Skye Admiral Sir Roddy’s home becomes residence for artists

Admiral Roddy painting
The Admiral at work. Picture courtesy of WASPS

The former island home of Vice Admiral Sir Roddy Macdonald, World War II veteran, painter and Chief of the Skye Highland Games, is about to be officially opened as a residence for artists.

Wasps Artists Studios – a charity which supports artists by providing affordable space in which to work – have completed the project to restore the house and add new studios.

Admiral Roddy, as was generally known, was a keen watercolourist whose brushes and easel accompanied him on all his travels, including throughout his service during World War II and subsequent conflicts.

The cottage at Braes, which overlooks the sea, is where he spent many happy years during retirement. It was gifted by his estate to Wasps and now has three studios, including the one the admiral used himself.

Admiral's Cottage
The restored cottage at Braes. Picture, WASPS

Pictures, paintings and travel mementoes belonging to Roddy (who died in 2000) are being kept at what is now known as ‘The Admiral’s House’ to preserve the memory of a man who was deeply involved with island life. He was Chieftain of the Skye Highland Games, organised the conversion of the old school into a village hall and was instrumental in the campaign against tankers from passing through the Minch. A number of items belonging to the Admiral will also be housed in the Skye and Lochalsh archives.

John Macdonald, the Admiral’s son, said: “This project has brought all of the family back together again in a symbolic way. It’s wonderful that this beautiful place will continue to be a focal point for the rest of the family to come, enjoy and share experiences.”

The first resident artist to use the facility is Martin Campbell, a Glasgow based maker originally from Benbecula.

Admiral Roddy and ship
Admiral Roddy was decorated for his Naval service. Picture, WASPS

The residency is being delivered by Wasps in partnership with Skye-based Atlas Arts. Future programmes and activities will also be developed in association with Atlas Arts.