05 Jan LIKE A PEARL IN MY HAND
Imagine opening your eyes to complete darkness, for a lot of us unthinkable for others daily truth. One reality isn’t better than the other, it is just different. Nonetheless do we tend to believe we know and understand each other’s reality, with all the prejudices this entails. Nothing is less true, we should not try to fill in other one’s stories, we should be open to appreciate ours and other’s disabilities as stories worth sharing and learning from.
Like a pearl in my hand is a heart-warming project by Carina Hesper, a visionary maker with a predilection for making vulnerability tangible. The arise of this piece of art started in her early teenager years when she experienced the magic of a coffee mug that changed image as soon as hot liquid was inserted into it. It took some years before she translated this inspiration into a tactile piece of art, but it was worth the wait.
The signed edition box, which is named like a Pearl in my hand, uncovers portraits of China’s visually impaired children in a very revealing way. When the one-child policy was introduced in 2013, many parents gave up their disabled child because of this new law. Although in 2015 the law changed to a two-child policy, parents where too afraid to lose face by having an disabled child. Touched by the hopeless faith of these human beings Carina travelled to China to visit the Bethel orphanage to seize the real face of China.
Like a Pearl in my hand became a project about awareness, about understanding and about hope. When Carina captured a Albina girl and hearing her story about being blind and all the comprehension which it causes, she realized that we think we understand each other but in reality there is so much more to learn. That was her lightbulb moment, where she combined the story of the Albino girl with her coffee mug inspiration and her desire to give the visibly impaired orphans of China a voice.
For her final piece Carina completed the different portraits she made in China with several layers of thermo chromatic ink, to make the viewers experience what it means be to without sight. The ink turns the whole portrait black, it is only the heat of one’s hand, which is around 20/25 degrees, that can make the ink transparent for an undefined moment of time.
“It was the most complex work I’ve ever made, technique and emotion are brought together, but I’ve learned so much from it” – Carina-
This box is the embodiment of so many current trends in our society, a multi-sensory experience which encourage social awareness. The first link people make with art is that you can only look at it, Carina is fighting that status quo by challenging people to forget what they know about the handling of art. Like a Pearl in my hand is moreover a fully personalized experience, maybe not the way you might expect though. The user decides where to put down a hand, the warmth of this specific hand decides what one will see, so the experience will be different for every single person and therewith as unique as can be.
Like a Pearl in my Hand will be presented as a limited and signed edition book of 250 copies, In a special box with texts by Hannes Wallrafen and Bettine Vriesekoop. The box contains 32 prints, all fully coated in the interactive black thermochromatic ink. The official “invite only” book launch will be at FOAM Amsterdam on the 19th of January 2017.
In the Future Carina aspires to make a more affordable version of her story worth sharing. A version for the whole world to experience and to raise awareness because her core mission is to make the world more open minded.