IN PRAISE OF HANDS

PAST EVENT – FREE DISPLAY

Open 1 Oct 2021 – 2 May 2022

Gallery 29

Admission was free


Artwork Breath of Spring, by Naoko Matsubara

Breath of spring, 1994

Over many decades, artist and distinguished print-maker Naoko Matsubara (b. 1937) has been working on a series of woodcuts exploring the human hand — engaged in sport, dance, music, prayer or a variety of creative acts. 

This exhibition celebrated an artistic collaboration between Naoko Matsubara and prize-winning poet Penny Boxall, who has responded to the woodcuts in a series of short poems, and was accompanied by a publication.

The 'In Praise of Hands' series was included in 100 of Naoko's works that she generously donated to the Ashmolean Museum in 2018.

The human hand, one of the most challenging subjects for any artist, is a theme that Naoko has explored since the birth of son in 1973. She writes: ‘His tiny hands, at first clenching tightly, started to open up, and it startled me to see the very beginnings of human communication fluently expressed in so much variety.’ There is equal variety in Naoko’s treatment of this single subject as her work ranges over colour and monochrome, figurative to abstract, intimate to monumental. All her work is characterised by a strong sense of spontaneity and a bold freedom of expression.

 

BUY THE BOOK 'IN PRAISE OF HANDS'


This free exhibition was part of the Japan-UK Season of Culture

Logo of Official event of the Japan Season of Culture