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Samantha Leonard

BA (Hons) Photography, Video and Digital Imaging | Class of 2021

Samantha Leonard (born in Sunderland, 1999) studied Photography, Video & Digital Imaging at the University of Sunderland from 2018-2021. A digital photographer working with a DSLR and different digital editing software platforms, she has studied photography for 5 years, doing an A level in photography and a degree. During that time, she has worked with both digital and analogue, experimenting with different processes and techniques to develop her practice.

Samantha has interests in medical photography and crime scene photography. She enjoys going for long walks with her camera and capturing her beautiful surroundings.

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Lighting the Lamps
The Coal Mining Industry is an important part of the history of the North East of England. The lamps used in the coal mines played an important role in the workers’ lives – they could be the difference between life and death. Miners’ lamps not only gave off light to illuminate the dark, but also helped detect dangerous gases.

This work is inspired by my Grandad, an ex-coal miner, who worked in the lamp cabins where the miner’s safety lamps and caps were maintained and stored before being given to the workers. The stories that my Grandad tells are fascinating and were often life changing.

Using still photography and videography, this work interweaves personal and social history capturing the lamps, the stories and history that comes with them. During this project I have researched the different lamps that were used and other ways that people remember the coal mining industry, through statues, murals and other memorabilia.