Channel / 16 Feb 2022

Meet the Kickstarters! Ruth Holliday

Ffotogallery has interviewed each of our Kickstart team members, arranged by fellow Kickstarter Joshua Jones, as they are now leaving us to take the next step in their careers. These blog interviews are a way to celebrate their creativity and hard work, to show them off, and to say thank you for their dedication to Ffotogallery in the time they've been here. If you've been to Diffusion Festival or to any of our exhibitions and events, then you'd have seen their faces welcoming you at the door, pouring drinks or documenting the event.

A bit about yourself:

I originally hail from Swindon, affectionately termed as ‘the jewel of the M4’ by Jasper Fforde, and recently graduated from studying English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford. There I engaged in academic projects ranging from the visions of medieval mystics to Richard Ayoade’s experimental autobiography: a rich tapestry of ideas that continues to fuel my own writing efforts!

I’m currently developing a creative practice involving poetry, collage and zine-making. You can find examples of my work on Instagram: @nightofthelivingzine.

What is your job role at Ffotogallery, and what does a normal working day look like for you?

I am the Administration Assistant at Ffotogallery. Staples of this role include staying on top of invoices and receipts and assisting Alex ( Operations Manager) in keeping Ffotogallery’s records in order. It has been a wonderful window into what makes a gallery tick, and a valuable experience in understanding how an organisation of this size stays well organised.

Another aspect of my role is communicating with artists and various individuals, such as teachers and members of the community, getting in touch with Ffotogallery about potential future projects, school/university visits to the gallery, and community/arts events that Ffotogallery can get involved with.

I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to get involved with a range of other projects. Due to the flexible nature of working in a gallery that rotates its exhibitions with relevant frequency, I’ve seen and worked on symposiums, artist talks, book signings, film screenings and of course exhibitions. Our team here, and the organisation as a whole, is so dedicated to being involved with the local community, helping to organise and deliver these events has been a priceless study in logistics and organisation, but also a feast for the creative and intellectual senses.

Have you worked on an exhibition or project that you’re particularly proud of?

In December of 2021 myself and Joshua (Events & Exhibitions Assistant) ran zine and collage-making workshops in the beautiful gallery space at Ffotogallery. These workshops were free to attend and marked an end to the series of poetry and writing workshops Joshua had been running each week for several months prior.

In the sessions we provided a range of prompts and activities that meant people could leave the session with a completed 8-page zine to take home. It was a real pleasure to be able to communicate to others a set of skills and techniques that have brought me so much joy!

Do you have a favourite memory of working at Ffotogallery?

I think my favourite memory of working at Ffotogallery must be having my own stall at the Newport Zine Fair that the wonderful Freya (Technical Assistant) organised as part of the Diffusion Festival.

It was the first time I was able to show and sell my work in the real world, as opposed to online. It was really motivating to chat with people about my work and see them enjoy it in real time!

What are your plans after Ffotogallery?

I have really enjoyed working at Ffotogallery and the experience it has provided me with in both the arts and charity sectors. I hope to develop the skills I have learnt at Ffotogallery by gaining a better understanding of how charitable businesses operate at a macro level, with relation to the world of funding and grants. So currently I’m looking for employment where I can continue to develop these skills in a similar role, and continue writing poetry and making zines!

Instagram: @nightofthelivingzine