Mat Hay Photography

Recent graduate from Edinburgh Napier University Mat Hay had his work on display at the recent Graduate Show. His photographs were eye catching, powerful and I just wanted to know more…

His website showcases his vast photography experience in different settings including portraiture, stunning landscape shots (my fav is the San Diego one) and great ‘movement’ shots of skaters. Mat has been shortlisted for the graduate Futureproof exhibition held in Glasgow and Aberdeen (fingers crossed).

Mat’s graduate project ‘The Messenger’ questions the power of storytelling, persuasion and the workings of religion. His work is so intriguing and held a deeper meaning than the other works on display. He was kind enough to answer some of my questions…

What was your inspiration behind your graduate project (left)?

‘It started with a visual anthropology project I was doing on Varanasi on the Ganges, and the Hindu rituals and beliefs which dominate the lives of the people in that area. While researching different religions, including Hinduism, and reading Van Gennep’s book ‘The Rights of Passage’, I became fascinated with the countless religious stories and beliefs around the world today. This led me to consider how as humans we seem to rely on science and logic to exist but we still have an instinct to believe in some pretty unbelievable stuff. It is a very interesting situation to be in’.

What were the challenges of this project?

‘The big challenge was dealing with such large groups of people and working without a budget. The cast and crew all volunteered their time for free so I tried to get each shot done quickly, particularly in the freezing mid-winter Scottish weather. Everyone was really committed though which was fantastic. The biggest positive was the people and the locations – they made the project!’

How about a bit about your yourself?

‘I’ve been exploring lots of different types of photographic work during my degree studies which has been great. I’ve met some really interesting and accomplished individuals which has really helped to develop my thinking and practice. I think the highlights recently have been working for Nadav Kander then, through that, getting to interview Broomberg and Chanarin who were a large part of my discussion in my dissertation’.

And what are your plans now that you’ve graduated?

‘My plans are to expand this project over the summer. Then I’ll hopefully move back to London to carry on assisting others while starting some new projects of my own’.

Check out Mat’s work on his website and look out for future exhibitions displaying his work. Good luck Mat, with such skills I’m sure we’ll be hearing about your work in the future.

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About Philippa Hill

Hello! I’m Philippa and I am a recent graduate from Edinburgh College of Art where I studied Textile Design. Since graduating I’ve interned and started my own mini craft company ‘De La Rue’. I’m currently an Artist in Residence at ECA and I cannot wait to showcase emerging talent from the beautiful city of Edinburgh! I came across the Born in Britain platform when my fashion collaboration with fellow student Marie Leiknes was blogged about last year and I am extremely excited to be an ambassador! I believe that we can leave a lot from British heritage and love uncovering things about the past that can influence the present and future. I love discovering things off the beaten track, traveling and finding that something a bit different! I am so keen to discover emerging talent from Edinburgh and showcase their amazing work. I think that every creative should deserve at least their 15 minutes of fame and ‘Born in Britain’ is the perfect project for this.

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