A TALENTED artist has made the shortlist of an elite global contest with a chance to win a top prize of £10,000.

Gina Soden, from Earley, specialises in capturing abandoned buildings and she has been selected from more than 16,000 entires for the first edition of the Rise Art Prize.

The Global Artist of the Year will receive a lucrative cash prize, along with the opportunity to show their work at an international exhibition in London.

Gina, 32, was inspired by her father to venture into the world of art and attended Thames Valley University to develop her passion.

She said: “I travel all over Europe to sneak into and photograph abandoned locations, exploring the boundaries of beauty, decay, nostalgia and neglect.

“I grew up in Earley with my mum and dad, and older brother and sister. My dad always had an interest in photography so I think that is where my passion for it stemmed from.

“I was always borrowing his cameras. He recently told me about his teenage days where he used to sneak into abandoned hospitals and play practical jokes, so I think when I started exploring abandoned buildings he was secretly very happy I took the same interest.”

A heavyweight panel of judges will select an overall winner from the shortlist of 26 entries on Thursday.

Gina added: “I loved the thrill of being somewhere you are not supposed to be.

“As my photography became more refined I loved immortalising the location with one well-composed photograph, which told enough of a story to pique curiosity and let the mind wander.”

Visit: www.riseart.com for more.