“Our skin is the road map to our lives, from the intricate lines around our eyes to the age spots of the elderly, to the faded scars often long forgotten, gained from the rough and tumble in the school playground. Each scar tells it’s own story – a badge of victory in a fight, recovery from an accident or illness, a long awaited “fix”.
“Scars” is a celebration of beauty, of flaws, of battles won and obstacles overcome. It is about survival, living beyond that and capturing the memories. It is a truly honest depiction of how our history, shown through these scars does not define us but compels us.
A reaction to a scar is personal, and often very difficult. The adjustment and acceptance from what is deemed perfect to what is then judges as a disfigurement is not easy. The feeling is uncomfortable, breaking both self confidence and body image. The scar is raw, and infinite. It often takes time and courage to discuss, let alone display such changes to the outside world. To put this into a pictorial narrative shows such scars in a different light. The uninvited invasions of our bodies, each one unique, tells stories of pain and recovery. Like strokes from an artist’s brush, once removed from the harsh reality of an operating theatre. They take on a form, a beauty perhaps that is sometimes difficult to appreciate, but fascinating all the same. If these images help us to think differently about scarring, and for those that “wear” these scars, to look differently at not only the imperfections, but the individuality these marks might engender, then for me, I would deem the project a success.” Sophie Mayanne
Beckie: “ I didn’t feel like my body represented me, so I saved for 3 years to get a breast reduction when I was 18”.
David: “Scars on my left arm are from self harm over the past 7 years. Scar on the top right abdomen is the result of surgery to extract rib cartilage to reconstruct my left ear”.
Dorisilla: “Breast – Benign fibroadenoma, Stomach – Myomectomy & keloids removed. Forehead -Domestic Violence.”
Emily: “I had appendicitis when I was 11”
Erik: “My appendix scar is from surgery when I was 11 years old due to infection. The burn scar on my arm is from an oven.”
Juan: “Kind of oddly, those scars started to form up on my chest during my youth. (18-22). Doctor said “excess collagen” would make them appear and grow… I was like “whatever”. Truth is, I didn’t go to the beach or swimming pool for years and years… I didn’t want anyone to see them. Now I’m learning how to accept them, as I also appreciate other forms of beauty in others.”
Luca: “This scar on my hand is the result of trying to climb over a fence late at night as it was a huge shortcut, as it was late no one saw the barbed wire sticking out, and when I fell it cut my hand open.”
Morena: “I am a fashion designer and my hands are my gifts from the sky. My dream is to open my own atelier but I need money. I am working in a restaurant so I can save some money to make my dream possible.
Once I was cleaning a table and I broke a plate. The broken ceramic passed through my little finger, right to the ligament. A sign on my body forever, to remind me how much I do to make my dreams and passions come true.”
Reece: “I was born with Ventricular Septal Defect, a comment birth defect in twins (hole in the heart syndrome.) During surgery, I died on the operating table for 5 minutes. I was operated on by Dr Magdi Yacoob, who is famous for this sort of operation. I had yearly checkups after, then two yearly, then four yearly. I was discharged fully from hospital at 21. I am one of the 5% to survive this kind of operation without further problems.”
Other scars I have are from feeding tubes, the one that stands out is from a feeding tube which I had pulled out myself, which is why it has healed like it has.”
Shanti: “There’s no epic battle story behind my scar… when I was 3 years old I went to Sardinia with my mum and step dad, and went out on one of his friends boats, there was a big wave and I ended up plummeting head first down the stairs. I couldn’t feel a thing and everyone looked at me and started freaking out. I felt something warm trickling down my face, and wiped my forehand, with my hands, to see them covered with blood. When you are 3 years old, buckets of blood pouring from you head equals death. “Mummy, am I gonna die” was asked a few times as she mopped up the blood with a clean nappy as we waited for the ocean ambulance. I got 7 stitches with made for a good Harry Potter style story at school.”