Alys Tomlinson (b.1975) grew up in Brighton, UK and studied photography at Central Saint Martins. She recently completed an MA (Distinction) in Anthropology at SOAS, University of London. Her projects are often research-led and Alys is most interested in the relationship between people and place, exploring themes of environment, belonging and identity. Her major body of work ‘Ex-Voto’ (2016-2018) explores Christian pilgrimage sites in Lourdes (France), Ballyvourney (Ireland) and Grabarka (Poland). Often placed anonymously and hidden from view, ex-voto are left by pilgrims as expressions of hope and gratitude, creating a tangible narrative between faith, person and the landscape. The project images encompass formal portraiture, large format landscape and small, detailed still-life shots of the objects and markers left behind. Shot on 5×4, large format film, the images evoke a distinct stillness and reflect the mysterious, timeless quality present at these sites of great spiritual contemplation. Alys lives and works in London.
Recent awards and exhibitions include: Rencontres d’Arles New Discovery Award 2019 Shortlist; Photographer of the Year Award at the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards; 1st Prize (Discovery Category) at the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards; Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize Shortlist (National Portrait Gallery); BJP/International Photography Award Shortlist; Renaissance Photography Prize (Finalist); Royal Photographic Society International Photography Exhibition 161 Silver Prize; Hotshoe Award/Renaissance Photography Prize Winner; Magenta Foundation Flash Forward and PDN 30. ‘Ex-Voto’ was published as a book by GOST in Spring 2019.