This series of oil paintings by Olga Tsara explores the power of the face and how 19th Century photography has responded to women. The women portrayed in these paintings are anonymous; their hidden faces add to this anonymity. We cannot ‘read’ their expressions and so empathy seems impossible. When imposed, the hidden face is oppressive; when chosen, it’s empowering.
The images are adapted from historic works and explore the taboo, the symbolic, the prop, and various rights of passage. They show women mourning, flirting or exhibiting their virtues. The works challenge the viewer to consider oppression and empowerment.