Mudras: The Language of the Hand | Gelatin Silver Prints | 2003 - 2010

The word, mudra, in Sanskrit means any action that seals strength.  Commonly seen in yoga and Indian devotional sculpture, the mudra is a precise way of holding the hands in the act of prayer, ritual, blessing or meditation.  Each mudra contains a physically-balancing application and an esoteric symbolism.

In early religious art, the hand was used as a symbol to denote praying, blessing, healing or cursing.  An example is “Mano Pantea,” also known as the “hand of blessing,” which was adopted by Christian clergymen.

In this series, I utilized elements of the human anatomy to present an “energy synopsis” combining archetypes and mudric gestures. In these gestures, all of my hands, the manifestation of imprisonment, fear, sexuality, prayer and hope is individually imbued into the gestures.  At times, the landscape of the hand is obscured revealing flesh from an unknown origin.  In the magnified images, a certain grotesque beauty is revealed in the unexpected language of the hand. Is it guiding, loving or punishing? Is the hand even a hand?

In this series I continued to aim for a psychological “film noir”  aspect to the black and white photos taken with a Nikon F camera. I used a timer on my camera, as all the photos are of my hands.  I “sculpt” my created images with numerous ARRI film production lighting.