WINNER - The London Photo Show - The Strand 2017

Lalibela, Ethiopia, possibly the most brutal place of serenity you can ever experience.

There was no gift shop offering maps or audio guides, and with the scarcity of English speakers, I was fully immersed in isolation heading into a dark roadside tunnel chiseled in the rock.

My aim was to photograph a church, but instead was faced with hundreds of white-robed pilgrims sprawled across the floors praying, sleeping, whispering into walls, priests chanting, drums playing, candles burning and the uncomfortable lack of air.

A place where time had not only stood still but was completely obsolete. 

This was to be my studio for the week. The people of Lalibela.