Photography Student Awarded First Full Two-Year Genesis Foundation Scholarship

26 October 2009 - Greta Alfaro has been awarded the Genesis Scholarship at the Royal College of Art. The first of its kind, the scholarship provides a full award for a student for both years of an MA course.

Following interviews held in September, four shortlisted first year students gave a short presentation to the panel, joined by Turner Prize nominee and RCA graduate Runa Islam, RCA Head of Photography Professor Olivier Richon, image maker Chris Levine and Harriet Capaldi, Managing Director of the Genesis Foundation. The panel was unanimous in awarding the Scholarship to Greta Alfaro.

A first-year student in Photography, Greta graduated with a first degree in Fine Art from Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain. Her work deals with the importance of images in contemporary western society. Greta reflects on the differences between public and private life; between what we would like to be, what we say we are and what we actually are. Her work aims to explore the reasons for this lack of coherence, which she believes is linked to the way we build our identity around the production and consumption of images.

The young artist stressed how important this support will be for the development of her work, adding: “I am very grateful to the Genesis Foundation and the panel for selecting me to be the first recipient of the Genesis Scholarship; it is a great honour and truly encouraging to be recognized in this way”.

The Scholarship is worth £20,000 in total, and will be paid in three annual installments at the beginning of each term, for two consecutive years, while Greta studies at the RCA. The funds are to be used for making work.

Dr Paul Thompson, Rector of the Royal College of Art expressed his deep appreciation of the Genesis Scholarship at the Royal College of Art, saying: “Externally funded scholarships are vital to the future of RCA students. Philanthropic support like this can make all the difference between a student being able to take up an offered place at the College and having to decline it for purely financial reasons.”

Mr Studzinski said that the awards are helping dedicated artists to raise their skill levels, stating that, “What we’re doing is not only expanding our work by entering the field of the visual arts.&nbsp_place_holder; We have awarded our first Genesis RCA Scholarship to a very exciting young, emerging photographer, Greta Alfaro, who is working at the cutting edge of conceptual photography and who clearly has enormous talent. We wish her well.”

The Genesis Foundation is a UK-based charity set up by American financier John Studzinski in 2001 to find creative talents of the future.&nbsp_place_holder; It aims to nurture emerging artists in the early stages of their professional careers.&nbsp_place_holder; The Foundation does this by providing supportive environments in which they can develop and grow to their full potential. Mentoring by established professionals is an important part of the process.

To date, 19 artists in four different areas of creative excellence – photography (1), acting (16: LAMDA), ballet (1) and music (1) - have received scholarships from the Genesis Foundation.&nbsp_place_holder; Also, hundreds of young directors, composers, librettists and playwrights have received support through its larger process programmes such as OperaGenesis, the Genesis Directors Project at the Young Vic, and International Playwrights at the Royal Court Theatre.

More about the Genesis Foundation