Exhibit by Nigel Brennan and Alanna Hankey
Capturing the color, chaos and devotion of Kumbh Mela, the world’s largest religious gathering, To Bathe will showcase 22 powerful images from the 2013 Kumbh Mela festival in India, with half of the profits from the sale of the limited edition prints going to Maiti Nepal, a non-profit organization working to prevent sex trafficking. The exhibition was positively received when it was unveiled in Brisbane, Australia, where the couple lives, in 2013.
Held every 12 years in Allahabad, India, Kumbh Mela is a sacred Hindi pilgrimage, attracting millions of worshipers who gather to bathe in a sacred river. The 2013 festival had up to 120 million people–who traveled from across the world to bathe in the Ganges–attend.
Capturing Kumbh Mela’s ambiance, beauty and sheer size, Brennan and Hankey’s photographs from the 2013 gathering include poignant scenes of bathing and worship, portraits of gurus, pilgrims and families and colorful images of celebration.
The duo say they have a deep love, respect and admiration for India and its people and are looking forward to bringing the exhibition to New York.
“The contradictions of India are wonderful,” said Hankey.
“I experienced moments of beauty being grounded by the realities of a developing world, moments of confusion spinning into new perspective, and moments of vulnerability blossoming into new found strengths. Hopefully the photographs capture those emotions and lessons.”
Nigel, a highly regarded photojournalist and author, has worked with APN News and Media, Penguin Books Australia, Australian Photojournalist Magazine, Map Magazine, Open Road, Big Issue and Candy Media. Nigel was selected as a finalist in the Leica Documentary Awards and the National Photographic Portrait Prize. His photographs are held in galleries and private collections around Australia.
To Bathe is Brennan’s first foray back into photojournalism, after being released in November 2009 from a 462-day hostage ordeal in Somalia.
Nigel currently works as a freelance photojournalist, crisis emergency management consultant and inspirational speaker.
Alanna has worked as a Creative Producer, Festival Director and artist in Australia and New York. Events and organisations she has worked with include New York Fashion Week, New York performance and art space Littlefield, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane Festival, Backbone Youth Arts and Melbourne’s Strut & Fret Production House.
To Bathe is Alanna’s first venture into professional photography.