Artist Statement for the Hands Project

Artist’s hands are the lifelines to their art, without them we are merely empty vessels looking to be whole. As an artist who treasures the more physical aspects of art, or as we call it “traditional methods of creating art”, my hands are more than instruments of my art, but the sum of my work. Once strong and hard from my work, they have been reduced and softened by the tragedy surrounding my support and work surrounding Sept 11th. As time goes on so does the use of my hands. In time they will be merely there for simple functions of eating and dressing but useless stumps of gripped fingers in my art. When that time comes I will need to explore new ways to express my art and my ideas, but until it does I continue to work with them as much as I can. I do not count the days, or look for signs that the time is near; I merely continue to produce my art with the understanding that time is possibly limited for them.
My work continues to be a mixture of eastern and western forms of art that I developed after my visit and following sabbatical to China starting in 2004. While I continue to produce this work this idea includes more than just my work in paper cutting and painting, but brings back my work in photography, sculpture and design, making this my total work of art in every sense. This work includes all the process I have learned through paper cutting and combines other forms of traditional art that I have learned over the years. Focusing on my hands, as the concept for this project requires me to think not only what the hands can do but also how they move, take shape and form. This will require me to look at all the sides of the hand and see how they go together. Being that there are many parts of the hands, I will desire to combine paper cutting, sculpture, painting, photography, and video to express the feelings that I have for my hands and the importance of them for me.
To truly bring this work to a completion or at least as much of a conclusion as I can imagine I will combine to other aspects to this work which are new to me, but I feel truly makes the work about not just me and my hands, but what hands mean to us all. I will include not just my work but also work in collaboration with other artists in this project, bringing in new thoughts, ideas, visions and insights to my hands and what they mean not only to me but also to those around me. In order to continue on that line, I will add one other new aspect to my work which is new to me, but has become an important part of my work today which is including the viewer in the work and making them part of the installation by allowing them to be engaged in the project by participating in it. For this aspect I will allow people to add their hands to the exhibit.

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