The Dysmorphic Series marks the beginning of Buckland’s photographic exploration into disability and what it means to parent a disabled child. At this time Buckland was herself the mother of an undiagnosed son, Nikki.
Buckland found this documentation cathartic, especially at a time when Nikki was being subjected to endless medical investigations. The images in the Dysmorphic series were taken during the peak phase of these procedures, including C.A.T., M.R.I. brain scans and X-Rays, in the hope of establishing a diagnosis, waiting for the elusive answer. In addition to these medical investigations, Buckland’s family was subjected to mental, genetic, medical and emotional probing. It was complex. In this, silent family histories were exposed, their privacy was raided and some difficult exchanges surfaced.
These are difficult images because of their duality. There is tenderness coupled with medical exploration. Each image derives its medical title from a particular physical ‘abnormality’ Nikki presents, known as ‘dysmorphia’ in the medical world. The images were taken on film, portraits double exposed with his skull X rays, titled accordingly; Maxillary Hypoplasia; Simian Crease; Sacral Sinus and Trigonoaphally.