knowing hands

encaustic on panel

8" x 20"

2019

The human hand serves as a powerful symbol of communication and identity. I am ceaselessly fascinated by the silent stories that are carried in our hands: words written, hands held, tears wiped, drawings created, music played, promises made. The flowing lineage connecting each panel begins, ends, and repeats from one hand, shifting through and weaving between palms and fingers in a counterclockwise motion. The organic line is never successfully grasped, inevitably eluding understanding, yet always remaining steadfast and constant. Each hand enclosed by a separate panel represents a different phase, stage, or understanding of life—fragmenting the composition as we fragment constructed timelines of existence. Fragmentation provides us a certain ability to understand existence, through the construction of narratives allowing space for re-evaluation, adaptation, growth, and change. 10 Self-Portraits attempts to visualize the invisible spaces where perspectives shift, identities alter, and life moves through us.

© 2023 KATIE WOLFF