SOCIETAL, GENDER, AND developmental issues are familiar topics to Ottawa-based artist-photographer Olivia Johnston. Her latest work, entitled 13–18, deals with the vulnerability of teenage boys.
The collection explores something unknown to Johnston, as “boys have always been a mystery to [her].” The portraits of the young men in their bedrooms is an honest and intimate view into their lives, as Johnston explores where young men are allowed to be vulnerable. A generally unexamined aspect of society, her work permits transparency to the tension and sexuality of the youths’ lives.
Johnston’s previous work at the School of Photographic Arts in Ottawa also explored the nature of human society. Her collection was a combination of interviews and photographs of women who survived eating disorders. It had to pose questions to both the viewer and the subject, as it contrasted beautiful women with their ghastly stories.
13–18 is part of the year-long Call and Response project at the Red Wall Gallery. During gallery hours, poems written in response to Johnston’s work by Claudia Coutu Radmore will also be on display.
Looks like: Beautiful and natural teenage angst.
Check it out: At the Red Wall Gallery (168 Dalhousie St.). The series runs until April 2, Monday through Friday 10 a.m.–6 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
COUNTRY SINGER AND songwriter Suzie Ungerleider may have been born in the United States, but she has lived in Canada for most of her life. In an effort to separate her music world from her personal life, the folk singer performs under the pseudonym Oh Susanna!
With a career that has spanned just over a decade, Ungerleider has released six albums since 1997. With her most recent album, Soon the Birds, Ungerlieder sings of being strong while coping with darker life experiences.
Her lyrics and melodies aim to touch the heart and soul. She expresses herself with themes of love and loss, and with the use of poetic metaphors, Ungerleider vividly construes deep emotion within every song.
In Soon the Birds, a sense of loss is expressed with a touch of optimism that tells a story of a journey with hope. With every tragic life story told, Ungerleider is able to shine light to it with her talented voice and love for music.
Sounds like: Folk songs that carry listeners to different emotional landscapes.
Check her out: At the Black Sheep Inn (753 Riverside Dr. in Wakefield, Que.) on March 23 at 8:30 p.m., or at Ohsusannamusic.com.