Alejandra Carles-Tolra is a visual artist, lecturer and facilitator from Barcelona based in London. Questions regarding what defines our identities and the role the group plays in our search for belonging drives her work. 

Her work has been exhibited and published internationally at institutions such as the National Portrait Gallery (UK), Photo Miyota (Japan), The Guardian, FotoFever (Paris), Somerset House (UK), Finnish Museum of Photography, Wuhan Art Museum (China), PhotoEspaña and the Jerwood/ Photoworks Awards. Her work is also part of private and public collections such as the Arts Council Collection of England and the Col·lecció Nacional de Fotografía of Catalunya (Spain).

As an educator she designs resources, teaches courses and facilitates creative workshops for a range of institutions including Autograph Gallery, University College of London, The Photographer’s Gallery, Alexandra Palace, Portsmouth University, Photoworks, MIND Charity, Create and NorthEastern University. She has a strong commitment to using photography as a voice and tool of empowerment and collaborates regularly with non profit organisations running participatory photography workshops for vulnerable communities from diverse backgrounds.

Available for commissions + projects:
IG @alejandractr / Twitter @acarlestolra

Selected Exhibitions

2024 The Bears - Invited Artist, La Kursala, Universidad de Cadiz, Spain

2023 En Escena, Traveling exhibition curated by Cómo Ser Mujeres Fotógrafas, Comunidad de Madrid, Spain
2022 Cultura de urgencias, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Curated by Circulo Bellas Artes Madrid, Spain, 

2021 Championness, Outdoor Exhibition of The Bears at Trocadero, Curated by Fetart, Paris, France
2021 InTrance Festival, Outdoor Exhibition of The Bears, Galatina city in Puglia, Italy
2021 Sunderland Museum, Where We Are Now, Works from Arts Council Collection
2021 Firstsite, Art for Life, Works from Arts Council Collection
2021 Beningbrough National Trust, The Art of Wellbeing, Works from ACCollection
2020 Courtauld Institute, Unquiet Moments: Capturing the Everyday, ACCollection
2019 Asama International Photography Festival, Miyota, Japan
2019 The Finnish Museum of Photography, Transeurope Exhibition, Helsinki, Finland
2019 Benaki Museum, Athens Photo Festival, Greece
2019 Somerset House, Generations: Connecting Across Time + Place, Courtauld Institute,UK
2019 Photo Israel, Tel Aviv, Israel
2018 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
2018 Futures Talent Pool, Unseen Festival, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2018 Sisterhood & Gentle Men by C.Wildberger & M.Paulenka, Forum Stadtpark, Austria
2018 Group show, PhotoEast Festival, Curated by Emma Bowkett and Josh Lustig, Ipswich, UK
2018 Jerwood / Photoworks Awards, Jerwood Gallery London Space and Travelling Exhibition, UK
2017 On Drawing: Apperceive of Liberation, Wuhan Art Museum, China
2016 Renaissance Photography Awards, Getty Images Gallery, London, UK
2016 Festival Circulation(s), Centquatre, Paris, France

Selected Awards / Nominations

2022 Como Ser Mujeres Fotógrafas, Premio al mejor portfolio 2022, Escogido por la comisaria Arianna Rinaldo

2021 UCL Trellis Project, Selected for Stage 2, UK
2021 London Creative Network, Space Studios, Professional Development for Artists, UK
2020 Work acquired to become part of the Col·lecció Nacional de Fotografia, Generalitat de Catalunya, Spain
2019 Winner, The Washington Post Open Call for Photographers, Organised with Visura, USA
2018 Work acquired to become part of the Arts Council Collection, UK
2018 Selected for Futures Photography by PhotoEspaña
2017 Jerwood Visual Arts / Photoworks Award, Sponsored by the Arts Council England, UK
2017 Flash Forward, UK Winners, Magenta Foundation
2015 Semifinalist, Outwin Boochever Competition, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian, DC, USA
2015 New York Times Portfolio Review, Selected Portfolio, USA
2015 Joop Swart Masterclass, World Press Photo, Nominated Portfolio, Amsterdam

