Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Sam Laughlin and Lua Ribeira

Following a national open call, Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Photoworks announce the winners of the second Jerwood/Photoworks Awards: Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Sam Laughlin and Lua Ribeira.

Each photographer will receive an award of £5,000 to support the time and space to research and develop new work, with access to a production fund of up to £5,000 each and significant mentoring over a year-long period.

New work by each artist will be shown for the first time at Jerwood Space, London in January 2018 followed by a national tour with partners including Impressions Gallery, Bradford and Belfast Exposed.

Alejandra Carles-Tolra is interested in the relationship between individual and group identity, specifically how group identity shapes the individual. She will explore these themes by photographing “Janeites” – individual devotees of Jane Austen who have formed communities in which to celebrate and recreate Austen’s world.

Sam Laughlin’s practice is concerned with both man-made and natural architectures. He will work with researchers to develop a series examining the result of behaviours exhibited by various animal species, including (but not limited to) nesting and migration. Counter to the conventions of wildlife photography, Sam will focus on form and process, rather than seeking the spectacle in nature.

Lua Ribeira will play with the provocative history of the black body in photography, continuing an exploration into female identity within contemporary Jamaican dancehall culture in the UK. Her investigations encompass performance, ritual and self-expression, mysticism, cultural identity, female divinity and ideas of femininity that clash with western counterparts. Fed by their folklore and Lua’s own imagination, universal subjects such as birth, love, death and sex are fundamental to the work.

The call for entries was open to all UK based practitioners using photography and within ten years of graduating or establishing their practice. More than 350 entries were received from across the UK. The selectors were: Celia Davies, Director, Photoworks; Mark Durden, writer and photographer; Anna Fox, photographer; Ori Gersht, photographer and Sarah Williams, Head of Programme, Jerwood Arts.

The Photoworks and Jerwood Visual Arts teams will work closely with the awardees as they develop their new work. They will also participate in a mentoring programme working with a knowledgeable and experienced group of specialists including: Rut Blees Luxemburg, photographer; Tim Clark, curator and editor; Celia Davies, Director, Photoworks; Mark Durden, writer and photographer; Mitch Epstein, photographer; Fariba Farshad, curator; Anna Fox, photographer; Ori Gersht, photographer; Francis Hodgson, writer/art adviser; Michael Mack, publisher; Maureen Paley, gallerist; Mark Power, photographer and Sarah Williams, Head of Programme, Jerwood Arts. This edition of the awards also sees Spectrum Photographic as the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards official print partner.

In a joint statement Celia Davies, Director of Photoworks and Shonagh Manson, Director of Jerwood Charitable Foundation said:

Once again we have received a large number of applications in response to the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards national open call – a testament to the demand for and the importance of this unique talent development programme for outstanding new artists. The quality of the submissions this year was very high. Central to the selection panel’s decision-making were the strength and richness of each proposal and the potential of these ideas to be developed by the photographer within the context of the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards programme. The conversations between the photographers and the evolving dynamic between the work will be compelling to be part of over the coming year.

About the Awardees

Alejandra Carles-Tolra (b1988, Spain) Alejandra received a BA in Sociology from the University of Barcelona and a Photography MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Alejandra’s work has been published and exhibited internationally, most recently at Vice, The Huffington Post, Gup Magazine, World Photography Organization, The Independent, Circulation(s) Festival in Paris, and Getty Images Gallery in London. She has taught photography at The University of New Hampshire and Massachusetts College of Art and Design, among other institutions. Alejandra currently collaborates with non-profit organizations as an art workshop facilitator using art and education to empower vulnerable communities.

Sam Laughlin (b1990, U.K.) Sam studied Documentary Photography at the University of South Wales, Newport. He has exhibited widely both in the UK and internationally, most recently at the Regency Town House for Brighton Photo Fringe 2016 where he was awarded the Danny Wilson Memorial Award.

Lua Ribeira (b1986, Galicia, Spain) studied Sciences of Information at University of Vigo and Graphic Design at Bau, Escola Superior de Disseny, Barcelona. She graduated in Documentary Photography from the University of South Wales, Newport in 2016. Lua’s work has been awarded the Firecracker Grant 2015, Ditto Press Scholarship 2015, and the Reginald Salisbury Fund 2016 and she was recently shortlisted for the Bar Tur Photobook Award. Lua has participated in The Independent Air Residency, Denmark 2015 and group exhibitions in the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Germany.

The Jerwood/Photoworks Awards are a collaboration between Jerwood Arts (previously known as Jerwood Charitable Foundation) and Photoworks, supported by Arts Council England and Official Print Partner, Spectrum Photographic.

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