Hands. They were the first tools, the first bowls, the first way to comfort, to fight, to feed ourselves, to make music, to count.
Hands amaze me. The ancient image of a hand, the khamsa, is known to most ancient cultures as a protective talisman. Some have complicated, intricate designs. Some are shown with stones, generally blue ones, to indicate the eye of the almighty–the sky.
We have two of them and can use them independently or together. We clap to keep time to music, to show approval, to get attention. They make music, their shadows dance on walls. Without them we can’t write, wave, eat, brush our teeth, open doors.
Hunters and gatherers both need them. They are the artist’s first tools and ultimate control of the medium. The shape is familiar from petroglyphs to the spirit world. Useful, artful, sacred in prayer.
I’m grateful for my beat up, scarred, arthritic ones. I remember when I had long nails and tapered fingers. It was before I practiced my art every day. And I like these better. They’ve made art.
–Quinn McDonald knows that every artist is a creator.