© Giulia Berto

We’re delighted to announce the winner of the public vote ‘Best in Show’ at the Shutter Hub OPEN 2017 at Retina International Photography Festival is…

Giulia Berto, The Night Before. 

With hundreds of votes received both online and at the Dark Room Gallery it’s been exciting to see who people have voted for, and even better to be able to share this with you now!

In 3rd place with her image The Polar Bears, Joanne Coates.
2nd place, with Together, Jim Carrington.
And 1st place, Giulia Berto with The Night Before.


So, over to Giulia to tell us more about the work, why she chose to take part in the Shutter Hub OPEN, and what it means to win the public vote…
The Night Before is from my long-term project Fragments, a black and white series in which I explore how it feels to be together and apart as lovers in a long-distance relationship. The long wait. The longing to be reunited. The joy of being together. The special moments of everyday life along with the anxiety and pressure of an imminent separation. Fragments is a story of a chase, a love letter slowly unfolding across the sea.

I met John in London, UK, in 2012. We fell in love during that summer. Friends, dinners, parties and walks in the park. Time did not constrain us back then, we were floating peacefully in a never-ending today. When I moved to New York City, our time together started to become precious and intensified and this visual journey began.

Three cities, four countries, two continents. The starting point in London then New York – my adopted home, Dublin – John’s homeland in Ireland and Italy, where I grew up. These are the emotional landscapes of a tale of love and trust, friendship, separation and reunion.

I started Fragments in 2013, soon after graduating from the International Center of Photography in New York. The project is created with analog film cameras and black and white Ilford HP5 Plus 400 film. With this work, I wanted to slow down and take the time to look at, reflect on and reveal what closeness in a long-distance relationship means to me. A prolonged and intimate search into myself as lover, partner and artist.

Becoming a Shutter Hub member has been a wonderful experience so far and definitely contributed to increasing my work’s exposure. I knew about the OPEN as the annual show curated by Shutter Hub and – as a relatively new member, I immediately found it appealing. Also, the idea of a complete ‘open theme’ for the exhibition and having the freedom of submitting what I think represents my practice best was a big incentive. In addition, the opportunity of having international exposure through the Retina Scottish Photography Festival platform and having the chance to exhibit my work alongside many talented photographers really intrigued me and pushed me to apply.

Winning the Public Vote Award as Best in Show for the Shutter Hub OPEN exhibition is a huge honour. I am elated about it and it is fantastic to know that many people believe in my work and wanted to support it. It is a big privilege and I want to thank Shutter Hub for this great opportunity. I would also like to thank everybody who participated in the Public Vote from my fellow photographers to my family and friends as well as the general public who made The Night Before – from the Fragments series, the winning photograph. I am very grateful for it, thank you!  


Giulia has an archive of more than 3,000 images and plans on dedicating part of the next phase of the project to scanning, retouching, editing and printing a new selection of images to be integrated to the existing project, as well as producing a limited edition portfolio of the series. She is also planning a solo show in Italy for the coming fall/winter so keep an eye on the Shutter Hub news, Giulia’s website, and Instagram account @berto.giulia for more details.



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