Spine

PREAMBLE


I won't be your mercenary
But you can lead on, lead on
With your flaming crossbow
Train your burning arrow on my spine

   A Better Ending
   (Razor Blade Spine, 2007)

I was born with a spinal deformity. I spent most of my life strapped into a back brace, letting my condition define who I was.

Now that I’ve changed my life around through a gruelling fitness regime, revisiting the body of musical work that I created while my body was broken is jarring at times—I think back to the massive amounts of pain I was in while writing, recording and performing, and how this influenced everything from my subject matter to the way I handled each instrument to accommodate my deformity.

Back then, I never dreamed that I would one day be revisiting these songs, and breathing new life into them as portraits, in which I contort my now-pliable body into graceful poses.

Pay close attention to this portrait. I’m standing perfectly straight, yet nothing is aligned as it should be. This used to be cause for embarrassment. Now it’s a source of power.

Vanessa
Originally posted on Instagram
September 30, 2019

 

 

PANDEMONIUM LULLABIES

     2018-2019 | Ongoing     

Well, the pendulum swings
Keeping in time with my pandemonium lullabies

Head on Fire
(Razor Blade Spine, 2007)



Various self-portrait galleries based on lyrics from Vanessa's catalogue.


Tooth and Bone: Series 1, Part 2
2019 | ONGOING | PATREON-FUNDED
TOOTH AND BONE
She Danced Her Spell: Series 1, Part 1
2019 | ONGOING | PATREON-FUNDED
SHE DANCED HER SPELL
Pale Ghosts of Her: Series 5, Part 3
2019 | ONGOING
PALE GHOSTS OF HER
QUEEN OF DESOLATION, No. 4
2019 | ONGOING
QUEENS OF DESOLATION

 

 

BEFORE THE COYOTES COME
2018 | ARCHIVED
BEFORE THE COYOTES COME
FULL PINK MOON
2017 | ARCHIVED
LUNAR
25 | Undergrowth
2013-2016 | ARCHIVED
EPHEMERAL HEADPIECES
@vanessa_laurin
2016-2019 | INSTAGRAM EXCLUSIVE
INSTAGLAM:
gothic glamour and alternative modelling

   A note about the animal specimens displayed on this website

Paper birds
Vanessa works exclusively with ethically sourced skulls, feathers and other specimens obtained via private collectors and reputable sources, as well as cruelty-free, non-animal-tested cosmetics. No living creatures are ever harmed for the sake of her art. In fact, she's a vegetarian, and, as noted in the biography section, a lifelong wildlife advocate.

Any North American songbirds featured in her work are printed images—for example, the paper goldfinches and robins pictured to the left can be found in a number of her portraits. In North America, it’s illegal to possess live native songbirds/raptors or their remains (taxidermy, bones or even feathers) unless one is a legally licensed wildbird handler or care provider.

All bones and other specimens in Vanessa's collection are ethically sourced, cruelty-free and non-CITES species, and were obtained through reputable and trusted sources. She does not own/collect specimens protected under international conventions or North American laws, nor should any enthusiast. If her work has inspired you to collect skulls or animal parts, it's your duty as a responsible collector to educate yourself on the legal requirements applicable to your country of residence. Conservation and awareness are crucial to preserving wildlife and wild places.