A TALENT for finding the beauty behind abandoned buildings has seen an Earley photographer scoop two awards in an international art competition.

Gina Soden was selected from more than 16,000 entries for the brand-new Rise Art Prize competition and received the Patrón Tequila UK Artist of the Year and Photography Award.

A prestigious panel of judges including David Bailey OBE chose Gina, 32, for her ‘creative excellence and original ideas’.

She was described as ‘an exquisite observer of beautiful decay’ for her depiction of an abandoned asylum ‘Klinik’.

She said: “I am completely overwhelmed and so happy that I have won not one prize but two.

Reading Chronicle:

“The quality of the artwork from all the other artists was superb and it feels even more special because the calibre of the judges was so high.

“I am also very happy because Klinik is one of my personal favourite pieces and holds a very special place in my heart.

"There are a lot of memories associated with creating this piece.”

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

She added: “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.”

Visit www.riseart.com for more information.