Some scars are easier to digest while others intensify after look. Interestingly, scars tend to trigger a reflex of inquisition. Glancing away is followed by a temptation to dart a stare, without embarrassing of course.
Jennifer McRorie recreates the incision, complete with its narrative in mind and unveils the skin canvas in her latest exhibition, Imprint. McRorie presents a collection of oil paintings all of which have been created directly from the real sores and the stories of their owners, people McRorie has known. Some may be harmless tell tales, others deal with personal battles such as self-cutting, but all convey a narrative through personified subject matter and detail.
Trending, perhaps always, is the admiration for tattoos and body art –the obsession of the imprint. Many artists use their body as a canvas for their description of self to the world. Scars are a physical remembrance of much the same. Each hold a common memento, but perhaps a different context and bond.
One difference is many of the scars have been unintentional.
“Marks on the body are foldings of time and memory into the skin, bookmarks of experience that allow the past and the present to converge. A scar is a form of text, time’s writing on flesh and evidence of life experience that is inscribed into the body,” explains McRorie. “Scarred skin becomes a model of the self based on trauma; it represents a wound suffered, endured and overcome. Though the trauma is survived and the mark of the wound may fade but it is never forgotten – it is permanent,” she furthers.
Many of Jennifer’s works are based on the question: Are we what we remember?
“These markings, though attached to real bodies, are universal. …these images serve as signifiers of the markings and stories we all collect, carry and display or disclose.”
The presence of scars paralyzes the skin, however, as a result the pure digestion of identity is revisited, even if it is for a mere glance. Don’t pretend you’re not looking at your skin right now.