Following Buckland’s Dysmorphic Series, her first images of disability, the Stickytape Juice Collection forms part of her extended photographic work exploring the complexities of parenting a disabled child.
In the Stickytape Juice Collection, Buckland documents articles of clothing that were made and altered to mask children’s ‘difference’ and also to assist them with their particular physical challenges. These items are difficult to source and not readily available – a largely unknown aspect of living with disability.
The title of the work is from the biographical writings of an 11 year old cerebral palsied child, Luke Osborne.
The T-shirts belonged to Nikki when he was a toddler and signify Buckland’s first encounter with social intolerance. Nikki used to dribble noticeably and gradually the stains worsened on his shirts. One of his early speech therapists used to wipe his mouth repeatedly while she worked with him. Buckland’s own mother made some brightly coloured shirts with hidden bibs stitched underneath. While this was an act of love, it highlighted the discomfort and ‘shame’ of disability.
Some years later Buckland discovered other articles of clothing adapted by mothers specifically for their children, subtly disguising their children’s physical struggles , in an attempt to seek a form of acceptance. These items of clothing symbolise acts of extraordinary, albeit unacknowledged, compassion. Buckland has presented these articles of clothing in a way that celebrates and almost glamorises their uniqueness rather than being items of difference and otherness.