Since we picked Sophie Mayanne out as a promising grad back in 2015, we’ve watched the London-based photographer shoot her way up to cover stories – most recently for L’Official Spain — and editorials for fashion mags, among them Glamcult, Clash, i-D, Wonderland, Nylon, Pylot and Vogue Italia.
Last time we chatted to Sophie, we were busy commissioning her to work with the brilliant Colophon foundry on a book titled Twenty-Two. Since then, she’s been busily shooting a personal project mapping the skin of her subjects.
The simply-titled Scars stands as a bold “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.” Combining signed and open call-cast models, Scars serves as an honest, unblinking look at the physical marks that life leaves us with.
“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,” Sophie says. “Each scar tells it’s own story: a badge of victory in a fight, recovery from an accident or illness, a long-awaited ‘fix’.”
“A reaction to a scar is personal, and often very difficult,” Sophie continues. “The adjustment and acceptance from what is deemed perfect to what is then judges 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.”
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