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A journey through time

My hand picks up a newspaper one morning, holds it and turns its pages. Grips hold of the pole shaped objects to get off the moving bus, brings the newspaper with me inside the studio. The hand is the perfect shape to grip, rip, hold. The cold has tinted the ends of my hand ever so slightly blue, echoed by the remnants of a thin blue circle around the bottom of one of the fingers, left there by the reaction of a metal ring against my skin. And there are my veins peeping slightly through the skin carrying blood into each individual finger. Nature stains me blue. On the bus I’d looked from my hands to those of others, not so much to compare their blueness, but their movements, as Rose calls it their betrayal of the face. Emotions will forever be found hiding in the formation of one’s hands.


A cold stone rests against the dirty, hard surface of another hand. A hand aged by what life requires of it. One of the first hands to take from the mouth the duties that once belonged to it. Relinquishing its need to latch, bite and tear. The coolness and harshness of the stone probably feels less pronounced than to softer hands of softer futures to come. Hands of the future will need to make up their own connection to stones, a connection that belongs to the mind and imagination. Hands of the past need no fictions, as they grip a stone they need to survive. The stone fits more awkwardly in this hand than it does in mine, it hasn’t evolved to fit its sharp sides in the way mine has. We used stone tools for millions of years, giving our hands the time to adapt around them. ‘Tools’ come and go in a matter of years today, halting any slow bodily changes.


Evidence shows that 1.5 million years ago stones were not only intricately carved with ridges for sharpness, but they were also sharpened and cared for. A stone is a tool that a hand was forced to form around, a tool today is designed to comfortably fit inside a hand. Before we altered tools, our tools altered the shape of us.


These stones that were held by the first ever sapiens still exist in the world, maybe ground down over millions of years by erosion to become grit, sand, earth, atoms, powder ingested along with something else to become part of an insect, that insect eaten by a bird or an animal, that animal eaten by another animal, and then perhaps eventually eaten by me.


Myself, created from borrowed materials, solely from earth’s currently unwanted objects, until my time is up and they need to be returned. I am back in the studio, ripping the newspaper that bares today’s insignificant date with bare hands, the warmth returning, flushing out the blue. Ripping the paper into a bowl of water to soak until the information and time stamp have disappeared. Into the mix goes a handful of blue pigment and then back in to mix with my hand. Once pulped and squeezed tightly, a blue stone in the shape of my hand’s grip is produced. My hands completely and artificially blue’d by the pigment, which will remain there, clutched to the corners of my nails for a few insignificant days.


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