“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”.
“Behind The 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 judged 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
Behind The Scars is an on-going personal photographic series. It is an inclusive project - featuring scars of all shapes and sizes, and each person photographed shares their story alongside their images.
I have upcoming shoots on the following dates in London, UK:
Sunday 28th May
Wednesday 21st June
Wednesday 19th July
Friday 18th August
Saturday 19th August
Should you like to be involved in the series, please email email@example.com with a brief introduction, and your preferred date.
If you are unable to make any of the above dates, please get in touch to make alternative arrangements.
Please note this photo series is self-funded, so involvement is on a time for pictures basis.
“When I was six months old I had an operation on my stomach to move everything upwards about 3 inches as I had a gap in my oesophagus.
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.”
“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.”
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.”
Consuelo "I was in a car accident 13 years ago and broke both legs. It was a real turning point in my life. For 2 months I was between wheelchairs and crutches. I wasn't focused on my scars at that moment, but after 6 operations finally I started to look at them. I didn't like them at first, but then they became a part of me. I can't actually remember my legs without them - they're like tattoos. They of course remind me of what happened, but I have a good relationship with them. Without the accident, without my scars, I probably wouldn't be doing what I'm doing.
“Breast - Benign fibroadenoma, Stomach - Myomectomy & keloids removed. Forehead -Domestic Violence.”
“I was born with Ventricular Septal Defect, a common 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.”
“ I didn’t feel like my body represented me, so I saved for 3 years to get a breast reduction when I was 18”.
“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.”
“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”.
“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.”