Tag Archives: body prints

Scar Prints

I came across this website which contains images of scar prints http://www.tedmeyer.com/

The following is taken from Ted Meyer’s website “Scars mark a turning point in peoples’ lives; sometimes for good but often otherwise. Each scar comes with a story. Why is it there? Would the person have died without surgery? How did the “scaring event” effect them emotionally? Scars can mark entering into or out of a disability. Going from cancer to health, limited mobility to full movement. They freeze a moment in time, a car accident or gun shot. These mono-prints, taken directly off the skin of my model – subjects are portraits of those events that changed their lives. I accentuate the details of the scar with gouache and color pencil. My hope is to turn these lasting monuments, often thought of as unsightly, into things of beauty. ”

Reading this I am reminded of the body prints I took of my own body pre and post my breast cancer surgery . There is something powerful about painting directly onto my body and then making a printed image on paper. I describe the process below:

I cover the floor with black plastic, set out the paper and paints and start to smear the paint all over my body. Initially it feels strange. It connects to my childhood and the experience of not being allowed to make a mess; to stay clean. Then I begin to enjoy the decadence of the feeling of the paint on my naked body. “I paint to create an energy of emotion and body memory into text” (Minge, 2007, p. 259). I paint myself in blood red and lie on the paper in different poses. I have no idea how the image will come out. I just go with what I feel like doing. I then add black and blue. I keep sticking to the paper as the paint dries. I am totally in the moment as I use my body as both an object by which to apply paint and as a canvas. I relate to the Australian artist Theresa Byrnes when she says, “I was not separate from the painting. Where did I stop and it begin?” (Byrnes, 1999, p. 274).  

  I continue to smear the paint on my body. My body, and not the paper, is now the more important canvas of expression. I swirl the paint all over myself luxuriating in the feeling of immersion in the blood red and black paint. I feel the different texture as the paint starts to dry and cake on my skin. All my senses are alive and attuned to the act of painting myself, my body, every crevice and bulge. I feel my skin move as I apply the paint. My muscles contract as I shift positions. I feel alive in every fibre of my body. I am my body.

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Beauty
Beauty is in my lived in skin.
The wrinkles, lines and scars
evidence of a life
lived fully.

 Beauty is in the light that
shines from within.
Beauty is in my connection to others.
I
n our lives entwined.

Kay Gravell
September 2008

 

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