Sacred/Sagrado: Festivals of Mexico
I began shooting Sacred/Sagrado: Festivals of Mexico in Oaxaca (on film) in 2011. Since then, I have continued travelling to various communities to witness and document traditions that are part of the fabric of Mexican culture.
The term “sacred” invokes two distinct definitions: that which is holy and that which is a cherished part of the life of a community. Though all the festivals I have photographed tie back in some way to the religious calendar (Mardi Gras, after all, is the day before Lent), only about half of them celebrate the deeply held beliefs of the Catholic faith. Other images portray a profound sense of tradition, identity, and community that is every bit as intensely felt.
Jenna Mulhall-Brereton explores cultural identity and expression through her work. She is grounded by a strong interest in what is meaningful to communities and cultures and how those values are expressed. She is equally intrigued by what is universal—the powerful beauty of everyday moments of human connection—and the unique expressions of a particular culture. She maintains a deep and abiding love of film and prints her images by hand in a traditional darkroom.
Mulhall-Brereton’s photographs have appeared in juried exhibitions throughout the US and in various publications, including Mary Ellen Mark on the Portrait and the Moment (Aperture Foundation, 2015).
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