Featured Artist: Ellie Lienert ’20

Ellie Lienert is Physics major. The following work was created for ENG 207: Intro to British Literature and Culture

Artist statement: This piece is a visual interpretation of Aemelia Lanyer’s Eve’s Apology in Defense of Women that was inspired by Barbra Krueger’s pieces from the 1980s.

Amelia Lanyer creates a compelling argument in her poem “Eve’s Apology in Defense of Women” in which she challenges 17th century society’s view of women as the sole reason for the fall of humanity and the fact that all women are held accountable, not just Eve. Lanyer selects evidence from the Bible such as Adam’s and Pontious Pilate’s actions and crafts a defense of Eve and womankind, not to exonerate Eve from all charges and fault of the fall, but to partition the blame so that it should not burden the shoulders of all women. This makes Lanyer’s poem a 17th century feminist piece that asks for essentially another court hearing in a case that has been closed by men who “know better”. Her poem asks the reader to analyze evidence that has been rejected or conveniently overlooked, and what better way to get an audience’s attention than to write a piece that contradicts the social norm? I chose a sort of political poster as the medium to visually convey the themes of Lanyer’s poem. The style and layout were inspired by the artist Barbara Krueger, a feminist graphic designer from the 1980s whose work usually contained a black and white image surrounded by a background of red juxtaposed with white, black and red letters asking a certain question or making a declarative statement. The picture of Eve is a close up of a painting by Michelangelo that is located in the Sistine Chapel. I specifically chose this piece because everyone is familiar with the “Creation of Adam” that I felt the need to highlight Michelangelo’s representation of Eve that is less iconic. The boldness of colors and use of angles conveys Lanyer’s boldness with her poem’s overall message. The question “Who Does She Think She Is?” represents a possible reader’s response and outrage towards Lanyer’s poem. It could also be interpreted as a critic’s response to Eve’s actions. The last statement “It’s Time to Give Eve a Voice” encompasses the overall message of Lanyer’s poem, that you can’t prosecute without hearing both sides of the story.

Ellie Lienert is a junior at Washington College majoring in Physics with no additional major or minor because physics is hard enough already. She is captain of the varsity sailing team and is a member of the Physics Club at the college. In her free time, she loves hiking, surfing, kickboxing, and drinking lots of coffee. After Washington College she plans to study Medical Physics at Georgetown University and conduct research on radiotherapy for cancer at their Medical Center, while serving in the US Navy Reserves as an Aerospace and Operational Physiologist.

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