FEUVA PRIZE 2021
by Scott Hunter
The Entropy series examines the chemical reactions occurring in disused spoil tips from coal mining, exploring links between photography and industrial activities. Research reveals many metals found within extracted rocks are widely used in photography and printmaking.
Using iron oxide, a contaminant from coal mining, Scott adds copper sulphate, zinc, and sodium chloride into a photosensitive solution to investigate their chemical interactions and reactions onto paper. When mixed, a series of redox reactions occur as the metals oxidise and reduce simultaneously. As the liquids mingle and separate, the works simulate the unpredictability and complexity of earth processes in contaminated landscapes.
The artworks remain in flux, evolving through time as the chemicals respond to each other and atmospheric changes.
Scott Hunter is from Dunfermline. He explores environmental issues through the medium of photography.
Born and raised in the mining county of Fife, his current research interests include cultural landscapes affected by coastal erosion and soil contamination due to extractive activities. To recognise the harmful legacy of fossil fuels on the environment, he combines experimental photography with science and ecology to construct new representations of landscape.
Reimagining brownfield sites as places of possibility: Scott challenges preconceptions of wastelands as neglected sites by exploring the liminal space between ecological contamination and resurgence.
Nominated for the international Kyotographie KG+ Award in 2018, his imagery is influenced by Japanese aesthetics, adopting a subtle and contemplative aesthetic.
Scott is currently working on a photobook maquette of his fieldwork at the former Michael Colliery site in East Wemyss, Fife.
The FEUVA Student Award has encouraged him to explore alternative spaces to display the project in its entirety. He is planning to continue to study brownfield sites.
Memories of the Concentration Camp & Availability Heuristics
by Oscar Mateos
The isolation of information helps to decontextualize it, the selection of a part does not help, as far as the image is concerned, to create an image of the whole, an idea or definition of completeness.
In this case, isolating some elements of the ruins of the concentration camps located in Seville from 1940 to 1962, constructs an allegory of how the current lack of memory has helped the resurgence of some extreme movements.
These four elements are accompanied by two images that appear to be complete, but do not reflect the reality of what they are. Only a small text gives a more complete picture.
Together and in the order exhibited, they try to form a visual phrase, which intends to remain in the consciousness of the spectator, in the same way that our brain uses the heuristic of availability, that which our brain decides, because of its simplicity and ease of access, as that which deserves to be remembered.
Oscar Mateos was born in Seville in the 1970s and lived during a period of particular change in Spain. He grew up near a canal built by prisoners of the Franco regime, and over time the canal has become a means to investigate memory and how it forms part of what shapes our identity, individual and collective.
Since he was young, painting and drawing have been a constant in his daily life; although he left artistic activity almost two decades ago, the need to express himself arose with the birth of his first daughter and strengthened his motivation to finish his artistic studies and venture back into the world of art.