Bio

As a photographer operating in the environmental humanities, my practice adopts a phenomenological approach to the study of landscape. To identify, recognise and convey the harmful legacy of fossil fuels on the environment, I combine experimental photography with science and ecology to construct new representations of landscape. 

My current project analyses the industrial waste landscape of the former Michael Colliery site along the Fife coastline. Reimagining brownfield sites as places of possibility, I challenge preconceptions of wastelands as neglected sites by exploring the liminal space between ecological contamination and resurgence.

To explore ecological and industrial activities, I combine photographic fieldwork with camera-less imagery to investigate ideas of livingness in subterranean environments. Working with site-specific materials, I analyse the earth as an active material, providing deeper insight into contaminated lands.  In this project, I explore iron as a mineral, contaminant, and image- maker.

Nominated for the international Kyotographie KG+ Award in 2018,  my imagery is influenced by Japanese Zen philosophy, adopting a subtle, minimalist, and contemplative aesthetic. 

Redox Reactions

Research into the chemical reactions occurring in disused spoil tips from coal mining explores links between photography and industrial activities. Observing that metals within extracted rocks are routinely used in photography and printmaking, I reduce both practices down to elements and compounds.

Retrieving minewater ochre(iron oxide), a by-product of acid mine drainage, from Frances minewater treatment scheme(MWTS). I add copper sulphate, zinc, aluminium, titanium dioxide into cyanotype solution to investigate their chemical interactions and reactions onto paper.

The artworks remain in flux, evolving through time as the chemicals respond to each other and atmospheric changes.
Working directly with raw materials narrows the space between the photographic image and non-visible earth processes. As the liquids mingle and separate, the works simulate the unpredictability and complexity of contaminated landscapes.

https://cargocollective.com/scotthunter/Redox-Reactions

Camera-less photogram using metals found in spoil tips that are prevalent in photography
Entropy#6, activated 3/2021; photographed 5/2021, 33.1 x 23.4 inches, Copper sulphate, zinc, iron oxide,sodium chloride, ferric ammonium citrate, potassium ferricyanide on paper
camera-less photogram using metals found in spoil tips that are prevalent in photography
Entropy#8, activated 3/2021; photographed 5/2021, 33.1 x 23.4 inches, Copper sulphate, zinc, iron oxide,sodium chloride, citric acid, aluminium, titanium dioxide, ferric ammonium citrate, potassium ferricyanide on paper
camera-less photogram using metals found in spoil tips that are prevalent in photography
Entropy#5, activated 3/2021; photographed 5/2021, 33.1 x 23.4 inches, Copper sulphate, zinc, iron oxide,sodium chloride, ferric ammonium citrate, potassium ferricyanide on paper
Camera-less A1 photogram using metals found in spoil tips that are prevalent in photography. This image is predominantly red with many fine details where the chemicals have interacted. These include runs and rivulets.
Entropy#9, activated 4/2021; photographed 5/2021, 33.1 x 23.4 inches, Copper sulphate, zinc, iron oxide,sodium chloride, citric acid, aluminium, titanium dioxide, ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide on paper
camera-less photogram using metals found in spoil tips that are prevalent in photography
Entropy#7, activated 4/2021; photographed 5/2021, 33.1 x 23.4 inches, Copper sulphate, zinc, iron oxide,sodium chloride, ferric ammonium citrate, potassium ferricyanide on paper
Precipitation

Accompanying sea level rise and coastal erosion, rainfall in Scotland has increased to 13% above average, holding agency over Fife's mining spoil tips and their surrounding landscape. Rainwater runoff from the spoil tips can be acidic, saline, metal-rich, and contain contaminated sediments which inevitably have a detrimental impact on the Forth’s marine life. Investigations regarding the science behind acid mine drainage reveal it to be an inversion of the iron-based cyanotype printing process. 

Acid Mine Drainage process: Ferrous to Ferric (iron oxidation) Cyanotype Printing process: Ferric to Ferrous (iron reduction)

Using a cameraless procedure, light exposes the photosensitive chemicals while the rainfall simultaneously initiates the fixing process. Mimicking the landscape, the works continually react and evolve as each print captures light and precipitation over several hours.

Can experimental photography play a pivotal role in recording the effects of climate change?

http://cargocollective.com/scotthunter/Precipitation

 a blue A1 cyanotype print recording rainfall onto watercolour paper
Rain#6, 2021, 33.1 x 23.4 inches, 60 minute exposure, cyanotype on paper
 a blue A1 cyanotype print recording rainfall onto watercolour paper
Rain#7, 2021, 33.1 x 23.4 inches, 480 minute exposure, cyanotype on paper
 a blue A1 cyanotype print recording rainfall onto watercolour paper
Rain#9, 2021, 33.1 x 23.4 inches, 300 minute exposure, cyanotype on paper
Soil Chromatography:

Initially developed by the Russian botanist Mikhail Tsvet, soil chromatography is a photographic process that indicates the chemical, physical and biological characteristics of the earth. Utilised by farmers, the hues, patterns, and textures provide an overview of each soil’s vitality and health.

When we speak about entanglements, the land beneath our feet is frequently overlooked. Studying mining and underground tunnels, I felt it important to represent the landscape volumetrically. 

These ‘pictographs’ of earth processes, vary in their characteristics depending on soil quality. There are three distinct zones indicative of mineral, carbon, and humus content. Separate zones with little interactions symbolise poorer quality soils, while more complex patterns signify soils of a higher grade.

When displayed alongside photographs from the site they were retrieved from, the chromatograms benefit from the opinion that science and analogue photography are regarded by some as absolute truths.

https://cargocollective.com/scotthunter/Soil-Chromatography

silver nitrate photogram of soil from michael colliery
Butterbur hill/ former works, Silver nitrate, soil, sodium hydroxide on laboratory filter paper
Film photograph of the former Michael Colliery site paired with soil chromatograph
Former water storage tanks, Michael Colliery site, digital scan from 120 colour negative/ soil chromatogram
Film photograph of the former Michael Colliery site paired with soil chromatograph
Former rail tracks, Michael Colliery site, digital scan from 120 colour negative/ soil chromatogram
Skills & Experience
  • 2019 Kyotographie KG+ International Photography Festival, Kyoto, Japan
  • 2019 Tokyo Institute of Photography, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2018 Mt. Rokko International Photo Festival, Kobe, Japan
  • 2018 Mirage Gallery, Kobe, Japan
  • 2018 Kyotographie KG+ International Photography Festival, Kyoto, Japan