Our most recent completed project, The Admiral's House in Braes, Skye, is up and running and ready for bookings from the following creative practitioners that may need the time and space to develop a piece of work in an inspiring location:
- Visual Artists
- The Performing Arts
This residency project will appeal to creative people living in Skye alongside those based nationally and internationally. It is an ideal location for retreat, reflection, review and creative renewal.
The Admiral's House sits in 0.5 acres of ground and is roughly 15 minutes drive from Portree. The house itself is in Ollach, a very small village in the Braes area of Skye. The Admiral's House itself sits back from the road, right on the coast with views of Ben Tianavaig to the north east and the island of Raasay to the east.
As such it sits roughly half way between north and south of the island, and can potentially play a role in helping to link the creative communities across the island.
The environment is rugged and beautiful, changing rapidly with the weather. On a clear day the Old Man of Storr, the Cuillins and other Skye landmarks can be seen from nearby viewpoints.
What the Admiral's House Provides:
The Admiral's House includes the following:
- 3 creative studios in the grounds of the house
- A communal living/kitchen space which is large enough to accomodate talks and gatherings
- 3 bedrooms for visiting creative artists and organisations (1 ensuite)
- Wood burning stove
- Wi-fi and smart TV
The location – and both the house and the small grounds themselves – provoke a sense of quietness and isolation, a feeling of retreat and of contemplation and space.
In the grounds of the main house, there are three studios that can be allocated to visiting artists. Allocations are made in advance of your stay and we take your practice into account before allocating a space to you. For example, the Alan Macdonald studio is more suitable for large 3D or sculptural practices as it has larger access and a concrete floor whereas the Joan Macdonald studio may be better suited to someone that is seeking complete solitude to work on a piece of writing or sound work. All studios have a table, chair and easel for visitors to use.
Admiral Roddy’s Studio
This was the Admirals’ original painting studio. This studio is approximately 307 sq. ft. with a timber coloured interior and flooring, windows across the entirety of the right hand wall, sky lights and strip lighting. There is also shelving and built in timber worktop. This studio would be perfect for a number of creative practices. One of the Admiral’s large writing desks is also in situ in this studio. Inadvertently, we have found that this studio seems to be the best place to pick up a 3G signal! Although directly in front of the house, there are three steps leading to the entrance so visitors with disabilities may require some assistance.
Alan Macdonald Studio
This converted garage space is ideal for sculptural or ceramic practices with concrete floor and wide access doors. Although there is a small window to the left, this large space is bright, with good lighting and whitewashed walls. The washout area including Belfast Sink is attached to the back of the studio. The space is around 266 sq ft with good heating and a timber workbench which can be moved around the space. It can be accessed via the washout area or the larger garage doors, which can also be left open in summer months (hopefully!) This studio sits next to the house and is probably the most accessible workspace on the site.
Lady Joan Macdonald Studio
This beautiful new build studio is a recent addition to the site and boasts incredible views across the Straits of Raasay. A timber structure, the studio is completely white with good interior lighting and large picture window. The space itself is around 161 sq ft and has a desk, chair, easel and some shelves. This studio would lend itself to creative people that are seeking a more quiet and contemplative experience to develop new work.
Aims and Objectives of this project:
The project itself allows artists the time and space to develop their own practice whilst engaging with the local community and getting the chance to meet other creative people that are using the facility.
Future activities and programming will be developed in partnership with Atlas Arts to support all visual artists. However, bookings will also be welcome from individuals who wish to embrace the solitude.
In all, the dominant and ‘ever present’ landscape provides a strong sense of place animated and supported by the Braes community and the peoples across Skye through deep connections in language, oral and social histories, music, and Gaelic culture.
Artist Martin Campbell was first to experience The Admiral's House residency space when he first stayed there, in July 2017, as part of his six week residency.
Martin found his stay a fantastic opportunity and setting to revisit his current practice and aims free from external pressures. He cited getting back to basics, reassessing his artistic direction, and the idyllic surroundings as key things to his positive experience at The Admiral's House.
Read more about Martin's residency at our Canvas site, here
About the Admiral:
Ollach house was very kindly donated to Wasps by Vice Admiral Sir Roderick Macdonald KBE.
Admiral Roddy as he is more commonly known, had a distinguished naval career including, variously, working for NATO, a secondment to the US Navy, acting as Aide to the Queen, as well as more than his fair share of maritime adventures during wartime and throughout the Cold War.
While adapting and modernising the various buildings to bring them up to a suitable standard we have tried to retain some of this memorabilia and the individual character of the place to keep some essence of the man and his interests within the building.
How to Book:
You can book a room and a studio space for a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of one month.
Each individual booking is £1,000 for four weeks or £650 for two weeks. A 10% discount is available for current Wasps tenants. There is also the opportunity for creative groups to rent the whole property.
In order to register your interest, please email our studios administrator Lois Green with the following:
- A statement of intent outlining why you would like to go to the Admiral's House
- A statement about your practice
- 6-8 images of your current work
- an up to date CV
And details of:
- Your preferred month to stay at The Admiral's House
- Your preferred studio space
- How long you would like to stay.
We would like to thank the Admiral's son John Macdonald and Creative Scotland for their support.