Carra Sykes’ photo series, “Mother + Daughter,” features a set of photographs taken of her and her mother wearing the same outfits and striking the same poses. The project, which began in November 2012, went viral this month, reaching millions of viewers all over the world.
The idea came to Sykes after her uncle teased her mother for wearing her daughter’s clothes. Her mother had regularly borrowed her clothes, and so she decided to take that shared interest and make it into a new art project. Sykes studied graphic design at Virginia Commonwealth University and had recently felt frustrated with her job hunt. The project was to be something new, fun, and lighthearted to help raise her spirits.
“Mother + Daughter” is exactly what she had hoped for. The photos are mostly cheerful in nature and reflect the carefree attitude Sykes chose to pursue in place of a negative one. “I wanted to find something happy that I could put my creative energy into,” Sykes said to the Daily News.
“They are fun. They are lighthearted,” she added. “Sometimes when you do art it can get really serious. The spirit and playfulness has stuck out to me.” In the set of photographs, Skyes and her mother can be seen posing in a motorcycle helmet and flannel shirt, a long green jacket and backwards baseball cap, a red beanie and a blue and red letterman’s style jacket, a hooded sweatshirt, and a folded bandana and Aztec-style button up shirt.
“We had a good time and I’m humbled by the amount of people who have been excited about it. It’s really overwhelming and the project got me out of a rut that I was feeling. I just hope it made some people laugh and have a positive moment,” Sykes said.
Her sentiment is particularly appropriate given that she is scheduled to leave soon on a tour with To Write Love on Her Arms, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting depression and suicide. It seems this young artist has found a way to spread joy and encouragement in more than one way.