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Inspired by personal identity, the natural world, and the fear of dying, the three young artists in this year’s Jerwood/Photoworks Awards exhibition are presenting very different work.
Picked out as winners in January 2017, all three have received a year of mentoring on their work from industry specialists such as photographer Mitch Epstein, publisher Michael Mack, and gallerist Maureen Paley. They each also received a bursary of £5000 and access to a production fund of another £5000, to make new work which goes on show in London’s Jerwood Space from 17 January-11 March then tours to Bradford and Belfast.
Born in 1986 in Spain, and graduating from the Documentary Photography BA at Newport, University of South Wales in 2016, Lua Riberia is best-known for her series Noises in the Blood, an exploration of femininity and dancehall culture. Her new project, Subida al Cielo [Heavenly Ascent], draws on the fear of dying to present an allegorical exploration of human mortality.

Untitled © Lua Ribeira. From the series Subida al Cielo, originally commissioned through the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards, 2017
Born in 1990 and also a Newport Documentary Photography BA graduate, Sam Laughlin’s new work is inspired by the natural world and titled A Certain Movement. Focusing in closely on the behaviour of several animal species, he has depicted some of the natural processes which go on around human society, but which are becoming increasingly marginalised because of it.

Alejandra Carles-Tolra, who was born in Spain in 1988, is presenting a series titled Where We Belong, which explores individual and group female identity via images of Jane Austen devotees. Originally studying Sociology at the University of Barcelona, Carles-Tolra went on to take a Photography MFA at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and has already been published and exhibited by institutions such as Vice,  The Independent, and the Circulation(s) Festival in Paris.

The full mentor panel this year comprised: James Barnor, photographer; Rut Blees Luxemburg, photographer; Bruno Ceschel, writer and curator; Tim Clark, editor and curator; Carolyn Cooper, writer; Celia Davies, director of Photoworks; Mark Durden, writer and photographer; Mitch Epstein, photographer; Fariba Farshad, curator; Anna Fox, photographer; Ori Gersht, photographer; Francis Hodgson, writer and art adviser; Mårten Lange, photographer; Michael Mack, publisher; Maureen Paley, gallerist; Mark Power, photographer; and Sarah Williams, head of programme at Jerwood Visual Arts.
Founded in 2015, the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards are a collaboration between Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Photoworks, supported by Arts Council England and Spectrum Photographic. After going on show at the Jerwood Space, the exhibition will tour to Impressions Gallery, Bradford from 06 April-23 June, and at Belfast Exposed, from 02 November-22 December.
jerwoodvisualarts.org photoworks.org.uk impressions-gallery.com https://belfastexposed.org/
Untitled © Alejandra Carles-Tolra. From the series Where We Belong, originally commissioned through the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards, 2017
Untitled © Alejandra Carles-Tolra. From the series Where We Belong, originally commissioned through the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards, 2017
Adders basking (Vipera berus) © Sam Laughlin. From the series A Certain Movement, originally commissioned through the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards, 2017
Emperor Dragonfly laying eggs (Anax imperator) © Sam Laughlin. From the series A Certain Movement, originally commissioned through the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards, 2017
Diane Smyth

Diane Smyth is a freelance journalist who contributes to publications such as The Guardian, The Observer, The FT Weekend Magazine, Creative Review, The Calvert Journal, Aperture, FOAM, IMA, Aesthetica and Apollo Magazine. Prior to going freelance, she wrote and edited at BJP for 15 years. She has also curated exhibitions for institutions such as The Photographers Gallery and Lianzhou Foto Festival. You can follow her on instagram @dismy

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