The following collection of india ink illustrations are a visual case study of my mother’s physical and mental rehabilitation from an unsuccessful neurosurgical spinal fusion. the pieces are composed of various surgical equipment commonly used during spinal surgery. i then collaged these instruments with photos of my mother’s brief but iconic modeling career. as a makeup artist and model, she chose unique ways to portray herself. by enhancing or obfuscating her features, this often resulted in a futuristic sci-fi appearance and aesthetic. the result of this combination speaks to the her transformation both physically and mentally, while reaffirming the permanence of both spirit and scars.

my initial intention, or what truly drew me to create this series, was my yearning and frightful curiosity to dive back into the feelings and memories of my mother’s experience. i was driven by the research into the procedure, the instruments, who she was before, during, and after the surgery. it wasn’t until some time passed, all the pieces laid out in front of me, when i realized the narrative that had been constructed throughout.