Iain Ridley, 26 is a creative who has Aspergers syndrome. We made contact over the social networking site, Facebook and I explained my project idea and my research into creativity and Aspergers syndrome. Fortunately he agreed to participate in my research project and after having a brief conversation about his condition, his artwork and his thoughts on the two, we arranged a meeting. During this meeting I will informally interview him about the problems he has with his disability and how film making and photography helps him deal with everyday struggles.
Iain Ridley went to Hereward College in Coventry where he studied photography. He explains during our Facebook chat that photography and image making is what he is best at and how it helps him to organise his mind. Iain’s main interest is to capture the moment as he sees it, in his world. He spoke to me about his struggles at school and Hereward College. Iain found it difficult to organise his work and follow briefs assigned to him.
Below is a section of mine and Iain’s facebook conversation-
“ Alice Martin-Smith so you photograph things to allow people to see things from your perspective?
04/02/2014 16:08 Iain Alex Ridley Without organising myself I just don’t do anything. Uni are sympathetic But as you know with autism Individuals with it either do it their way or not at all Because they/I see what I do as perfect and when I don’t get it right It makes me upset But all of this I don’t express it I just kinda go blank and shut down When I’m focused and allowed to do my thing I do really good work But also, I really try to not let it define me And then when I try it can go wrong or people think I’m too eccentric
04/02/2014 16:11 Alice Martin-Smith so with uni you find it hard to stick to the brief? as you prefer to do your own thing ?
04/02/2014 16:11 Iain Alex Ridley It’s a cycle, one I know most aspergers people suffer with It’s why maybe I was drawn to art
04/02/2014 16:11 Alice Martin-Smith youd rather just capture your own moments as they come to you?
04/02/2014 16:11 Iain Alex Ridley Yes And when my vision matches the brief it works “
I was extremely grateful for Iain Ridley opening up to me and talking to me about his internal problems and emotions. It gave me a better insight into the different severity’s of Aspergers and how difficult or easy it is for him to be self-expressive. He discussed how he has issues opening up to people about his condition but told me the benefits of his image making and how it helps with his self esteem. “ 04/02/2014 16:49 Iain Alex Ridley And also feel a stranger to everything Sometimes At least then a part of you is making something real And visual All the feelings and thoughts you have can seem so detached from like everything and everyone , when you get like a final piece of work like made It feels like you’ve made part of you real “
Near the end of our conversation he sent me links to view some of the short films he has produced. Below are the website links to his creative pieces of work. During the interview with Iain we will discuss his work further.