walk ahead. Breakfast would follow my wash, and a can of Heinz beans eaten cold from the tin with a spoon was all I needed.



Leaving

When leaving the bothy (although something inside of me told me to not leave), I followed the ethical code of conduct as well as the stated recommendations found within the bothy ledger. Cleaning up and taking any rubbish with me was highly important, as any left scraps of food could invite unwanted vermin, even though I am positive I heard the pitter patter of small footsteps above me during the evening. Leaving any useful items behind, such as candles, matches, tinned food, alcohol were a welcomed luxury and one I found to be very pleasing when I arrived. This form of generosity was part of the bothy lore and not one stated within the ledger but one I returned, with a couple of cans of mac and cheese and any candles I had left over. One requirement for returning materials was that of the firewood. I had used several bits of firewood that were pre chopped within the bothy and as stated in the ‘firewood’ section of this text I made sure to refill the firewood buckets and chop up some more logs. As with the day before I set about collecting a couple of good lengths of felled trees and cut away with the saw into manageable pieces. Once cut I stacked them into the buckets and into the wood store.


The ledger I read had invited me to leave my message of experience and thanks to those who came before and after me. My message was brief and unfortunately not one to share on this blog, that is something you will have to discover if you ever find yourself at the Greensykes bothy.


Once packed up, I set off, not before giving thanks to the landscape and bothy through a moment of stillness and silence as I stood and looked out at the valley I was within. I found my path and begun the climb back up the hillside trek into the grasslands where the I once again found the many sheep.


Back into Another Wilderness

There was this weird sensation that hit me, well maybe not hit me but it creeped in, and that was when I spotted the farmer on his quadbike with his border collie stood on the back seat again. It was a moment where I saw humanity and it was not a sad moment but more of a moment of accepting that I am back in the world with others. When I saw the farmhouses and the black bug shape of my car, more deepened feelings set about their business within me. This was the ‘hit’, the ‘slap in the face’, the self-acknowledgement that I am back in the ‘real world’. Although I was only gone for a day (the way I write this sounds like I have been gone for years…) having no contact with anyone within such a short time frame can have a big impact on oneself, whether it be for better or worse, there is a great impact. As stated in ‘Alone’, you have this sense of freedom and that you can just exist, and it is strange. Knowing that sense of freedom has been removed or severely reduced is due to the notions of perceived objects that relate themselves to a known otherness. Our cognitive consciousness provides us with the knowledge we need to recognise what those objects represent within our lives, whether that be a functionality, an emotional feeling or an appliance, our brain cannot access an unknown when already set within a known.


Reflection

From this short journey, what purpose has it served for me and my research? I believe it is the beginning of the physical exploration that is the opposite of what my practice has known. I have for years perceived acts of practice as a method of building and repurposing materials to form sculptural objects that would sit ‘nicely’ within a clinical gallery space. This new method of actively and physically engaging with an environment is still within the realms of building upon the materials given to oneself but instead it is an act of practice that is performative and within now. There is no set plan to put the materials together, no instructions on what to do with said materials, instead the performance encourages for a natural compositional outcome to appear. The act of practice is a consistently new experience, and it allows for me to approach my method of gathering ‘data’ and materials in a much more relaxed state.


In the short term and solely focussed on this journey, I gained a variety of sound recordings, journal notes written and recorded, a host of imagery and of course a first-hand experience with absolute isolation. This collection will be assessed and reflected upon through the means of this text as well as using (or attempting) to purposefully create an art form representative of this journey. Looking at this journey in broader terms, it is one of many short intimate residencies I have undertook and will continue to undertake during the period of my research journey. Each residency will serve as an act of practice that not only collects materials and ‘data’ but also can be seen as an art form.


By taking this step to ‘performing’ an overnight stay, many hundreds of miles away from the safety of my home and removed from human connectivity, has opened my knowledge, and understanding of how to perform such an act. It has given me guidance and confidence to continue working towards enacting out such residencies.



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