We preserve ‘memories’ in photographs. They are captured pieces of time that we can hold onto long after the subject has grown old and passed away. We hang photos on the wall, display them in our living room or our Facebook page. Some store them away in a manila envelope in the bookcase, like my Mother did. But the one she didn’t store, was this small black and white of my great-grandmother. My grandmother claims that her mother was, ‘very young’ in this photo. My Mother has this photograph in this tiny little gold frame that holds two photos: my Great-Grandmother’s photo is along side a photo of my Grandmother from the 50’s.
The thing that strikes everyone who sees this photograph of my great grandmother, other than the fact that she looks like a flapper, is that it looks like me dressed as a flapper. There is little doubt that we are not related.
I’ve thought about how I could depict her, which would be difficult considering I have a limited source for doing so. I have only one other photo of her from her wedding – she looks like the most somber bride I’ve ever saw. I originally wanted to paint the wedding photo of my great grandparents. I’ve abandoned the idea to paint the wedding photo over and over as I didn’t want it to be a copy of the photograph. The idea to do this flapper photo as a painting was presented to me, but still, I didn’t like the idea of copying the photograph and calling it a painting. Until I took a walk the other day, then the image came to me as clear as the blue sky that actually reared its head after nearly two weeks of rain.