Mae Williams

MA Visual Communication


I am a mixed media artist from Canterbury with a background in promotion and imaging. This project aims to increase awareness of scoliosis, a condition I have personal experience of having been diagnosed with at the age of thirteen.

This project is a self-documented study of my condition with Scoliosis and aims to raise awareness using my own spine to show the harshness of the condition. Scoliosis tends to affect females more than males, and in most cases the cause of scoliosis is idiopathic, which means that there is no known cause. Having an awareness through a personal connection and lived experience helps begin the conversation around support and surgery, conversation can give those who are struggling much needed hope.

Awareness offers more than just hope though. It can lead to action. To be effective in my efforts, I need to make sure I help others translate that awareness into actionable items. This could be through effective dissemination of information, helping to change behaviour or challenging misconceptions.

For my research I used a mixture of personal documentation in the approach to my spine surgery, interviewed family, friends and people I know who have Scoliosis, have had a correctional spine or are aware of Scoliosis. I reached out to Scoliosis charities who provided me with information to help further my own understanding of Scoliosis. Social media plays an important part in people’s lives, the good side to social media is that I was able to research and look into who offers help, information and support groups. Through photographs I have documented my spine before and after surgery to measure the overall improvement of my spine. Collectively, this research has helped me with my artistic process.

For this project I created visuals to fit what I wanted to show about my personal experience of Scoliosis to express how it looks and feels to have curvature of the spine. I have explored using video, audio, animation and photography to explore and document. 

 This film continues to explore my interest in raising awareness of Scoliosis, using my personal experience of the condition as the main focus. I have chosen to use cyanotype as my medium to further explore the possibilities of the medium. To create this animation I used photographs of my back, including the letters I receive for my appointments and animated them into a moving image piece. To further inject my personal vulnerability, I recorded my voice and used it as a narrative within the film. I feel this moving image shows me at my most vulnerable and has enabled me to develop my own understanding of my relationship with living with Scoliosis and the healing process post-surgery.

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Mae Williams | Graphic Design
raising awareness of scoliosis
Mae Williams | Graphic Design 1