THROUGH THE LENS OF RITUAL AND TRADITION
Cristina García Rodero was born in Puertollano, Spain. She studied painting at the School of Fine Arts at the University of Madrid, before taking up photography. She then qualified as a teacher and worked full-time in education. For the next 16 years, she also dedicated her time to researching and photographing popular and traditional festivities – religious and pagan – principally in Spain but also across Mediterranean Europe. This project culminated in her book España Oculta published in 1989, which won the ‘Book of the Year Award’ at the Arles Festival of Photography.
The same year, García Rodero also won the prestigious W. Eugene Smith Foundation Prize. The documentary and ethnological value of her work are considerable, but the aesthetic quality of her photography makes it more than a simple visual record.
In recent years, García Rodero has traveled around the world in search of other cultures with particular traditions. Over a period of four years, she went several times to Haiti, where she has documented voodoo rituals, producing a series of expressive portraits and moving scenes flanked by engaging documentary observations. Rituals in Haiti was shown for the first time in the 2001 Venice Biennale.
García Rodero has received many prizes such as; The Erich Salomon Prize (Cologne, 1990); The National Photography Award (1996); The Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts (2005); The Community of Madrid Culture Award for artistic career (2006); and The Gold Medal for Merit at Work awarded by the Spanish government (2014). Her work has been widely published and exhibited internationally.
“PHOTOGRAPHY IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WAYS TO DEFY TIME. PHOTOGRAPHY IS WANTING TO SEE, FEEL AND TELL” - CRISTINA GARCIA RODERO.
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