Lesley Seminars Photography Atelier
Cassandra Siegars Goldwater | About the Work
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I am working with found limbs to express the complicated relationship we have with our hands. We use hands to communicate with each other through gesture, touch, pleasure, and pain – even when we don’t share a common spoken language, we “talk” to each other with our appendages.
I came to understand hands and arms as both healing and hurting. I grew up in a house where dinner conversation was often about maimed limbs, medical wonders, and human frailty. My father lost a finger in the Korean War and had many operations to make his hand appear “normal.” My brother, accidentally burned by a scalding cup of coffee as a toddler, has a large scar on his arm. My mother was an occupational therapist who first worked with injured veterans, later worked with civilian paraplegics, quadriplegics, stroke and industrial accident victims, and eventually specialized in hand therapy. Although she was preoccupied with human hands mechanical marvels, she did not have much patience for neediness in the able-bodied.
As a way of making sense of the contradictions I grew up with, I learned to appreciate the fine line between what is comic and what is tragic.