Women in the Hebrew Bible

By Dikla Laor

Women in the Hebrew Bible

Women in the Bible in the Golan landscape is the largest and most significant project for of mine, as if all my loves have combined together in a project of no compromises. My inspirations are many and diverse, Biblical stories, being the base. Other sources of inspiration come from myths and mythologies, classical art, the Renaissance and middle ages eras.
I started working on “Women in the Bible” as a series in 2013. I got the idea as I was working on another series: The Never Ending story- photography of Myth women. One of the characters in the series was Job’s Wife (2012),the work exposed me to the idea and made me stop working the series and focusing on the larger and fundamental subject of Biblical stories, being firstly true love of mine ,but to so many people as well.
The project is big and could last for many years as there are so many characters of women in the Bible.. also seemingly secondary characters, who’s name is mentioned once without any elaboration, who get further elaboration in Chazal stories. As it is well known, there are no “unnecessary” words in the bible, therefore the is significance, even if just mentioned by name.
Working on the project” Women in the Bible” I dedicate most of my time to research and studies. So far, for the past 3 years working on the project, I photographed (just) 19 pictures. The work starts with choosing the character, then comes the process of comprehensive research and materials collecting. Starting with reading the source, through Rashi , Agada up to literature composition and modern poetry. The research lasts to the moment that something sparks as the final frame in my imagination. It will mostly consist impressing motifs form the materials I read . Planting the motifs create depth and promise further findings, which aren’t exposed in initial viewing of the photo. Sometimes I add details that are not part of the origin, for example Prophetess Dvora is presented riding a hours. There is no reference in the Biblical sources – that is how I pictured her character, and yet it amazes me how people recognize Dvora immediately in the photograph.
The dresses I mostly create on the model, literally on set, using long fabrics and many pins. The most complex pictures in the series are the ones with animals. photographing animals in open space turns the work complicated and highly challenging. Every little creature in nature intrigues and startles them. The long fabrics worn by the models draw their attentions and sometimes scare them (not to mention the vegetable tray held by Abigail, that was very appealing to the mare. Photography day with animals always end with scratches and bruises but with a sense of satisfaction and victory when achieving the desired frame.
The Golan landscape, my home for the past 12 years, are the setting for the series of photos. The row mountains change appearances in coordination with time of day and season. During summer dried, wiled and primeval. The intense contrast of light and shade on the bold mountain during certain hours, create, in my view, the illusion of a giant primitive beast, arid, ancient and takes my imagination to an old fantasy world. After a good portion of rain, during winter, the mountains are covered with a fresh intense green cover and the same photograph angel can look completely different. Sometimes I have to be patient and wait several month for the right moment for a particular frame, according to the changing scenery. In that way the ornamented Golan gives me unique and diverse setting.
I’m greatly thankful for the opportunity given to me in phtogrfic documenting biblical stories, I long achiving more stories and maybe in future telling the stories of male charecters of the book of books.