Karimah Ashadu - Artist

Karimah Ashadu graduated from Chelsea's MA Interior and Spatial Design course and is now a full time artist who exhibits her work internationally.

Why did you choose Chelsea's MA Interior and Spatial Design course?

I chose Chelsea because of its respected reputation and location.

I've been familiar with Chelsea since completing a short course in Interior Design when I was 16, and promised myself I'd return!

Then I got sidetracked by my art, became a painter and did a related degree at Reading. But I knew I'd need to do an architectural course if I wanted to achieve my dream of becoming an Interior Designer, which is something I've wanted since I was 14. 

The MA Interior and Spatial Design at Chelsea seemed perfect in its approach, because it's quite open in terms of interpretation.

What's your favourite memory of Chelsea?

The enthusiasm and unparalleled knowledge of my tutors, as well as the insightful lectures with other MA courses.

What was the first job you took after graduation?

Interior Designer at Universal Design Studio.

What are you working on at the moment?

Since leaving, I've developed a strong body of work, which has led to some interesting opportunities. I was recently invited to the Transmediale Festival in Berlin, where I screened my work alongside other artists like Laurie Anderson and Turner Prize winner, Elizabeth Price.

I now practice as a full time Artist and am currently engaged in a research project titled Abstracts of Momentum, which explores the effects of architectural mechanisms as a vehicle for moving image capture.

Is your current work related to the work you did at Chelsea? 

Absolutely. Chelsea is a place of self discovery and I first experimented with film, which led to my current career as a video artist. I've now delved deeper into the ideas I initially touched on at Chelsea. 

Any tips for current Chelsea students?

Use your time wisely. If your background isn't in design and you need to learn technical skills, approach studios for internships before you start the course. This is what I did, which made it so much easier to find employment once I'd completed my course.

If you're looking to develop a career as an artist after graduating, start applying to open calls from festivals, exhibitions and residencies while still studying.

Make the most of your tutors by arranging as many one-to-ones as you can, their advice will be integral to the success of your work.

Immerse yourself in Chelsea's amazing library! I spent hours reading insightful books and watching art house films.