Hearts and Hands was a multi-media collaborative project incorporating painting, audio and video created live on stage over 2 weekends at The Victory Grill during the EAST AUSTIN STUDIO TOUR 2013. The setting for the project was the stage in the back room of the Victory Grill. The gallery visitors, both adults and children, were invited to lend a “hand” in the creation and to record their story to be edited into the final product, the video “Hearts and Hands”.
Hearts and Hands refers to Love and Work, which is the glue that holds a community together. It pays homage not just to our immediate relatives or culture but also to those ancestors 70,000 years ago, when humans almost vanished out of existence. When life gets me down and I need perspective I find it by imagining myself back there, crouching in the recesses of time where I watch in awe as a small band of scruffy humans holds constant vigil against the dangers beyond the fire. I whisper my deep gratitude to those who’s survival against the odds made life possible for us. When I open my eyes after these musings I see miracles everywhere.
I believe in the alchemical idea that outward actions have a corresponding reaction in the interior spiritual world. To this effect Hearts and Hands welcomed community collaboration, the sharing of stories and painted hands added to the ever changing painting. In the final video production, stories and music intertwine. Music must have been a powerful connector before there were words.
It is fitting that the show took place in the historic Victory Grill, in the once thriving Black community of east Austin, a venue which has survived against the odds through love and sheer hard work.
Below are the repurposed artworks made from the canvas shown in the backdrop of our Victory Grill concert. They have been mounted to board and gold leaf has been added which is reference the alchemical idea that outward actions have a corresponding reaction in the interior spiritual world.