Scar Trees and Battle Coats
Scarred trees are trees which have had bark removed by indigenous Australians for the creation of bark canoes, shelters, shields and containers, such as coolamons. They are among the easiest-to-find archaeological sites in Australia.
I have been out and about with the dogs and while they sniff map I am capturing images of some (modified) scar trees. The scars on these trees, as they age, have a poignancy.
I have always been fascinated by Clarissa Pinkola Estes idea of making a full length scapecoat to detail one’s scars in painting, writing, with all manner of things pinned and stitched inside. It is the perfect place to pin all that one has endured, “all the insults, the slurs, all the traumas, all the wounds”. Such a coat is a way of visually portraying one’s endurance and the victory of still standing tall.
I really love what Alice Wellinger has done here. This beautiful piece truly resonates and fuels the desire to do something using a grey coat that I have had hanging, unworn for many years.