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Scars – Statement

Scars is a limited edition book featuring six photographs of scarred people, plants and places. A scar is strong subject matter to photograph. It is not just an image of something. It is, on multiple levels, an image about something. A scar is an effect, which inspires us to ask what the cause was. A scar can also be a metaphor. So while viewers may wonder what created the scar, they might also think about moments that have left impressions in their lives.

The photograph Mom’s Scar shows marks remaining from the surgery my mom had after falling and breaking her wrist. But it goes beyond simply showing a healing wound to also suggesting a larger symbolism for both weakness and survival. The relationship I have with my parents has evolved over time. I am now able to understand they are human beings just like everyone else and should not be expected to have all the answers just because they are parents.

Every copy in the edition of Scars is made unique by the coffee stained paper used for the front and back covers. The stain on one cover may be straight across and resemble the high water mark from a flood, while the stain on another cover may rise and fall and suggest the distant horizon of a wide-open desert. Stains are like scars in that they are seen as blemishes and people want to know the story behind a stain just as they would ask about the cause of a scar.

The pieces I make have particular meaning to me but I understand other people will see them in their own way. My photographs are not necessarily created to illustrate or provide answers. If anything, I would like for my images to generate more questions. I do not see them as endpoints, but rather starting places where I give viewers ideas to ponder and allow room for their imagination to create the rest of the story.

“Scars” is included in the Savannah College of Art & Design, ACA Library, Artist’s Book Collection in Atlanta, Georgia.

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