In my early 20s, going through the family albums and looking at these happy, staged moments, I wondered to myself, when did these moments happen? Were they so few and far between that I had forgotten about them, or were they stolen moments? They certainly did not correlate with my lived experience.
Plastic Crowns started with me trying to see this house differently by stealing moments to photograph myself while my grandmother was at church. What would happen if I recreated myself? What would it be like if I really looked like the girl my grandmother says I am. I wanted to create a family album that reflected my lived experience and especially to stick up a middle finger to it. The house also plays a vital role for me because it is the physical evidence of the failed ideal she tried to groom us for, seeing as it came from her divorce settlement.
I was inspired by my family’s photos that didn’t make it into the album, the ones usually stashed away in a box under the bed, ones that spoke more truth than the curated ones.