Lost gloves? The city is full of them. Having read this, you will see them everywhere. Do they stand in for the people who wore them? Instantly you wonder: whose was this - their sex and age and body type - their laugh? What work was done? You begin to construct entire identities, for the gloves are replete with memory, with personal history. They are almost the hands themselves, in ways even more telling. There is good reason for all the folkloric wisdom of hands: idle hands are... many hands make... like a hand and glove... if the glove fits...
Gloves from all ages, classes, occupations, races. Gloves from all walks. Here everyone wears gloves and loses them. Collected over the years and into artworks they make an informal census, a demographic of detritus. (The white, elbow-length, kidskin evening glove was found on the street outside the Plaza Hotel; most of the work gloves come from my industrial neighborhood.) They are easily anthropomorphized; some of them even have names emblazoned on the cuffs.
They have qualities we fear coming to know: carelessly left behind, forgotten or discarded, weathered, damaged, exhausted and worn through, run over by life, homeless. Lost and found. So I bring them into the studio and into pieces and give them homes, with the others.
They get jobs, too. In attempt to repair and transform they are interwoven and become new objects. Vessels and sacks: so the ability to hold is literally and metaphorically restored. Blankets (quilts? abstract painting?) and garments: where the warp and weft are manifold hands, combining into images of interdependence, warmth, protection, comfort - a human fabric. Wings (fingers become feathers): for the struggle against gravity, for ascendancy and flight in all senses.
Some of the pieces are constructed from found work gloves only. These have a patina of the work performed while worn. They are freighted with untold hours of labor. To this I add my own labor.
The gloves are collected from the streets daily. The pieces are obsessively handmade. Entwined. Handstitched. They are about handwork and restoration and connectedness. Once they lie melancholic, now they are hopeful.^ less