In “WHERE’S NIKKI…” Buckland was inspired to interrupt the traditional norms of documentary photography and to tell a story in another way. Buckland has inserted images from one family’s experience into those of another, attempting to articulate the commonality shared by parents of ‘different’ children.
Buckland used psychoanalysis as a basic structure. Each story is unique and unveils the extraordinary processes of human experience – a promise made by a sister to surrender her engagement to look after a child that could not walk. The broken hearted fiancé who realises he could lose his bride who then seeks to resolve the situation and finds the miracle cure, “Vaseline” blessed by a Shembe high priest. The daughter walks, the marriage commences.
In this work every spectrum of human emotion is played out. In the world of disability, each situation varies according to the severity of diagnosis. There is only one certainty: uncertainty.
Each vertical print images Buckland’s response to a family’s particular emotional stage – shock, grief and loss, rage, confusion, relief, acceptance and hope. The verticality of the prints, reading the images from top to bottom (or visa versa) is intended to stimulate the narrative potential in the images, and also refers to time and memory. The large scale of WHERE’S NIKKI?, unlike the preciousness and fragility of the DYSMORPHIC Series, is about asserting this material and ‘making it spoken’.