Our skin tells us stories about ourselves. Each bruise, freckle and blush temporarily punctuates our flesh with evidence of our what we do and where we've been. Some narratives speak more loudly than others.
Photographer Ariana Page Russell has "dermatographia, a condition in which one’s immune system releases excessive amounts of histamine, causing capillaries to dilate and welts to appear (lasting about thirty minutes) when the hypersensitive skin’s surface is lightly scratched." This allows her to draw designs on her skin and photograph the result, making Russell the artist, canvas and final product.
Patterns resembling reptile skin and war paint emerge on Russell's flesh. Some literally tell stories with cursive lettering covering her legs while others connect her freckles into constellations. The images simultaneously display vulnerability and power, since although Russell refers to her reactions as "involuntary" and "uncontrollable", she uses this tenderness to transcend the usual limits of our flesh.
Check out Russell's photos on her website and her video interview with ABC News below.
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