Photofusion Member | Tom Hatton

The Weight of Ashen Soil

Tom Hatton graduated from the Fine Art Photography course at the Glasgow School of Art in June 2011. Since then Tom has continued adding to the project he graduated with and has been involved in several exhibitions and received several awards, including winner of category at the Renaissance Photography Prize, 2012.

The photographs in ‘The Weight of Ashen Soil’ belong to a larger body of work made during several trips to North Africa and the Middle East. Working within a New Topographic philosophy, the images skirt areas on the edge of habitation. Beginning in Morocco, Tom was initially drawn to the extremity of the desert and to the mythological significance of the Atlas mountains.

© ‘Siwa’, from the series ‘The Weight of Ashen Soil’, Tom Hatton

A second part to the project was made in the Middle East on the fringes of the Fertile Crescent. Now a rocky and dry land, it was once the birthplace of civilisation and of agriculture, a place that spawned the first permanent settlements which grew into the first villages, towns and cities. This area holds the roots of western language and culture and within it writing, trade, economics, social politics, science and mathematics were formed. Now a martian like terrain, these landscapes were once integral to the evolution of humanity.

© ‘Haddej’, from the series ‘The Weight of Ashen Soil’, Tom Hatton

When exhibited, the use of the sequence (either condensed or extended) is important to guide the flow of the work. The duration of engagement over a sequence of the images allows ideas, themes and subjects to surface gradually.

Tom has recently made a hardback book ‘The Weight of Ashen Soil’ which has been the most successful context in which to view the images. To see more of Tom’s work visit his website:

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