Jewish Artist: Dikla Laor and the Women of the Bible

Dikla Laor, “Women in the Bible on the Landscape of the Golan Heights”. See the artist’s website.

Inspired and informed by rabbinic commentaries, the Israeli photographer Dikla Laor revives the life of biblical women.

Her focus is often on the less-known ones, about whom little information is available even in the biblical text. Sometimes they are mentioned by name alone. Like the Daughter of the Pharaoh, or Zipporah, the most beautiful wife of Moses and daughter of Jethro, the midwives Shifra and Puah and many others.

These photographs often bear a resemblance to paintings. They are similar in their staging and colors to the paintings of the masters of the Baroque Renaissance. They are taken with a digital camera on the Golan Heights, whose beauty allows for striking pictures in oases as well as in the desert.

Dikla Laor carefully prepares her shooting sessions. She locates places and seasons well in advance to create the effect she wants. She first asked friends and relatives to be her models before moving on to professionals. And this in order to further highlight the power of the women of the Bible to whom the creator wants to give back all the importance.

Thus, it is a way of returning to the Book to bring us back to the present and its preoccupations. And this in the most poetic way possible, even where the biblical stories were not necessarily true. But the Golan Heights becomes the visual Golem of such a transaction. The artist lives there with her husband and children and she remains there as close as possible to her artistic challenges.

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