The fascinating rituals of Sant Joan, which merge medieval traditions with equestrian heroics, are completely outside my everyday realm.
For the first time I put myself at the center of the fiesta, which takes place in Ciutadella, Menorca at the end of June. Over the centuries it has evolved into a celebration of both Saint John the Baptist and traditional Menorcan horsemanship. It is a four day event with live music, dancing, carnival rides, and Pomadas (a mixture of local gin and lemonade).
Once the horses and riders have been blessed by the local priest, the townspeople are alerted by a flute playing, drum banging rider on a donkey who sets the tempo for the song that repeats from dusk to dawn.The primary events consist of local horses and riders competing in galloping games, parading through town, entering homes for a drink, and performing in the jaleo, a trick where the horses rear up and dances on their hind legs egged on by the audience. Every year people get hurt, and every year people look forward to swaying en masse as they stand shoulder to shoulder cheering on the passing horses and their riders. The pride and camaraderie throughout the community is radiant and cherished by all.
Amidst the noise of a daring crowd, the intensity of riled up stallions, and overheated riders - striking moments of stillness and serenity emerge. Deviating attention away from the spectacle and into the visual patterns and cultural customs.
The still life images are a product of breaking down and rehearsing the fundamentals of my photography. Constraining color, light and setting, the devoid objects find beauty and functionality outside of traditional manufactured purposes. Removing these objects from their respective contexts and constructing a new environment has opened possibility of serenity, tactility, and symbolism to emerge.