A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)

A Bee in Her Bonnet (from Robert Herrick’s “Mad Maid’s Song,” 1648), photographically illustrates curious reunions between mother and daughter. Photographs are constructed from a combined source of personal narratives, reflecting on time lost and found. 

Together as mother and daughter, we meet and recall our past experiences from what seems like lifetimes ago. The sweltering evening heat, lingering from oppressive southern days, induces visions of time gone by. Artifacts of relatives past litter the landscape, like ripe and rotting fruit—memories returning to the soil to be remade. Through pictures, we construct our chronicles, creating altered allegories from cultivated clues. 

In these images, we revisit our ancestry through collective memory, remaking, reinventing, and reclaiming our history through photographs. Times have changed, and we have spent years apart, but when looking through a kaleidoscope of family film negatives, we find that we remain intrinsically the same. The photographs in A Bee in Her Bonnet catalogue our transformations and experiences from the past, through the present, and into the future. They create new narratives that continue to tie us together, worlds apart, yet forever linked in converging histories.

A Bee in Her Bonnet is a series of twenty-one archival pigmented prints made from medium format negatives, exhibited at 30x40. 

My Mother is a Bear, from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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Cat's Cradle, from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)


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Great Aunt Josephine Haynes, from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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Long Shadows and Spanish Moss, from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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Under the Tangerine Tree, from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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Erma and Milly's Collars, 1898, from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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Familial and Ancient, from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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Mama Ruth's Apron, 1939, from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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The Filet, from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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Daughter Unencumbered (Erma's Apron, 1923), from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)

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The Scout, from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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The Matriarch Assumes Her Crown (Family Hair Wreath, 1885), from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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The Runaway Bunny (Grandmother Dorothy's Painting), from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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Guard, Guide, Direct, Protect (Mother's Chant), from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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Hula Girl and Harley Davidson, from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)

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She Still Smells Sweetly of Honey, from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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For All Relations (Of Flesh and Feathered Kind), from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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The Vision, from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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In the Deep Woods Kitchen, from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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The Mother Fish (Bonita), from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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The Outside Shower, from A Bee in Her Bonnet (2010-2014)  

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A Bee in Her Bonnet at Kindred: Recent Photographs by Noelle McCleaf, Richard and Barbara Basch Gallery, Ringling College of Art and Design, 2018.

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