Scarchive

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Everybody has a scar somewhere: big or small, momentous or insignificant; these marks are a physical reminder of our personal history.
Scars may be symbolic of a particular time in a person’s life, the effect of political or medical trauma or simply the mark of an otherwise forgettable day. Scars map the history of the body and provide a physical reference point to the past reminding us of who we are and where we have been.
I began working on scarchive at the end of Anecdotal city and see a strong relationship between the two projects in terms of a macro/micro approach to place. I was interested the idea of the body as a set of personal historical references, a place of memory or connections between moments in ones life that live a physical trace.
Scarchive was launched at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, in April 2004. The project was installed in the main foyer of Chapter with a recording room and a drawing table. This is a hanging around area where people wait to go to the cinema or meet people, I choose to work here because I suspected I would meet less people in the gallery. There was also an exhibition space for the drawings and sound recordings in Chapter bar.
During my time in residence in Chapter foyer I met over 120 people who told me their scar stories. There is an enormous range of scars from the life threatening to the mundane with all kinds of variation in between. The collection of drawings from the stories is also quite amazing with a range of approaches used to illustrate either the moment of scarring or the scar itself. Each person who took part was given a limited edition artists badge which said "I am in Scarchive".

Scarchive was funded by the Arts Council of Wales.