Little Lady/Little Man: A powerful and vulnerable look at aging, legacy and remembrance

Jonathan Hobin’s Little Lady/Little Man is showing at Ottawa’s City Hall Art Gallery from March 16 to April 29, 2012.


Mike Cullen (Twitter) is a young public servant who is also a regular contributor to (Cult)ure Magazine as a music editorialist. His passions include music, coffee, writing, travel and comic books.

Local photographer and artist, Jonathan Hobin, opened a new exhibit at Ottawa City Hall last week called “Little Lady/Little Man.” The premise behind the exhibit is to reflect on the deaths of a husband and wife through photography, both vintage and modern, as well as deathbed portraiture and the use of a family heirloom of sorts; two lullabies recorded by Hobin’s own grandfather shortly before his death, entitled “Little Lady Make Believe” and “Little Man You’ve Had a Busy Day.”

This exhibit is a personal one for Hobin, as it’s his grandparents on display from their youth (as photographed by the famous Yousuf Karsh), and Hobin’s own photography; in this case UV ink on aluminum creating a striking, yet haunting image of the subjects.

As Hobin explains in the brochure accompanied with the exhibit,

“Over time, these songs served for me as a beautiful, albeit tragic, metaphor for the fleeting nature of physical power and youthful beauty, conventions that society closely relates to concepts of masculinity and femininity.”

Little Lady/Little Man is both a powerful and vulnerable look at aging, legacy and remembrance. The exhibit is only at City Hall until April 29th, 2012, so I highly encourage you to drop by City Hall Art Gallery (main level concourse) before then. Jonathan Hobin will also be providing an English-language talk on Sunday, April 2nd at 2 p.m. on the exhibit, which will likely provide insights into the influence and affect of this project, and how it came to be.