From Edinburgh Napier University, Fewster first submitted her work to Untitled Collective in August 2017 with her series In Between. The series explored the notions of division and isolation within communities caused by socioeconomic and demographic changes, as well as environmental transformations. From Scotland herself, Fewster photographed the area of Pilton, a residential area of north Edinburgh.
Suffering from high crime rates and anti-social behaviour, the area consists of two housing schemes which are regarded as two of the worst deprived schemes in Edinburgh. Rivalry between its East and West subdivisions still plagues the area with its negative stigma. Fewster recorded the community in between these two subdivisions who do not associate with either side, but of the main road that runs through the centre. Crewe Road North.
Within the series, Fewster explored the relationship between nature and the built environment to dig deeper into the emotional partitions with seperate the diverted communities and was shot on 5x4 medium format.
Going back to the beginning of the series, how did it start? What inspired you?
I first became interested in this concept for a project when returning from my semester abroad in Berlin to Edinburgh. I began to notice how many different areas and groups of people there are in such a small concentrated area and became interested in finding out where one area started and the other ended. I wanted to discover why there are differences between two areas, and whether it was a physical divide or an emotional one, or perhaps both.
I was initially inspired by Mark Power's series 26 Different Endings about the outskirts of London and where the city starts and stops depending on each year of the official London map.
The research stage was very important in developing the idea and allowed me to find out first hand what it feels like to live in particular areas. By going door to door and interviewing the locals I gained a greater knowledge of the neighbourhood and common views about politics, social issues, ethnicity as well as class divisions. Originally I had planned to photograph the boundary between East & West Pilton whose rich history is still evident today, however, it was the answers I received from these people that inspired me to focus on this small area of Crewe Road and delve deeper in to their story and what makes them a unique community.
What is it about political, social and climate issues that interests you so much?
As a member of the generation where real incomes are falling compared to our parents, home ownership is unattainable for many, and social mobility is stagnating, I think it's my duty to have some degree of interest in political and social issues. Wealth inequality is as big an issue as it ever has been, however, I feel like as a society we do not talk enough about it.
The housing crisis is very real yet efforts to rectify it are not sufficient. I began the project during a changing political landscape, brexit was taking place, and the differences between rich and poor was at the forefront of conversation. I thought it would be interesting to investigate if there were any visible factors that distinguish socio economic classes, and if so how the boundary between these divisions met.
In Between appeared in quite a few shows - What shows/exhibitions were they - and what advice would you give to others on getting such exposure?
My series In Between appeared in many exhibitions and publications throughout the summer of 2017. My first show was in May, 2017 at Edinburgh Napier’s Graduation Show.
My work was also shown in the Old Truman Brewery, London as part of Free Range Shows, June 2017, and finally in Leeds, July 2017, as part of Pupil Spheres Graduation Collection. You can also find my work published in Negative Feedback as well as various other photography publications.
Having an active online presence during the project was important as it gained a lot of interest on social media. Many film photographers and clubs contacted me about In Between as it was shot completely on large format 5x4 film. This factor really helped me get more exposure throughout the series development.
I made contact with many photographers, both students and professionals, via Instagram and twitter seeking advice and conversing about exhibitions and networking events in and around Edinburgh.
I attended as many Graduation shows, exhibitions and networking events as I could which in turn led to my work being exhibited in a show in England. I would also stress the importance of entering competitions and open calls for photography. Although these can sometimes be an expensive way to gain awards or exhibitions, many of them now have social media platforms in which they advertise using entrees images thus gaining you more exposure even if you are unsuccessful.
You've now graduated - Congratulations! What are you doing now, and what are your future plans?
Thank you. I've spent the last year planning and carrying out a trip around the world. I have spent several months in South Africa, New Zealand, Australia , and South East Asia investigating the divide in other cultures. My main focus for 'In Between' is to develop the series across Britain, although, my time spent abroad has been an inspiration and I would love to develop the project at an international level in the future.