Eight wooden boxes with print on glass (Ash wood, glass, ink, indigo, calligraphy silk fabric) 2023
This work was part of the solo exhibition Round & round & up & down and was based on the experience as Beautiful Distress' first Artist-In-Residence at the psychiatric hospital Zon & Schild in Amersfoort.
"I started to photograph hands. I didn't really know what I was doing then, it was more about the encounter itself. A brief moment to meet, to focus on something we don't normally focus on. A hand, a scar, a nail polish, a color, a pose, a feeling, a story, a life. A friendly touch, a friendly encounter.
The hand, often seen as a symbol of agency and empowerment, suggest the possibility of reclaiming control and finding hope. I see a hand as a portrait, anonymous and yet so personal. It is attached to a person, a unique individual and yet, when the hand is the sole focus, it looks like a sculpture. A sculpture with lines of experience. Lines of life.
Sometimes it is difficult to express oneself, some of us are gifted with words, others are not. Asking for help can be difficult, sometimes even understanding or admitting you need help. Extending your hand is one step. Offering a hand is another. A seemingly simple gesture without words that can sometimes mean the difference between light and darkness.
In its complexity, a hand movement can be so many things. And the quest is to find out what gesture we need or what gesture we can offer. My hand in yours, your hand in mine. Together."