The genesis of “Ghost I: The Offering” comes from a conversation I had with a friend who was studying Somatic Therapy. We were discussing non-verbal communication and the manner in which people use their hands, their posture, and eye movements to convey states of being and desire. These movements are much different than a formalized non-verbal language, such as sign language, and are in many ways proto-symbolic, archetypal. Infants employ similar gestures in their pre-verbal development. Most of the hand gestures have to do with grasping and releasing, reaching out and letting go. Everyday we dance with each other, pulling closer, pushing away, embracing and letting go. This is happening in every interaction, nearly out of our awareness, like the reflection of ourselves in the glass we look through, enraptured by the museum specimen.
This train of thought led me to contemplate means of apprehension, hands and mouths primarily, which in turn fed into my anatomical studies at the time. In Neil Shubin’s fantastic book “Your Inner Fish”, the author points out that the skeletal structure of the skull and shoulder girdle in the human being are formed in the same manner and from the same type of bone (dentate) as a fish embryo from the head to the gills. The shoulder girdle in the human evolved in such a way to allow for the hurling of projectiles, in order to capture prey. So, in a sense it is as though our teeth found expression in our hands.
Oil on Panel, 17×25″ with hand carved frame