Artist Statement Scotland and the Environment is a conceptual series touching on a variety of contemporary issues facing Scotland today, such as plastic pollution, marine conservation, intensive agriculture and woodland protection. Whilst we frequently see images of starving polar bears and melting ice caps through the important work of global publications such as National Geographic, it is easy to forget that there are also serious issues at stake much closer to home.
With the rising volume of disposable plastic as well as the loss of valuable natural habits and migratory routes, it is Smart’s hope that the imagery behind the project will captivate the imagination of the audience, and in turn raise questions of individual and corporate responsibility. It is the contributions of the individual as well as major businesses that can help protect Scotland’s beautiful nature and wildlife.
Drawing inspiration from classic Surrealist art as well as the advertising work of non-profit organisations such as the Surfrider Foundation and the World Wildlife Fund, the project aims to present these everyday issues in a fresh and engaging way. Using carefully planned composite photography, it is Smart’s hope that these images will catch the attention of the viewer, but as they gaze longer on each individual scene, the deeper underlying messages become clear and are impossible to ignore.
-- Gavin Smart is a freelance photographer and digital assistant based in Edinburgh, working throughout the UK and beyond. Gavin enjoys capturing unique stories with authenticity, sensitivity and creative flair. Gavins’ work has been widely exhibited, with highlights this year including the Royal Scottish Academy of Art at Edinburgh’s National Gallery, and the Royal Ulster Academy of Art in Belfast, and the Royal West Academy in Bristol. He has won a number of awards in the UK and beyond, highlights of which include the BIPP Student Photographer of the Year 2017, MPA Student Photographer of the Year 2018, and finalist in the 2017 AOP Awards.