In Conversation with Samson Kambalu and Emma Ridgway

A Courtyard at Abbeville photographed by John Ruskin in 1858, image depicting an archway entrance

“…. sculptured churches; there was no beadle to lock me out of them…I might haunt them fancying myself a ghost; peep around their pillars… and scandalize nobody; draw in them and disturb none.” – John Ruskin, Praeterita | A Courtyard at Abbeville photographed by John Ruskin in 1858

Presented by Dr Samson Kambalu, Associate Professor of Fine Art at Ruskin School of Art and fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford and current Humanities Knowledge Exchange Fellow at TORCH

Live Event: Tuesday 25 May 2021, 5.30pm-6.30pm (GMT)

Watch the live event here.

An ‘In Conversation’ between Samson Kambalu (Ruskin School of Art) and Emma Ridgway (Modern Art Oxford), in which the artist presents aspects of his significant solo show New Liberia at Modern Art Oxford, that includes a substantial new commission inspired by his exploration of John Ruskin.

This event is the last in a series in which the artist and Ruskin tutor Samson Kambalu proposes a return to the radical John Ruskin (1819 – 1900) through a socialised praxis based around a notion of drawing and unrestricted economics, in anticipation of his solo show New Liberia at Modern Art Oxford, curated by Emma Ridgway, Chief Curator, and Amy Budd, Curator of Projects and Exhibitions.


About the Speakers:

Photography of Samson Kambalu by Jeremy Hibbert

Samson Kambalu is an artist and writer working in a variety of media, including site-specific installation, video, performance and literature. Born in Malawi Kambalu’s work fuses aspects of Chewa prestation culture, the anti-reification strategies of the Situationist movement and the Protestant tradition of inquiry, criticism and dissent. He has developed a praxis around psychogeographical cinema inspired by aspects of cinema of attractions. Samson Kambalu was included in Okwui Enwezor’s All the World’s Futures, Venice Biennale 2015. His recent solo exhibition History Without a Past at Muzee, Ostend, in 2020, was in conversation with Vincent Meessen’s project One.Two.Three which featured for Belgian Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2015. Samson Kambalu’s upcoming shows include a solo exhibition at Modern Art Oxford, Athens Biennale 2021, and ARS22 at Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki, Finland. 




Photograph of Emma Ridgway by Kirill Kozlov

Emma Ridgway is Chief Curator at Modern Art Oxford, leading the artistic programme of exhibitions and learning since 2015. Previously she was a curator at the Barbican Centre, The Royal Society of Arts, Serpentine Gallery, and Khoj International Artists Association, New Delhi. She has degrees in fine art, art history and curating contemporary art from Goldsmiths and The Royal College of Art in London, and is a Clore Cultural Leadership Fellow. Ridgway has recently been awarded the post of Shane Akeroyd Associate Curator for the British Pavilion, 59th International Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia 2022.




You can find out more about Samson Kambalu's Humanities Knowledge Exchange Fellowship at TORCH here.