Berta De La Rosa, who graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2013, has won the ‘Expression’ category in this year’s Renaissance Photography Prize.
The winning photograph ‘Las Manos de Carmen’ (Carmen’s hands) depicts one of Berta’s best friends, Carmen Valiente, who decided to join the enclosed order of Salesas nuns when she was 23 years old.
After five years living in the Salesas community, Carmen’s new identity Sor Maria Luisa celebrated a private ceremony called ‘Profesión Solemne’. In this, she accepted her death to the world and herself, and a resurrection of her new life in Christ.
Even though Carmen lives in an enclosed community, she is allowed to receive some visits. Because she is separated from the outside world by tall fences, Carmen’s hands are now one of the most important ways she can communicate with loved ones.
Speaking about the prize win, Berta said: “Winning one of the Renaissance Photography Prizes has been an overwhelming surprise, as I competed with high standard professionals whose work I admire. This definitely compensates all the hard work I have done till now, and pushes me ahead to continue working on what I believe in with enthusiasm.”
The Renaissance Photography Prize 2014 was judged by industry professionals including Simon Bainbridge, Editor of the British Journal of Photography, and documentary photographer Martin Parr.