Artist Puts Herself In Old Family Photos

by Emma Cueto

There are all sorts of ways of feeling connected to your family photos, including some that are more artistic than others. Artist Christina McConnell decided to connect with the women in her family tree by creating new versions of family pictures with herself as the subject. And the results are pretty darn cool.

The idea for the project came after McConnell's mother gave her a dress that she herself had worn and been photographed in as a younger woman. After getting the dress, McConnell got the idea to recreate her mother's photo — and she didn't stop there. She went on to recreate the photos of several more of her female ancestors, including her grandmother, great-grandmother, and even her great-great-great-grandmother who was born in 1821.

McConnell told The Huffington Post in an email that the photographs of her relatives had been around when she was growing up, but she never knew much about the women in the images. With more research, she began to get a better sense of who they were.

It's certainly an interesting project, casting yourself as your ancestors and putting yourself in their shoes. After all, when we look at old photographs of relatives, they often seem impossibly distant, not part of our lives at all. But given that they are still family, it's interesting to imagine bridging the gap. Was that ancestor like you? If you had been born in that time period, would you be like them?

The past is never as far away as we think.

You can find more art from Christine McConnell on her Instagram or check out her website.