Stuart McAdam - Pile of Stones

RSA Residency for Scotland Award, 2015

Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre, Lochmaddy, North Uist, UK

~A Pile of Stones

I was resident at Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Art Centre on North Uist in the summer of 2015.

This was a research residency based on a proposal to investigate the landscapes of the island through the lens of drawing and archaeology. The context for this was facilitated by the Broad Reach programme that was running there at the time. Broad Reach was a two year curatorial residency based between ATLAS Arts on the Isle of Skye and Taigh Chearsabhagh on North Uist. It had a strong focus on social practices and engagement.

The mixture of these conditions provided a challenging and stimulating environment for a residency. There were many converging points of interest that gave a unique conceptual context to the work I was doing.

By having a well defined social purpose and outcome, this residency also gave a practical, purposeful and focused framework to work within. This pushed me and the work I was doing in a way that a more open residency might not have been able to. It was very valuable to the development of my work.

Through the residency I was exposed to a lot of new ideas about the ways that we interact with, structure, and mark our environments. Particularly of note were the processes and working methods of different archaeological disciplines such as landscape and contemporary archaeology. Making site visits with local amateur and professional archaeologists also revealed a lot about the ways that we might interpret the traces that we leave behind.

I was able to further develop work I was doing with engagement, usefulness and the function of art on a social level through the Broad Reach events programme. I was presented with a number of opportunities to work with and engage local communities and audiences. I used these to investigate and develop works and situations relating to my reflections on social practice and usefulness.

Over the course of the residency, I produced a series of research actions and interventions within the social and physical landscapes and responded to the different situations that I found myself in. This included video works, drawing, interventions and photography. I also worked with the public, playing games and providing workshops.

This work was made possible with support from The Royal Scottish Academy, The Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy, Taigh Chearshabhagh Museum and Art Centre, and Atlas Arts.

RSA Taigh Chearsabhagh FRSA
Copyright © 2022 Stuart McAdam