Marja-Leena Rathje
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hand with stones

the artist's hand with stones

Last fall I created a series of scans of my hand with various objects for qarrtsiluni's worship issue. To my great pleasure, all five images were published but when I wrote about it here, I posted only one of the images, the artist's hand with physalis. Now I'm thinking I should make a home here for the others, featuring them one at a time over the next while.

Related images:
artist's hand with pen
bones, stones & fossils
an early scan of a physalis, minus the hand

Marja-Leena | 18/02/2012 | 9 comments
themes: Human, Nature, Photoworks


The stones are very unusual in that they look much like the bone marrow of some ancient creature. The contrast with your warm hand is quite remarkable.

Susan, bone is exactly what I thought of when I gathered them. I wrote about them in a post called bones, stones & fossils where I also mention a book about Mary Anning, a fossil collector - you might remember.

Marja-Leena these scans of objects and your hand are a really fascinating perspective. I love the way they make me look more closely at the distances. The stones are beautiful in themselves, but the whole is greater than the parts for me.

Interesting how the depression of the finger-tips and the palm of the hand indicate a third element in the scan - the plate of the scanner?

Olga, I'm glad these work that way for you, as they really are about both hand and the objects, and about reverence....inspired by the theme of 'worship' at qarrtsiluni.

Joe, yes, the flattening is the weight of the fingers and palm on the glass of the scanner.

Oh, yes, glad to see these once again... And "qarrtsiluni" is such a great, wild mixture.

Thought of Keats, "This living hand, now warm and capable," which also contrasts life and death (that stone that looks faux-bone) and ends "I hold it toward you."

Marly, you have such an amazing memory, bringing forth such awesome and applicable quotes. I had to look up the whole poem, and an interpretation. The poem certainly speaks of death, which makes me shiver for I don't think that was in my thoughts at all with this piece. Yet, archaeology and the related sciences which I so like, are about histories of the dead that went before us - we forget that.

I wish that I did have an amazing memory. I do want to memorize more poems--I have too many fragments, not enough wholes.

Well, it's a kind of great parade, the dead in the distance ahead, our descendants behind. Shivery but beautiful when at work in a piece of art, I think. Even if you did not mean it! (How can you not like it, though, when you love the distant dead so much--I mean on some subterranean level, you mean and like it! And shiver.)

Marly! I'm very touched by what you write, and how you read me - shiver, indeed. Thank you.