By Bella Pommells and Tamara Benarroch
"The spine is our center. The origin of our bodies. An upward spiraling root, twisting and curving to the diverse contortions of our body; A hulking beam with limbs growing out from either side. The spine is powerful and imperative, dividing our body in half to create a harmonious balance of stillness and symmetry. Consistently performing and often under appreciated, the spine supports us throughout our day; maintaining structure as we perform our everyday routines. With a spine, we are limitless—relying on the security and vitality that it spreads to the farthest corners of our bodies to get us through our most triumphant moments. If anything at all, this project is my way of honoring the spine as an imperative and impactful piece of the human body.
Design wise, I was mainly focused on capturing the raw/bare qualities of the spine and human body. The linear aspect of the design really allows everything to be stripped away, leaving room for the main components of the structure to really shine. The bone-like texture of the individual vertebrae was created by wrapping layers of plaster cloth around aluminum foil. Once dried, the cloth creates a stiff and textured surface allowing it to resemble that of something bone-like. I also decided to paint the entire structure an off-white color, opting for a more natural and realistic look. Lastly, I bound each bone with silver wire, purposefully leaving the weavings exposed to enhance the starkness of the entire piece. The creative aesthetic was only enhanced into the photoshoot, with the nude body and the singular spine combining to create a marriage of intimacy and appreciation. The lack of color and the anonymity of the model allows for the piece to emerge robust yet elegant, just like a real spine. Overall, I think this work is one of aspiration; as it administers an alternative interpretation of an everyday body part while retaining authenticity throughout." - Bella Pommells