:: The Healing Process : Day 3/4 : Sunshine and Aloe Vera ::

:: Day 3/4 : Sunshine Heals All ::

Day 3 was the first day I went out swimming, firstly in the hotel pool which made my skin sting horrendously, then in the sea. The salty water burnt my skin and made it feel hard and leathery when it had dried. I remember thinking that I seemed to actually be morphing into a living book and had that moment of panic when I thought it might take a lot longer to heal than I’d thought. It felt at this point, after a couple of days in the sun, like I was growing a second skin and might never be soft and womanly again. I looked like a gladiator or some kind of sun baked Amazonian Warrioress, which was fine by me but I wasn’t sure how keen Loren would be in the long term.

At one point when I was swimming in the sea it felt like my whole face was turning into some giant sore welt because of the salt. It quickly subsided and of course the short term pain meant it was doing its job and was the best thing for healing. I’d also been lathering myself with Aloe Vera gel through the day and Almond Oil before bed, or rather Loren had been doing a very diligent job of keeping me hydrated, so my skin calmed down a lot and the blood lining quickly became very subtle. The lines themselves became very thin delicate pinkish marks in areas of my body most exposed to the sun, in other parts like my thighs and legs the scabs were beginning to itch and come apart. My skin care routine was doing the trick nicely and I rediscovered my confidence in ignoring the unwanted attention of strangers. I had also managed to get some sleep now the intense throbbing had died down, which really helped me stopped being so hypersensitive. The mosquitoes naturally loved me.

I had of course anticipated people being curious, I just never expected some people to be so blatantly rude and the airport in Nottingham and the Thomson coach journey to our hotel were pretty relentlessly intrusive. I’ve never wanted to shut myself away for a bit of peace and head space as much as I did that night. I’ll never forget the experience, it was completely invaluable.

Now gradually people were beginning to think I had some kind of henna tattoo all over my skin and their responses were softening to gentle curiosity as opposed to shocked revulsion. I think some of them must have thought I had the most intellectual scabies on the planet.

This was my arsenal of skin products ::

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This is what my skin was starting to look like ::

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:: The Healing Process : Day Two : Raw Nerves ::

:: Day 2 : Out In Public : Raw Nerves ::

These are the pictures we took at 2:00am in the morning after travelling for 20hrs to Greece after a day of being stuck in airports where people have nothing to do but stand in queues for hours on end and stare at each other. I had a pretty revelatory day as to how shallow and rude people can be when they don’t understand something. Despite me giving my broadest grin to anyone who made eye contact most people seemed unsettled by my presence. One woman, stood a metre away from me, declared to her boyfriend at the top of my voice that I was horrendous. I had to move away before I said something I regretted. Another woman was so busy trying to discreetly read my face she fell over the suitcase in front of her. That made me laugh. I spoke to a couple of really cool kids, they didn’t seem even in the slightest bit perturbed and I explained that it was Loren’s job to draw on people and we were just testing out a new piece of art. One of them even drew on her own face with a blue felt tip in solidarity much to her parents dismay. After so many hours travelling my resilience to criticism was running low. I was exhausted, empty and unusually permeable to the narrow minded of others (i.e. frustrated, tired and pissed off). The lighting isn’t great, but I’m sure you can read my mood at least in these pictures.

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The Healing Begins :: Official Photographs :: Jamie Alun Price

So the night of Written in Skin it felt as if the whole of my body was on fire. A white hot searing blaze of sensation darting across my flesh continuously. Anyone whose had  tattoo will know that the hours immediately after it feels like the worst sunburn you’ve ever had and on closer inspection we realised Loren had scratched much deeper into my thighs than we planned, the result of the pink lighting on my lower body which meant he couldn’t confidently see what he was doing and blood-lined much deeper than we’d rehearsed. After packing everything up and getting the tattoo bench back into Loren’s studio (an epic task in itself between the two of us when my arms felt like jelly), all I wanted to do was crash and burn into the sweet oblivion of sleep. Which of course would not come despite coaxing in the form of rum and tagine. My nerves were tingling and throbbing in an epic symphony of pain and rushing  endorphins. At around 2am I gave in and took some pain killers, which made me feel like I was cheating because as far as I was concerned the project wasn’t over it was just beginning. Loren swiftly reasoned that out of me. The next day all the pain had subsided and I was delightfully tender. That evening we went to Jame Alun Price to document the aftermath.

Taken by Jamie Alun Price

Huge thanks to Jamie for all his help taking these pictures the day after Written in Skin, we had a brilliant time in his studio taking these pictures. Jamie was invaluable throughout this project, a brilliant photographer and an even better friend.

See the rest of his work here http://www.jamiealunprice.com

Taken by Jamie Alun Price Taken by Jamie Alun Price Taken by Jamie Alun Price Taken by Jamie Alun Price Taken by Jamie Alun Price Taken by Jamie Alun Price Taken by Jamie Alun Price Taken by Jamie Alun Price Taken by Jamie Alun Price Taken by Jamie Alun Price Taken by Jamie Alun Price Taken by Jamie Alun Price Taken by Jamie Alun Price Taken by Jamie Alun Price Taken by Jamie Alun Price Taken by Jamie Alun Price Taken by Jamie Alun Price