Amy Witney Scholes

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My practice begins with walking – long, meditative interactions with coasts and forests, hours spent repeatedly traversing the same ground and learning about the landscape through archival material and the experiences of its inhabitants. Using analogue photography techniques that reflect this prolonged research process, I address themes of identity, conservation and human connections to nature. Occasionally my practice migrates into the studio, juxtaposing natural materials with a highly artificial and controlled setting. I aim to curate experiences of viewing photography which engage senses other than sight, often incorporating materials gathered at a location into the presentation of the resulting images. This is reflected in my proposal for the postponed ECA Degree Show, which focused on experimentations with the artists’ book format using sustainable materials.
My latest ongoing body of work documents an all-female community of wild swimmers on the East Scottish coast, their symbiotic relationship with the land and the impact of this relationship. Extensive contact with the community has revealed the mental, physical, social and environmental benefits of fostering a connection with nature. The pastime of wild swimming is identified as a strategy for overcoming the societal expectations which seek to tame, cultivate and restrict the ways in which women are allowed to behave and grow.

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