Skip to main content

theobennett
15th April 2019

Art in Mancunia: Ellie Johnson

In the latest instalment of ‘Art in Mancunia’ we present Ellie Johnson, whose photography examines the historical connotations of bread with feminine domesticity
Categories:
TLDR
Art in Mancunia: Ellie Johnson
Photo: Ellie Johsnon

Ellie Johnson, an art student in Manchester, is interested in bread. She’s made it the subject of a series of photographs that she has submitted to The Mancunion as part of the Art in Mancunia series.

Surprisingly, her interest in bread doesn’t stem from the fact that it’s an unbelievably versatile, essential component of a huge number of tasty snacks, or from its nutritional value as a good source of carbohydrates. Rather, Ellie’s art ties in with what she feels are the historical connotations between bread and women, with bread viewed as a symbol of domesticity.

Ellie’s research posits a long-established link in the consciousness of men between bread and aspects of procreation, and identifies a woman’s bread-making ability as a key quality by which her worth was determined during certain periods of history.

Photo: Ellie Johnson.

Set against a garish bubble-gum pink background, Ellie’s work sees her models posing with slices of bread, garnered in aprons and kitchen gloves – items that represent domesticity and suburbia. Ellie pays reference to the archetype of the ‘Stepford wife’, a term denoting a docile housewife who’s role in a marriage is one of subservience to the husband.

Judging by the expressions of the models in the photographs – hardly those of ‘submissive’ women – it seems that this is art that aims to challenge that notion of subservience. Let’s hope that if this work achieves anything on any kind of subliminal level, it’s replacing those connotations of bread with passive domesticity with new ones of glamorous, pink, feminist fun.

Photo: Ellie Johnson.

Ellie also credits Louie Caulfield Johnson with art direction assistance.


More Coverage

Indelicate 4.0: Are sex and art mutually exclusive?

The Mancunion explores the magical world of West Art Collective’s fetish and sex-positive art exhibition, ‘Indelicate 4.0.’ The naughtiest night in Manchester celebrates all things pleasure, desire and sex through art, risqué performances and workshops.

Across the Channel: Impressionism in Manchester

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the French Impressionist movement, The Mancunion delves into Manchester’s connections with the movement.

Review: Hot Bed Press Winter Print Fest

Hot Bed Press invites visitors to explore its studios at their annual Winter Print Fest, featuring an “extensive display of the possibilities of print.”

“Art will always evolve”: Transgressive cinema with Lee Threlkeld at Café Blah

On the 32nd screening of Cinema Transgressions’ weekly cult film evening at Café Blah, The Mancunion catches up with founder Lee Threlkeld to explore his youth of bootleg cinema and the quality of art for today’s students.