Our hands tell our story. Of who we are, or where we’ve been, what we’ve done or made. They are how we navigate, interact with, and shape our world. I focus on hands because of the stories they can tell, and emotions they can evoke. There are hands and gestures we recognize on sight. There are the ways we’ve intentionally marked our hands with what we deem important- I have “take care” tattooed across my fingers so I can wave with extra love. There are the scars and callouses and rough skin of a life in the sun- my dad has the hands of a fixer, calloused from 40 years of building.

My aim with this project is to subvert portraiture by telling stories of the ways in which our hands shape the world and in turn, the world shapes our hands. In making this project I brought something into this world and my hands look different for it. I have new callouses, from embroidering until my fingers bled. I have a new, permanent dent in my pinky from holding thread taut while I sew.

I use the visual language of woodblock printing, traditional American tattoo flash, watercolor, religious iconography, and traditional embroidery to explore the utterly unique relationship every person has with their hands and their world.