I’ve signed up for the 100 Days Project – an exercise in creativity that involves doing one thing every day for 100 days. I decided to take randomly generated words and see what they inspired in me. Today (day 2 of the project), my word was sepia.
Of course that made me think of old photos and how I spend time looking at pictures of my female forebears in beautiful dresses and amazing hats — and wondering what those clothes really looked like — particularly the colours.
Without the memories of those who remain, we will never know these things. But family history is a kind of exercise in “adding colour”. Not literally maybe, but by researching the lives of our ancestors, particularly the little details we often learn almost by accident, and the social context of their lives; we enrich the picture that we have of them.
I don’t think today’s exercise is particularly effective visually; I’m rubbish at hand-colouring images. But I’ve decided that it doesn’t matter. 100 Days isn’t just about product, but about process. About the way I think and the connections I make. And maybe I’ll learn to hand-colour old photos.