Selected Press

2023 Where We Belong Photo book, Los libros son para el verano (y los de bolsillo más), La Vanguardia 

2022 The Point Magazine, Fall In cover image
2021 Glorious Sport, Redefining Rugby, The Bears
2021 Photoworld China, Where We Belong
2021 Tampon Magazine, France, The Bears,
2020 UNESCO Courier, A whole new world, reimagined by women, The Light Coming In
2020 Lenscratch, Spanish Week, Where We Belong
2019 Unseen Platform, Where We Belong
2019 Refinery 29, The Seductive World of Jane Austen Super-Fans, Where We Belong
2019 Literary Hub, Documenting Jane Austen Cosplay, Where We Belong
2019 IMA Magazine, Where We Belong (Cover)
2019 In Sight - The Washington Post, Where We Belong
2019 El País, Where We Belong
2019 6 Mois Magazine, Where We Belong
2018 Lensculture, Where We Belong by Sophie Wright
2018 The Guardian, Regency rendezvous: inside the world of Jane Austen fandom
2018 Foto Room, Alejandra Introduces Us to the Imaginative World of Jane Austen’s Biggest Fans
2018 Arts Council Collection, 2017/2018 Acquisitions
2016 Vice Magazine - Broadly, The Guts and the Glory of Being on an All-Female Sports Team
2016 GUP Magazine, #50 Hidden Gems, The Bears Portfolio
2016 The Independent, Women's varsity rugby: Getting up close with The Bears
2016 L’Oeil de la Photographie, Circulation(s) 2016: Interview with Alejandra Carles-Tolra
2016 Lensculture, Video Interview - The Bears: Up close with women’s rugby
2016 World Photography Organization, Saving Face Portfolio
2016 i-D Vice Magazine, 5 young european photographers to follow
2016 It’s Nice That, Alejandra Carles-Tolra captures a women’s rugby team from all angles
2016 Time Out Madrid, PhotoEspaña 2016: Exposiciones Imprescindibles, No Words Exhibition
2016 World Photography Organization, As Playful As A Game, Interview and The Bears Portfolio
2016 La Fabrica Editorial, Contemporaries. 30 Photographers Of Today (Book)
2016 Slate Magazine, What Life Is Like on Brown University’s All-Female Rugby Team, The Bears
2016 The Huffington Post, Powerful Photo Series - What It's Like To Be A Rugby Girl, The Bears
2015 CNN Photos, Study and serve: The dual identity of the ROTC, Fall In Portfolio


2023 NorthEastern University, Artist Talk, Dialogues Programme

2023 Institut d’Estudis Fotogràfics de Catalunya, Where We Belong Book, Barcelona, Spain
2023 La Fábrica Bookshop, Where We Belong Book, Noche de los libros, Madrid
2022 Ithaca College, Artist Talk and facilitated a photography / text workshop 
2022 Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Artist Talk
2021 Southbank Center, Arts Council Collection, National Partners Programme, Artist Talk
2021 PhotoEspaña, Como ser fotógrafa, Artist Talk  
2021 Photoworks Photography Club, Artist Talk with young photographers
2021 The Littlehampton Academy, Artist Talk on exhibiting outdoors for the Corridor Project
2020 University of Brighton, Artist Talk and Workshop, Socially Engaged Practices
2020 Somerset House, Courtauld Institute, Generations: Connecting Across Time + Place
2018-20 University of Portsmouth, Visiting Artist, Photography department, Portsmouth, UK
2020 George Monoux College, Artist Talk for Autograph Gallery
2020 Caleidoscopio, Visiting Artist, Programme for Young Photographers, Pais Vasco, Spain
2019 UCLan, Visiting Artist, Fieldwork Photography Conference, Lancashire, UK
2018 London College of Communication, Visiting Artist, Photography department, London, UK
2018 Belfast Exposed Gallery, Artist Talk, Jerwood/ Photoworks Awards, Belfast, UK
2018 Impressions Gallery, In conversation with Shoair Mavlian, Director of Photoworks, UK
2018 Jerwood Space, Conversation with K.McQuaid, Curator at The Photographer’s Gallery, UK
2015 Rhode Island School of Design, Visiting Artist, Photography department, Providence, USA
2015 Rhode Island College, Visiting Artist, Art department, Providence, USA
2014 Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Visiting Critic, Photography Department, USA
2014 University of New Hampshire, Visiting Artist Lecture, Paul Creative Arts Center, Durham, USA
2013 Universitat de Barcelona, Visiting Artist Lecture, Sociology Department, Barcelona, Spain


2013 MFA, Photography Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, USA
2010 BA, Sociology Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Alejandra Carles-Tolra

Spanish photographer Alejandra Carles-Tolra resides in London. Her work examines individual and group identity, and how the latter shapes the former.
Website via Visura

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