Sophie ... a ruptured duck
Sophie has Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (Still’s disease). At the age of 10 Sophie recalls, being taken on a hospital visit by her mother and hearing herself described, by the Doctor as looking like a ‘ruptured duck’.
Sophie frequently recalls those words.
This body of work began when Sophie asked me if I could take some ‘glamorous’ pictures of her. As a photographer, I really liked the idea of photographing Sophie and recording aspects of her life. I thought that along with the routine I could and would encompass Sophie’s request for ‘glamour.’
Sophie lives a very ordinary life with her disability. In Sophie’s opinion, her body cannot be visually enjoyed, so consequently and in some ways, I felt she could not just be photographed. Images of people with a disability conceivably could be exploitive and therefore need justification based on rationale beyond what is apparent within the images themselves.
It was my intention that the images of Sophie involve the viewer, give an increased understanding of disability and provide an insight into what it might be like to be Sophie. However, more importantly, I would like the images to enable the viewer to see and sense Sophie’s beauty, strength and incredible self confidence.