Biblical women have been instrumental to the foundations of human history, yet the details of their lives are hazy and their voices unclear — glazed over topics in stories so dear to our hearts. The unsung power of the women leading the beginning of time is a story begging to be told. One brave and brilliant book is answering this call and seeks to bring to the forefront the roles that biblical matriarchs held in our holy texts.
“Women of the Bible,” a new photography book by author/photographer, Dikla Laor, culminates the artist’s lifelong passion and fascination with the bible’s female characters. The book summarizes six years of work and an ongoing life passion. Her dedication to months of work and study for each photograph is what manifests the accuracy in bringing to life the characters of the biblical texts. Only, instead of abiding by the patriarchal focus of the past, Laor dares to steal the traditionally male-held spotlight of religiosity and instead places women at center stage.
The voices of women that were hidden in the bible and their appearances mostly avoided, is now explored and celebrated. The feminine voices of the past are brought to life in 41 biblical scenes which combine a Renaissance and Baroque classic painting affection but with a twist — the lens of the equality of modern time. Ancient women’s stories are told in the modern language — photography. The book, comprised of uniquely interpreted and re-enacted scenes, is supplemented with biblical captions in Hebrew with English translation.
The book is brought to life through the vivid landscape of Golan Heights in Israel. This picturesque and aptly named region makes the ideal backdrop to set the lives of biblical women. The powerful aesthetic of each model represents Israeli women in all of their diversity and uniqueness, not simply a Mediterranean look. The dresses on each model are handcrafted on set by Laor herself, demonstrating her endless talent and skill for portraying the characters of the ancient, biblical texts and captivating her audience with the historical accuracy of the past.
Asenath “And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On” Genesis 41-45
Daughter of Pharaoh “And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe in the river; and her maidens walked along by the river-side; and she saw the ark among the flags” Exodus 2 5
Job’s Daughters “And he called the name of the first, Jemimah; and the name of the second, Keziah; and the name of the third, Keren-happuch. And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job; and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren” Job 42 14-15
“This photographic project presents the Biblical women in their full glory, shines on them a bright spotlight depicting them as saviors, powerful, as if they acted in accordance with their will or prophecy in order to achieve their goal, as though they were behind the scenes pulling the strings” (Dikla Laor).
Author and Photographer Dikla Laor captures the essence of what is left to the imagination in the holy book. Women, mere names before, passive and looked over, are the heroes in Dikla’s “Women of the BIble” Photography Book. Much like the Bible holds interpretations for all who read it, Dikla’s photographs have an innumerable light to shed when peeking inside a world of the bible where women tell their own stories.
Dikla’s work is bringing us back to ancient stories with poignant relevance that speaks for itself when women are approaching their destinies around the world as equal members of society. Dikla’s work argues that the fundamental roles that women played in shaping biblical history are stories half told. Join her in spreading the word and sharing their story.
About Dikla Laor
Born in Tiberias, Israel in 1976, Dikla Laor began photographing to capture the beauty in the world around her, visible at every moment to the right beholder. Through a fascination with the Biblical women she had read about in her youth, Dikla sought to explore the powerful femininity she found in the Old Testament. With this unforgettable collection of photographs, Dikla amplifies the voices, minds, and personalities of these great women.
To find out more, please visit en.diklaphotography.co.il/
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