I walked around the National Museum quite a few times before I found the artefact that I wanted to use. I wanted something that I could find meaning in and that made me feel something. When I saw this piece of work, I knew that this is what I had been looking for. This is ceramic dish, with a handprint mark in the centre. The dark colour seems like its been scratched at to create a faded look to it. I like the colours and tones this dish contains, it seems to have depth and a journey. The hand-print was the first thing that caught my eye, and I was immediately pulled in. To me, this was not just a piece of ceramics, this was a piece of that person. The hand-print transformed it for me, I was stuck questioning the person and then continued to question the dish. The texture of the material used was another interesting part for me.
“Wason’s work makes no concession to popular taste. His deep investment in the clay is about his dialogue across the centuries, to civilisations where man made art for very functional purposes, and where he was in far more accord – in step – with the earth and its cycles. This work, aside from its celebration of clay, has an underlying political and ecological message too, one that comes out of its equilibrium, its balance and poise, the fact that it makes us pause and think about the world in which we live now. Out of its clear sense of history and its stillness, we realise how much this potter has to say beyond the flux of contemporary life.”
From this dish, I started to explore the history of hand print art. I studied cave wall art, and looked at the vast amount of walls that contained handprints. This was the first time of art. People used to place their hands on the wall and then blow paint or charcoal powder around their hand creating a stencil, paint around their hand or paint on and then press.
I had a go at blowing paint around the hand, it was more difficult than I expected – to get the right consistency and pressure, but it was fun so I can imagine how entertaining people must have found it.
After this I wanted to study the identity concept that surrounds a hand print. Looking at the body and body printing, finger prints etc. The unique lines that each persons skin has, leaving a mark, where ever the body or hand has been printed on that person will be- it’s quite poetic.
The next step to develop into my idea is to take photographs (film and digital) of myself, and people around me of their body, skin, marks, imperfections. The parts that make them unique. I want to explore a persons story through their little body marks.