"Cuerpos Sagrados" is a series of images where the artist Holly Wilmeth has used the human body together with exotic insects and plants to represent ceremonial plants around the world (peyote, ayahuasca, iboga, etc). It's a personal interpretation of the subject matter, using digital and alternative gold leafing process for the prints. The people that are painted are from Rio Dulce, Guatemala as well as San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
The painted bodies: Black, which is considered to be an inauspicious color in most cultures, is the color of 'living', worn on the face during war preparations. White predictably is the color of peace. Decorating one's face in various patterns and shapes has been a part of the culture make-up of many societies since the beginning of time. Face painting is a common theme across cultures as divergent as the Indigenous American tribes in North America and various tribes in Africa and South America. In Native American Tribes, Face Painting has been used for artistic expression since ancient times. The art of transforming ourselves with make-up and masks is a universal phenomenon. Before we sought to vent our artistic impulse on a cave wall, we painted on our faces and bodies. Indigenous peoples of the Amazon have said that in this power to change ourselves, we demonstrate our humanity and set ourselves apart from the world of the animals.
Holly Wilmeth was born and raised in Guatemala. Her work has been published in international publications such as National Geographic Adventure, New York Times, CARE, TIME Magazine, GEO Magazine, Monocle, The Economist, etc. She is based in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.