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2014’s Graduate Art Prize winner was talented photographer Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi from University of Portsmouth. Alecsandra was awarded the £1,000 prize at a prestigious Private Viewing event at co-sponsor Herbert Smith Freehills’ offices, in the heart of the City of London.


The judges of the prize were incredibly impressed with Alecsandra’s great technical skill and ability to capture emotion in her imagery, a view which was clearly shared by the general public.


ARTIQ’s state-of-the-art voting tool gained a lot of attention in the last few days of voting, with literally thousands of people signing up to register their opinion.


Ritual documents various aspects of the Romanian culture, a post-communist country that succeeds in keeping alive the richness of its traditions in a modern era. Many of the old traditions can be discovered in the countryside, which is considered to be the heart and soul of Romania, where peasant culture remains a strong force and medieval life prevails.


The New Year’s traditions have some of the finest winter attractions; diverse, colourful and rich in symbols and meanings. These customs present glimpses of pre-Christian rituals and underline the predominant agrarian lifestyle from the past.


The project is playing with the narrative of contrasting masculinity represented by the bear tradition, with the femininity represented by the women dressed in traditional costumes with their headscarves, bringing light into the dark of masculinity representation. The traditions and the customs are an integrated part of the Romanian national conscience, as they express the ancestral wisdom of the people and are the core of their spiritual legacy.


Having graduated from University of Portsmouth with First Class Honours, Alecsandra looks set for an incredibly bright future in photojournalism.





  1. Abraham Kritzman (RCA)

  2. Aidan Myers (Cardiff)

  3. Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi (Portsmouth)

  4. Alexandra Hon (Wimbledon)

  5. Amanda Bywater (Loughborough)

  6. Anastasia Mina (RCA)

  7. Emily Richards (UCA Maidstone)

  8. Gabriele Dini (RCA)

  9. Jessica Oliver (City & Guilds)

  10. Jure Kastelic (Brighton)

  11. Leah Downing (Loughborough)

  12. Lewis Blake (Goldsmiths)

  13. Malaika Sellen-Ferere (Goldsmiths)

  14. Mee Young Kim (RCA)

  15. Miriam Leach (Loughborough)

  16. Rachel Halliwell (Leeds)

  17. Sam van Strien (Central Saint Martins)

  18. Samantha Rigler (Loughborough)

  19. Sarah 'Kenikie' Palmer (Wimbledon)

  20. Sarah Wilson (Loughborough)

  21. Sung Yeon Lim (Slade)

  22. Yvonne Yiwen Feng (RCA)


Download the 2014 catalogue here.