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Q&A: Samantha Ridgway, Foundation student

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Published date 05 February 2015
Photography by Samantha Ridgeway

Photography by Samantha Ridgway

Student Samantha Ridgway joined Camberwell last year after studying Apparel and Textile Marketing at the Kansas State University in USA. Originally from Lenaxa, Kansas, Samantha shares in this blog her experience of how she decided to change her career path and study the Foundation Diploma – Photography and Time Based Media Specialism at Camberwell College of Arts.

Why did you select Camberwell ? 

I came across UAL when researching schools for fashion. I had planned on applying for my Masters after I graduated. During my third year in university, I decided to study abroad for a year in Florence, Italy. It was a life changing experience for me. After spending the year traveling throughout Europe, meeting different people, and settling in a new culture, I realized that what I was doing in Kansas was not who I was nor who I wanted to be. The experience ultimately aided me in creating myself. Needless to say, I abandoned everything I knew back home and applied for a Bachelors course at UAL. After my portfolio review, I was accepted into the Foundation Diploma at Camberwell.

When I learned I had been accepted into a Foundation program I was a little frustrated, considering I had already attended university for three years and now had to start over. Ultimately, I thought I already knew what field I wanted to go into. Looking back now I can honestly say that everything happens for a reason. The diagnostic mode in the Foundation course opened my mind to many possibilities. In the end, I specialized in photography, which was not my initial choice.

Photography by Samantha Ridgway

Photography by Samantha Ridgway

How has your experience at Camberwell been so far? 

My experience on the  Foundation diploma has been more rewarding than I ever thought. I have developed a lot as an artist as well as photographer. The one thing I have learned the most is how necessary the research area is in a project. The process you go through is just as important as the final results. Anyone can take a photo but to evoke a feeling and/or to tell a story through a photo is what defines an artist.

You recently had a show at Wilson Road, how was it for you? 

The show Photography and Time Based Media students had at Wilson Road was a great opportunity to show case our work. To exhibit in a gallery setting where others could view it created a sense of accomplishment. I also enjoyed getting feedback about my work from outside our normal studio critiques, it gave me insights to aspects of my work I had not realized.

Please tell us about the technical skills you have developed while at Camberwell?

Throughout the year I have had many opportunities to attend workshops including printmaking, photo etching, and dark room. I prefer to work with raw images and to hand manipulate my work instead of using technology.

While designing our show space, I did not realize how much goes into the process. I learned a lot about how to layout artwork to enhance the flow of a gallery space.

Photography by Samantha Ridgway

Photography by Samantha Ridgway

Do you have any advice for future students?

Always do what feels right to you and follow your dreams, your heart, no matter what other people think or tell you. If you are not content in life, re-evaluate it because at the end of the day your happiness is all that matters. Keep an open mind in all aspects and absorb as much knowledge of the world as possible. Come to terms with the fact that life rarely goes as planned; everything happens for a reason and everything shapes who you are as a person.

Click here for full Foundation Diploma in Art & Design course details