Announcing the Winners of the 70:15:40 Project UK

Peerspace is excited to announce the winners of the 70:15:40 Project UK

This project, in partnership with MPB, the Royal Photographic Society, SheClicks, UKBFTOG, and the Centre for British Photography, is focused on bringing women, trans & non-binary people to the forefront of the photography industry by awarding four winners with 12 months of career support, including funding, training, and access to camera equipment and studio space, worth £40,000. All studio space is provided courtesy of Peerspace.

Keep reading to meet our winners.

The Professional Winners:

Violeta Sofia – ‘NPG’

Selection from the artist’s submission:

In the Professional category, the first winner is Violeta Sofia with her project ‘NPG’. Born in Cameroon, Violeta Sofia is an award-winning photographer and artist. Growing up in Madrid, Violeta Sofia developed a passion for visual arts from a young age. At 16, she made the decision to move to London to study arts and pursue a career in photography.

Violeta’s work is characterised by its simple yet elegant compositions, capturing intimate and engaging moments that reveal the essence of her subjects. Her photography often features a dramatic use of colours and focuses on fashion, beauty and celebrity portraits. Her talent has been recognised by publications including Vogue, Elle, Deadline Hollywood and The Telegraph.

In addition to her commercial work, Violeta Sofia delves into deeper themes of identity and race in her artistic practice. She explores these subjects through her exhibitions, with notable showcases  at the Royal Academy of Arts, Christie’s, the National Portrait Gallery and the Fujifilm House of Photography. 

“Whilst looking through the catalogue of female sitters at the National Portrait Gallery, I realise that many women of colour, who have shaped history and culture, are under-represented within the most extensive collection of portraits in the world,” says Violeta Sofia. “The proposal is to create a series of photography portraits and immersive reality experience of under-represented women from the fields of science, entertainment, political and activism.”

Hanna Ali – The Birth of a Mother

Selection from the artist’s submission:

The second Professional category winner is Hanna Ali and ‘The Birth of a Mother’. Hanna Ali is a motherhood-specialist photographer who is deeply passionate about capturing the journey and seasons of mothering and getting mothers in the frame. 

Hanna Ali is also a former radio presenter, artistic director and published author who is interested in the intersection of art, culture, heritage and identity. Her photo series, The Birth of a Mother, will document the concept of matrescence; the physical, emotional, and psychological transformation that takes place in becoming a mother.

“My photo series will capture and attempt to unpack the incredibly complex life transition that happens as you enter motherhood” says Hanna Ali. “I will photograph women in distinct phases; pregnant, giving birth, and postpartum—within the ‘fourth trimester’; the first 12 weeks after birth. In doing so, I want to tell the stories of these mothers through documentary-style photography in a way that is honest and gritty, but also showcasing the indescribable beauty and sense of hope that comes with the arrival of new life.”

“As a Black mother, it’s incredibly important to me that women of colour—in particular, Black mothers— and mothers of diverse backgrounds, are seen and depicted as mothers in a way that is not always engulfed in stereotypes of social issues of poverty, disadvantage or single motherhood.”

The Emerging Winners:

Roman Manfredi – Gold Star (working title)

Selection from the artist’s submission:

The third winner, and the first within the Emerging category, is Roman Manfredi with ‘Gold Star’(working title). Using photography and film to learn about and become intimate with participants and their surroundings, Roman Manfredi’s work explores concepts of identity through the everyday lived experience, seeking for creative ways to instigate dialogue. Motivated by connective linkage and the need to contribute to archiving working class experiences by working class artists, Roman Manfredi holds a BA in Fine Art from Byam Shaw School of Art at Central St Martins and an MA in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art. 

Roman’s recent project, We/Us is the UK’s first visual art project celebrating the undocumented presence of butches and studs from working class backgrounds. Using film photography as a medium, Roman Manfredi explores intergenerational female masculinity through the structures of class and race within the British landscape. The project consists of forty-one framed photographs with an audio installation taken from interviews with the participants. 

“I would like to make some orotones of Butch lesbians and non-binary people who have had breast cancer using a large format camera,” says Roman Manfredi. “I see the work as an intimate portrayal of breasts after surgery as an ongoing investigation into the relationship with butch lesbians and non-binary people with their breasts.”

“The image will be photographed directly onto glass, adding gold leaf to complete the orotone process as a way of capturing the tension between vulnerability and survival. The results can be unpredictable, mirroring the process and uncertainty of recovery from breast cancer.”

Christina Agha – SAME SIDE

Selection from the artist’s submission:

Finally, in the Emerging category, is Paloma Tendero with ‘Shifting Bodies’. Born in Spain, visual artist Paloma Tendero explores themes around hereditary, identity and life cycles. Paloma Tendero holds a BA (Hons) in Fine Arts from Complutense University, Madrid and an MA in Photography from the London College of Communication—where she won a mentorship award with her graduation project ‘Inside Out’. 

Paloma Tendero has since been exhibiting and participating in artist-in-residence programmes such as Sarabande, The Alexander McQueen Foundation in London 2020 and KulturKontak in Vienna 2018. Her work has been featured in group exhibitions including ‘Political Bodies’, Galleria Cavour, Italy, 2019; ‘Live Flesh’, International Women’s Day, curated by Charlotte Jansen, 2020; ‘A Picture of Health’, Arnolfini Arts Centre in Bristol, 2021, ‘Body Language’, Messums Gallery, curated by Katy Barron, 2022; and ‘Headstrong: Women and Empowerment’, Centre for British Photography, 2023.

“The aim of this new project is to delve into visual imagery from medical archives, creating sculptural shapes from recycled materials associated with illness, such as mattresses, pillows, and bedsheets,” says Paloma Tendero. “These pieces will be photographed enveloping bodies, representing different transitions between health, well-being, and states of illness and change. 

“By using this visual language to represent invisible illnesses and human experiences through visual forms, I aim to highlight the diverse ways in which illness affects us.

My motivation for this project is to invite people to talk about their experiences with illness, using photography as a means of opening important conversations.”

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