Artist of the week

Jordi Ruiz Cirera

Featured in Foto8’s Summershow this year, Jordi Ruiz Cirera is having his own golden summer having been shortlisted for the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Prize aswell.

The series ‘Menonos’ which has won him multiple acclaim, presents the daily existence of the Mennonites that live in Bolivia. Akin to the Amish, the Mennonites live a simple life, abolishing the materialistic consumer life of the 21st century in favour of a self-sufficient lifestyle centred around their religion. The Mennonites arrived in Bolivia during the fifties. The government promised land and religious freedom which attracted many groups across the Americas whose lifestyles were being tainted by their surroundings. Now their lifestyle is being threatened again by the evils of modern life and a stricter government control on their farming.

Not only does the story deeply interest me, the photographs themselves are beautiful each on their own. It is rare to have an insight into this extremely reclusive community.

Featured on the top left is the image that was entered in this years Summershow, depicting a funeral for a young Mennonite woman and her baby who were killed in a car accident.

The top right is the image that has made the shortlist for the Taylor Wessing prize.