The Art of Our Scars

The Art of Our Scars is a short documentary film produced by Jess Walters and Octillion Productions following Jess’ experiences with kidney failure, dialysis, transplant, and her creative approaches to healing along the way. 

In pursuit of filming a documentary chronicling their journey with ESRD and transplant, Jess Walters collaborated with local artist Russell U. Richards to produce works illustrating the anatomy of a kidney transplant. While native kidneys reside in the lower torso protected by the rib cage, a transplanted kidney is optimally placed in the pelvic cavity, as depicted in the body painting for “My new Anatomy.” In this film short, we capture the process of Russell sketching and painting anatomical features onto Jess’ body while sharing his own experiences with chronic illness.  (2019). 

The Art of Our Scars was awarded the New City Arts Initiative Spring 2022 SOUP grant, which allowed Jess and Zach to travel to Chicago and capture the reunion of Jess with her childhood friend and kidney donor, Charles Nichols. While there, Jess and Charles were hosted by the International Museum of Surgical Science to give a talk about the surgical advancements for living donor transplant. 

Chronically Jess
Chronically Jess
Chronically Jess
Secrets Stitched Into My Skin
Chronically Jess