Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2017
When I first met Mia she looked like any normal young woman visiting my studio on a go see. A little on the thin side, but not unlike many of the models I had photographed previously who were suffering from anorexia, an eating disorder prevalent in the modeling industry. It wasn’t until I noticed the scars and the track marks along both arms that made for a much different picture that was originally intended. Her deplorable condition immediately made me reflect on the temptations we are often faced with in life that challenge our reasoning, the choices we make between good and evil, which often shapes our destiny.
Mia’s heroin addiction progressed to the point where the usual veins in her arms that fed her habit had recently collapsed, and her emaciated frame began to show the signs of failing health. Yet, despite all of the danger signs, she remained defiant and unfazed, as she proceeded to utilize a mirror in order to properly steer the needle containing the devil’s drug into her bloodstream for a momentary, yet deadly high.
I had never witnessed a person shooting heroin before and for this sitting she agreed to repeat the scenario in the form of this picture. Two additional models were cast to represent good and evil, a symbol of the choices that we make in life of which in Mia’s case the latter prevailed.
To view more pictures from the book of Tableaux Vivants, go here: https://tonyward.com/early-work/tableaux-vivants-1993-2000/