Hands That Do All, 2012
Story-telling, photos, videos, plaster casts, wood, Dimensions Variable, Duration Variable
An investigation of centuries' old sustainable labor and craft practices in rural Portugal, an economically stressed region rich with traditional hereditary knowledge. Our exploration uncovers how long-practiced trade knowledge, now on the verge of extinction, can coalesce a community. We interviewed and made portraits of makers from each of the regions’ 26 villages. The portraits,or permanent installation, include a plaster cast hand, photo and brief text about each maker.
All 32 portrait plaques were installed for public viewing in the Old Market Hall of Tondela, the regional governmental seat. The makers’ tools, many of which have been in their family for generations, are arranged on five tables (3 meters long, 1 meter wide). The project’s website, www.7hands.org, is projected on a screen (5 meters high, 2.5 meters wide) made from an olive harvesting tarp and local eucalyptus saplings. To pay homage to these knowledge bearers, the commemorative plaques have been permanently installed in each of the region’s 26 villages.
The project website, www.7hands.org, includes text, photos and videos of the Tondela makers and crafters.