Metamorphosis 4 by P. Wamaitha Ng’ang’a, 2021, Photograph, 11 x 17 inches
People rarely talk about emotional side of scoliosis like many physical disabilities. Most conversations focus on the medical aspects: how fast the curves progress and which treatments are effective. Yet for people with scoliosis, emotional effects are as real as the physical ones—sometimes more so. Uneven posture or even wearing a brace often makes kids with scoliosis feel ostracized from their peers. This goes on into adulthood affecting self-image. How one dresses- clothing that would show the spine curvature and in cases like in mine, very obvious protruding scapula wing were to be avoided. Prior surgery, I would never put any open back clothing and even normal clothes like anything tight around my upper body would make me very self-conscious affecting my self-esteem and my body-images. This project celebrates my personal freedom to finally show my back with no negative emotions.
P. Wamaitha Ng’ang’a (b. 1982, Kenya) , is a Kenyan-British visual artist and photographer based in London, England. Using mixed media and photography, Wamaitha creates works that confront contemporary issues on women and children rights, social, political and environmental issues and cultural identity. She also works with self-portraiture in the realm of art therapy and symbolism communication, exploring the interconnections of nature, spirituality and healing. This process is a personal catharsis and reconciliation of the physical and psychological journey as she deals with her health. She studied Photography (First class BA Hons) and Media, Campaigning and Social Change (MA) at the University of Westminster, England.