The intimacy of stitching…a strong sense of emplacement of this person, I know this room. A sense of distance made closer, but the distance remains. Smells of this room, touch, of the sea nearby, the soil – are transmitted in the stitching- maybe into the gloves?! I feel held in this gesture- it is offered up- air mail
‘I am aware of the emotions of the hands, the stories, the encounters…my whole body wants to respond.’ Whose hands are these? my mother asks…I describe them. Through the conversation the person is evoked, a virtual presence called up. My mother moves her fingers in counterpoint to the stitches, this is collaborative, not passive…we make together. The effort for smaller hands to stretch, to reach a considered, embodied approximation…a virtuality, a search for a pattern
‘Hands are an end and also a beginning. Feeling the outside become an inside, gliding, interlacing, taking weight…the left over varnish on my nails like little islands. The sound of my hands brushing each other, loud in the quiet.’ We admire, enjoy the choreography of the hold- finding it loosely, the gloves so pliable- the hold lives within them- but must be found- searching/ feeling for it.
I’ve been using mannequin hands to do the stitching process, which have been interesting companions- ghostly and strange and at times unwieldy. However, my daughter has volunteered now to be a human companion today and offered her hands…so this is how we proceed for now. We were talking about what is handed on in these arrangements, what is inherited?
‘nestles in the grooves between fingers soft undulating furrows – where seeds might be planted in a garden – or the smooth keys on a piano – ridges, subtle hillocks – cradling scrolling through the folds and brushes, locked and clasping, gnarled fingers soon to be as time thins the skin -‘