Student Spotlight: Ashleigh Garwood Bachelor of Photography
Artist Ashleigh Garwood has a real knack for capturing the breathtaking beauty of natural landscapes. So much so, that she’s acquired an ever-growing list of accomplishments: she’s exhibited her work all over town and won prestigious awards and scholarships, leading to artist residencies in Australia, France and the USA.
Her latest achievement is equally impressive: being named as a finalist for this year’s NSW Emerging Fellowship.
Ashleigh explains why she chose DAB as the right place to evolve her practice and develop further research capabilities.
Firstly, can you please tell us about your experience prior to UTS?
I initially studied Art Theory at UNSW. I took a darkroom elective early on and found it was something I enjoyed, so I ended up taking all the photography electives and focused on the image-based theory subjects.
I graduated in 2010 and was lucky to be part of the Australia Council’s Jump program and was mentored in darkroom processes for a year by Chris Reid from Blanco Negro. From there I had a really good understanding of traditional silver gelatin processes and started experimenting. I had a show at Firstdraft, was part of a few group exhibitions and just kept making work. I had my first solo show in 2014, called Of Other Spaces, and that was a breakthrough for me. I’ve since shown that work at May Space, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and parts of it at the ACP.
What attracted you the UTS Bachelor of Photography (Honours) and how are you hoping it enhances your professional practice?
I was initially attracted to the Bachelor of Photography (Honours) year at UTS because I knew a few people who previously completed the degree and had a really positive experience. I knew it was a small, focused class and I was interested in the technology focus on the uni, as opposed to being in a traditional art school.
I want to go on to do further postgraduate study, but I never undertook the honours year of my previous degree. I know that the Bachelor of Photography (honours) will give me the foundations and direction for further creative research.
Can you tell us a little about your current project?
I am interested in a design aesthetic that combines traditional and non-traditional techniques.
The current project I am working on does this by using photographic negatives as textures and maps within Cinema 4D. I create models of landscapes and then export the files to print in a traditional darkroom process.
What has impressed you about UTS Design since commencing the course earlier this year?
I really like a lot of things about UTS, the location and facilities available to students are really great. The academic staff in the program are all really engaged and helpful. As they are all practicing artists it’s been a great environment to research and practical ideas.
How did you enjoy your residencies in Paris and Idaho (USA)?
My residency in Paris was at the Cité Internationale des Arts, and was awarded through the AGNSW as part of the Eva Breuer Traveling Arts Scholarship. I got to spend three months in Paris, during winter, and it was amazing. I definitely want to go back. During that time I was working on an exhibition and just trying to learn as much as I could about the city. Paris has so many museums, and as part of the residency you get a card that lets you into most of them for free, everything from medieval tapestries to the Centre Pompidou.
At the University of Idaho I was with the astrophysics department, learning about the observatory, astrophotography and the other methods they use to gather data. I was working with PhD candidate Shannon McKenzie, who studies the Titan, one of the moons of Saturn. The limits of what can be understood visually was a theme discussed during this residency, and we hope to turn this collaboration into a project together in the future.
Finally, which achievement are you most proud of?
I am proud to be part of three majors shows at the end of the year– Another Green World at the Western Plains Cultural Centre that's on until December 07, my solo show MASSING that will be at May Space from October 10–November 14, and as a finalist in the NSW Emerging Fellowship that will be on November 08– December 09 at Artspace.
Byline: Mel Dominguez-Nash