Artful Musing

ARTFUL BLOGGER: One week only! La Petite Mort Gallery showcases Olivia Johnston — resurrecting forgotten women from the Bible

Some names are familiar, Eve being one. But others are less known and, centuries later, still influence the way women are viewed and treated in Christian countries.

Lot's Daughters (Clare, Emma). Photo by Olivia Johnston

Eve, Jael, Tamar, and Susannah are all women found in Old Testament Bible stories. Eve, of course, is the world’s original temptress, supposedly responsible for all men’s sins and for all the pain women must bear in childbirth. Not exactly a role model. The other women were raped, abused, maligned, and treated like chattel.

Ottawa photographer Olivia Johnston has created a body of work, titled Fallen, in which contemporary women pose as these various Biblical characters. The work will be exhibited at La Petite Mort Gallery from April 26 to May 2. The vernissage is April 26 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

I received, online, an advance peek at some of the portraits. They are haunting and powerful. But one can expect nothing less from Johnston, a Carleton University art history student who is fast becoming one of Ottawa’s more intriguing photo-artists. The following is a partial transcript of an email interview with Johnston: (more…)