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Sammie Masters-Hopkins

Sammie Masters-Hopkins


The Enigma of Experience


‘The world is not intolerable until the possibility of change exists but is denied’

John Berger

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‘‘Can art help bind a human existence with the natural world? This is one of the questions this project aims to explore by focusing on the experience of art and the translation of that into how artists communicate an experience through their work. My work consistently seeks to question what the environment means to ‘us’ and how human agency is effecting that relationship. I want to utilise the photographic medium to consider how we can translate these ideas to evoke change in the current political and literal climate.

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In working with the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) this body of work aims to utilise a location designed for environmental research purposes and combine that with the exploration of environmental politics through photography to consider how an artist might begin to translate those ideas into a visual medium. How do we experience our natural surroundings and how does this translate to the secondary experience of it through photography? By using a variety of photographic formats, including archival imagery combined with my own, I am attempting to correlate these notions. Can an artist translate an experience of their own, when ultimately, the audience will bring forward their own experiences and thoughts and place that upon the work?

In doing this I hope to begin developing an understanding of how an art practice can lead to social or political change. In the case of my own work, can I produce work that reinforces ideas surrounding climate change to encourage thought and a change in peoples perspective on the matter. Can my work allow people to understand my connection, and thereby understanding a human connection to the natural world. If we can make work that channels these positive experiences with the natural environment, we can begin to hope that all human interaction could be come positive and in turn, sustainable.’’

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Sammie’s is currently finishing her BA (Hons) Photography degree at Birmingham City Univeristy. Her practice surrounds the exploration of environmental politics and the complex relationship humans to have to their environment. Through consistent research and investigating environmental philosophies, she questions the relationship between humans and our organic environment, considering why we have become so out of sync with our mother earth and why we need to re-engage with our natural surroundings. Sammie works instinctively, taking the photographs that feel most natural her. She attempts to question the place that the photographic arts have in the political world and how her audience may relate to her work. Her latest project, The Enigma of Experience, is an exploration into how visual arts can help bring about cultural and political change. This project will be exhibited in Birmingham, June 2019.


Kaitlyn Danielson

Kaitlyn Danielson

Kristian Askelund

Kristian Askelund

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