I never knew Ellen, my great, great grandmother, but I have a fondness for her. I love her cheeky hint of a smile in this photo and the jaunty feather in her hat. At a time when having a photograph taken would have been a major occasion and treated quite formally it looks as though she found it hard not to laugh at having to sit still.
In this print I laid the image over some notes I'd been making on my family tree, linking me to her. I made her feather purple as she reminds me of the woman in Jenny Joseph's poem oft-quoted to me by three generations of my family: Warning - When I am an old woman I shall wear purple. And I framed her with part of a memento mori image from the 1600s, a reminder to us all of our common humanity and limited time on earth.