« Lignes de Vies » exhibition at the ExCentric community art gallery in Maubeuge

Each person has a story – with a past, a present and a future – which traces pathways, real life lines, as in palmistry. This ancient practice, first valued by philosopher Aristotle, was passed on to Alexander the Great (Ancient Greece), then from generation to generation, even to fortune tellers.

At ExCentric art gallery, we will not predict the future. We will simply celebrate what the hand of Man does at its best in our area, not forgetting, however, what it is able to do at its worst, still, sadly, today, in various parts of the world.

After an anthropological reminder of the evolution of Man acquiring a stronger thumb with two phalanges, which became opposable to the other fingers, two million years ago, we are invited to look back on the evolution of Man and wildlife according to Charles Darwin, making Man an adaptable being thanks to his ability to seize objects (prehension), binocular vision and brain.

Since the dawn of time, hands have been a great source of inspiration in many a field.

Closer to us in time, 23,000 years ago, in Lascaux, human hands were depicted in parietal (cave) art.

In his numerous works including dissections, Leonardo da Vinci also took a keen interest in the hand and its biomechanics; he drew and understood it.

Nowadays, our hands are still our main tool which traces specifically chosen life lines.

These hands shape our favourite materials, find inspiration in our dear Mother Earth, and especially, when coming across other life lines, may they be those of artists or non-artists.

Reciprocally, our hands make us who we are and we become what they give life to: “We become what we create” John Galliano once said.

Art is also a breath of Intelligence – hence the notion of “inspiration” – and makes possible the creation of beautiful things which attract other beautiful things: Beauty attracts Beauty.

As for Elena Bernabé, “Hands are the continuation of the soul” and “they are linked to our heart”, which is true; after all, do we not say “to put your heart and soul into it”?

Still closer to us in time, hands have inspired the famous Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn, intent on warning us against global warming with the creation of giant white hands together with forearms, made using a pantograph, in Venice.

This wonderful yet fragile creation tool makes us realise how profoundly “human” – word whose many origins include “humus” which gave the first name Adam – we are by nature. Let us not forget that our human nature is inherently linked to Mother Earth. It is our duty that we, with the help of our hands, protect our planet and pass it on to future generations.

Article from La Sambre newspaper: