I have yet to fully come into my own sense of womanhood. In searching for role models, the only connections I have to my matriarchal ancestors are their portraits; they are silent but still able to convey their strength. They speak of another time. One that seems long gone, a time of elegance, grace, and strength in womanhood. I have stared at their portraits in awe of their sophistication and wished I could share in their qualities, that I could be a woman like they were.

I have been fortunate in my life to be surrounded by inspiring women. Like trees, I am impressed by how, as they grow, these women gain the ability to hold themselves up without collapsing or crumbling beneath their weight.

This series is about revealing, unmasking. I want to reveal their confidence and inner bravery that I might cultivate these same qualities in myself and that I might find my own emergence.

For these portraits I crafted a hat for each of my models based on their personality, influence upon me, and pallet: each hat as unique as the woman who wears it.