Hand embossed binary code on paper, 32 x 32cm
Scar of life (triptych), 2019
Hair and glue on paper, 17 x 42cm
Skin tells our life stories through its palimpsest surface of scars, wrinkles, stretch marks and bruises.
In contemporary Western culture, the desire for skin to be flawless and ageless is reinforced by the use of design programmes like Photoshop to produce a ‘perfect’ face or body. ‘Scar’ explores how skin conditions and temporal life marks are deliberately censored from images, undermining the beauty of difference. The word scar has been translated into binary code to denote characters on a digital machine and then hand embossed onto paper.
There is a particular expectation that the surface of women’s skin should be smooth, soft and even childlike. Paradoxically, certain gynaecological and obstetric processes, including childbirth, result in external surface scars which inevitably leave women’s skin as ‘flawed’. ‘Scar of life’ documents the life-giving history of birth scars using the hair of my mother, my daughter and my own hair as ‘DNA paint’.