In association with WePresent, Renell Medrano premieres a new body of work shot in the Dominican Republic
London, February 2020: Artist and Director Renell Medrano will debut her first European show with PAMPARA, an interdisciplinary exhibition that will unveil all new works celebrating her rich Dominican heritage. Commissioned by WePresent, Renell returned to the Dominican to create a visual storybook of her homecoming. PAMPARA, the Spanish translation for “it’s lit”, is Renell’s photographic realization of the exploration of her Dominican roots. The full collection has been made possible by an exclusive commission by WePresent, the editorial platform of WeTransfer.
As a declaration of love to her parent’s birthplace where she spent summers as a child, Renell’s latest project transforms these nostalgic memories into her artistic subject. For PAMPARA, 18 photographs and a short film co-directed with Thuan Tran, capture the shining personalities encountered during Renell’s journey, eternalising their everyday lives as beautiful emblems of the Dominican culture to be celebrated.
Young boys photographed snoozing in the sand after playing in the hot streets kissed by the Caribbean sun harness the energized, free spirit of the Dominican, while the smiling female wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with “Brown Barbie Babe” celebrates the beauty and strength that is found in owning cultural identity.
Renell Medrano shares: “PAMPARA is me going back to my Dominican roots and exploring that in depth for the first time, my adult self returning to the culture and community I was surrounded by growing up. I wanted to pay homage to the loving energy and beauty of the Dominican way of life and let it shine for the world to see. My Dominican roots are embedded in my being and now I’m older I can see they are the reason why I shoot the way I do.”
Holly Fraser, Editor-in-chief of WePresent said: “We’re delighted to be working with such an important artist and voice in photography. At WePresent we're committed to amplifying voices and spotlighting communities that are not always shown in mainstream media, and in PAMPARA we do this through Renell Medrano's eyes and personal experience. Renell's arresting, raw work, as well as her exploration of society and cultural stigmas make her one of the most exciting rising talents in photography today.”
Renell’s unique physical and spiritual expedition home was commissioned by WePresent, the editorial arm of WeTransfer. With two million readers per month across 195 countries, WePresent is a patron of the arts in today’s modern world. Dedicated to creating accessible avenues to art creation and delving into creative stories across the globe, WePresent is successfully diversifying the arts by giving young and emerging pioneers the freedom to create a new art history.
Take a look at the full collection of works in PAMPARA and read the full feature interview with Renell Medrano on WePresent here.