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  • Writer's pictureHelen Wyatt

2020: Show of Hands; 2021: The Eyes Have It

During 2020 we fast became aware of the potency of the hand as a transmitter of disease - elbow tapping, avoiding hugs and constantly sanitising. It seemed that our hand gestures, rather than touch, were increasingly important.

There was poignancy as people died alone without the comfort of a loved one’s hand. There were fears that public health regulations might further limit speech and mean further restrictions. Some of us turned to worry or rosary beads. I've referenced these ideas in the work in the Evans Street windows.

Regardless of the emotions I attached to 2020, it was a year in which I began to think about hands a little more. I felt compelled to move my metal using the tools of repousse (pushing metal out) and chasing (pressing into the metal) to form expressive representations that I hope capture something of this moment in time.

The four hand works are wearable as pendants and are formed from copper with an under-structure of brass with stainless steel cable and a 925 silver catch.

We have heard less about hands in 2021 but we are now masked up. It is our eyes that express the emotions hidden behind our disguise. While working on this group of six pieces I realised how much eyes interact with the other facial features to express the nuance necessary to communicate ideas and feelings. Isolated from the rest of the face, the eyes are ambiguous. See what you read in my eyes exhibited on Goodsir Street!

These wearable objects can be worn as brooches and are painted in watercolour on rawhide. The surface is coated in archival wax and the image is framed in 925 silver. Each can be attached to clothing with a steel pin.

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