I grew up in a spooky old house filled with pictures. However, there was always one that stood out to me. It was of an older woman, hair parted harshly down the middle and a blank tired expression on her face. Initially I found it creepy, but as I got older, I began to see similarities between her face and mine.
Earlier this year, my Mother gave me a dress she had held on to for over twenty five years. She was photographed in it at the age of 32 and that image had hung in the stairwell for as long as I could remember. I tried the dress on and amazingly it fit pretty well! I was also 32 at the time and as a photographer, the thought occurred to me to recreate (what was to me) a famous family picture.
I began looking through my Mom’s scrap books and asking questions and was able to collect the names, birth dates and images of every mothers mother going back 200 years. It took a few weeks, but I started recreating each ancestors portrait, matching the clothes and lighting as best I could. I sewed several pieces and had to paint some of the imagery to give it an authentic appearance. When I finished I was amazed that in each picture I saw different features of my own face in these women.
Me (born 1981)
My great-great-great-grandmother Martha (born 1821) and me
My great-great-grandmother Jane (1858) and me
My great-grandmother Attie Mae (1898) and me
My Grandmother Mildred (1928) and me
My Mother Kathryn (1957) and me
My future daughter Trigger (born TBD)
I’m not without a sense of humor :P
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