Bothies are a type of refuge for mountain pilgrims. Scattered around the English countryside, these unlocked stone huts offer an unexpected haven in the wilderness. British photographer Nicholas White dedicates his new series Black Dots to bothies and their transient inhabitants.

This project grew from an intrigue”, tells us English photographer Nicholas White. Staged across the whole of the United Kingdom, Black Dots is an untold tale about the British landscape. Fascinated by the huge network of free-to-use shelters in the British Isles, Nicholas began researching their origin, location and inhabitants. His photographic display of “bothy culture” is the result of this quest, but his visual answers do not spoil the magic of the mountains’ hidden treasures. On the contrary, Black Dots celebrates the charm of this participative way of inhabiting nature.

“My images demonstrate the respect, love and admiration that we have for nature”.

People grow tired of concrete jungles after a while”, Nicholas tells us, “and they yearn to get lost, they seek solitude”. His portraits capture single characters, because “bothiers” like to travel alone. They reach the cold and dark huts at night, and they quickly make it homey. The light of their bonfires reveals the belongings left behind by previous dwellers: a mug, a blanket, a book. Bothiers sip whisky and rest, before they get back on the path at the crack of dawn. However, nature itself is the real protagonist of this work.

Nicholas used a large-format camera that gives the landscape the time it deserves to be imprinted in the negative. This silent hymn to nature, composed in the crispy mountain air, will soon be published as a book by Another Place Press.

Ryvoan, Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland. From "Black Dots" © Nicholas White
William at Corrour Bothy, The Cairngorm Mountains, Scotland. From "Black Dots" © Nicholas White
John at Strabeg, Northern Highlands, Scotland. From "Black Dots" © Nicholas White
Glendhu Bothy, Northern Highlands, Scotland. From "Black Dots" © Nicholas White
Giles at Camasunary Bothy, Isle of Skye, Scotland
From "Black Dots" © Nicholas White
Achnanclach, Northern Highlands, Scotland. From "Black Dots" © Nicholas White
Fisherfield Six Route, Shenavall Bothy, Scotland. From "Black Dots" © Nicholas White
Assorted Items, Dulyn Bothy, Snowdonia National Park, Wales. From "Black Dots" © Nicholas White

The Black Dots Project from Rab on Vimeo.

Images from “Black Dots” © Nicholas White