Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

Do the Hands Make the Person?

by Allison Young
Major: art

We are surrounded everyday by signs and symbols–from the words that we speak to the signs we read while driving down the road.  Using the King Creativity Fund I am attempting to bring attention to the unconventional signs that we take for granted.  I have made an installation piece that combines both gestures and different forms of written language.  My project began by taking molds of many different hands with a substance called Algiform.  After about three minutes this substance dries to a firm state and can be stretched just enough so one’s hand can be gently slipped out leaving a perfect impression.  Then I pour a plastic resin into the mold and once it dries I peel the mold back and reveal an identical replica of the original hand.  The hands are then displayed holding different objects pertaining to the written word and surround a large quartz test tube filled with shredded paper.  Each hand holds a different object and has a different pose representing the different interpretations any one viewer has from the next.  I rely on this idea of the viewers individual interpretation in much of my work hoping to induce a more personal and unique experience.