13 | Healing wounds

Posted: 15 May 2352weeksphotographycreativityselfspacetattoosnatural light
A tightly cropped photo of my arms, showing my tattoos, illuminated by window light

“A fresh tattoo is considered an open wound. Like all wounds, it will scab over as part of a natural healing response.”

This week I return to my self-portrait project with this shot showing my newly inked and slightly scabby tattoos. No fancy flashy lighting. I’ve just used my office window on a sunny afternoon.

All of my tattoos hold some personal significance for me, and many visualise or represent part of my life story. This new astronaut addition doesn’t break from that pattern. It represents my passion and interest in space, technology and science fiction. It also works as a metaphor for this period of my life where I’m consciously drifting into an unknown space and starting to explore new avenues of purpose and satisfaction in my life. It’s also a useful reminder in my worklife that a properly funded government agency with more than a sprinkle of bold ambition really can reach the stars!

All of my recent tattoos have been a collaboration with Luke Hawker, who totally nailed this astronaut and did a great job adding the Polaroid frame to my old lizard. I can’t wait for it all to be fully healed and to start designing the next piece with him.

It’s been a few weeks since I posted to this project, partly as I hit a creative block and partly as my attention was elsewhere. It’s nice to fianlly be back posting an image, and I’m hopeful I can build back some momentum.


I’m now a member of the part-time workforce! With all the bank holiday weekends in May, I’ve felt very absent from work. This has been lovely, but I’m almost looking forward to some more ‘normal’ 4-day weeks to help me gauge and settle into a new balance.

Regular running is just about continuing, but it’s not been my number one priority. I have been staying active though. I’ve been taking a minimum of a 30-60 min brisk walk daily. With some additional exercise around these walks, I’m probably more consistently active than I have been in quite some time.

I’ve got to go into hospital for a day next week for a small piece of surgery, nothing major, mostly just embarrassing, but I’m writing it here just in case they accidentally lop off an arm or remove a vital organ, and this blog either ceases to exist or changes topic dramatically.

Hopefully I’ll return soon!

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This post was written by Stuart Mackenzie

Stuart works at TPXimpact (previously known as FutureGov) changing and improving our public services. He's also known for being a father, husband, runner, photography nerd, podcaster and excotic disco dancer!

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