Breaking the Girl, visually investigates the emotional and physical connections people have to
their bodies and minds during times when their bodies fail them. The images explore the physical
manifestations of anxiety, hope and the pervasive sentiment that the subjects are inhabiting a
space not quite their own. I seek to examine the alienation and disconnect that occurs when the
subjects are affected by physical and psychological constrictions. The photographs have evolved
from an ongoing collaborative effort. The main subject is the artist’s niece who shares this
particular spinal disease with the artist.
Hannah, of Breaking the Girl, is a thirteen-year-old girl who has a severe curvature of her
spine. She has been repeatedly, and painfully fitted with, and worn numerous braces since she
was nine. Our gaze is directed at a young girl about to embark on the physical changes that
coincide with puberty while facing the confines of a corseted brace worn twenty-three hours a
day which restricts the natural urge of the body to expand. Hannah recently had surgery that
fused her spine to two titanium rods, which will assist her in standing upright.