By William Carter

Photographer, Author, Jazz Musician

Hands Are Us (Part 1)

with 5 comments


Touching the Heart

Ruth and Olivia, 2012Archival Inkjet Print, ©William Carter 2012

Ruth and Olivia, 2012, Archival Inkjet Print, ©William Carter 2012

On September 11, 2012, I visited my beloved 97-year old Aunt Ruth. Her body systems were shutting down. Two of her children, Maureen and Susan, and one granddaughter, Olivia, were there. I took a few pictures, including the one above. Two nights later, Aunt Ruth passed away.

In the 1980s and ’90s I spend fifteen years photographing nudes and the body. For much of that I carefully avoided hands: they felt personal and unique, whereas the project was about universal forms. Eventually, though, hands started creeping in. I’m not sure if that was my decision or theirs. Several appeared in my 1996 book, Illuminations.

“Hands” is a project without a beginning or an end. Some were used with Indian poetry quotations and readings by Sramana Mitra. I used a shot of my own palm as the endsheets for my 2011 book, Causes and Spirits.

Here are some others:

Sramana's Hands, vintage silver print, ©William Carter 2002

Sramana’s Hands, vintage silver print, ©William Carter 2002

Appearance, 23/25 vintage silver print, ©William Carter 1983

Appearance, 9/25  ©William Carter 1983

Char, 3/25 vintage silver print, ©William Carter 1992

Char, 3/25 vintage silver print, ©William Carter 1992

Remember, 3/25 vintage silver print, ©William Carter 1990

Remember, 3/25 vintage silver print, ©William Carter 1990

Mystery (detail), Vintage Silver Print, ©William Carter 1990

Mystery (detail), Vintage Silver Print, ©William Carter 1990

Whisper, Vintage Silver Print, ©William Carter 1992

Whisper, Vintage Silver Print, ©William Carter 1992

Intimation, 3/25 Vintage Silver Print, ©William Carter 1991

Intimation, 3/25 Vintage Silver Print, ©William Carter 1991

Copyright statement: William Carter papers, © Stanford University Libraries. Click here for a detailed usage guide.

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Written by bywilliamcarter

May 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm

5 Responses

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  1. body{font-size:10pt;font-family:arial,sans-serif;background-color:#ffffff;color:black;}p{margin:0px;}WordPress.comSuch  beautiful, thoughtful work Bill…Thanks for sending.It’s been so long since I’ve seen you. Do you ever get up in this neck of the woods ? (Berkeley)My studio in Berkeley is full of interesting work. Sculpture, blown glass, ceramics, painting, and of course photography. (Our 4300 sq. ft. studio is broken up into basically 5 sections, and of course we’re always “out of space”.On Thursdays there’s a small group of us that meet for sushi at an all-you-can-eat-sushi-place. Open’s at 11:30  and goes to 2:30 (we usually hang in with good food and good conversation till closing time). It’s ad hoc, never know who’s going to show up. But for $14.15 inc. tax (no  tipping ) it’s a pretty good place to sit in a pretty quiet atmosphere .Let me know if you’re ever coming up here.Marshall 

    Like

    marshall berman

    September 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm

  2. I always loved my father’s hands, and had the courage to touch his hands at his funeral. The contact cut right through all the filters, I cried naturally, unselfconsciously.

    Thanks, Boss

    Like

    bill delaney

    September 20, 2012 at 8:11 pm

  3. touching, Thanks for sharing

    On Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 2:28 PM, By William Carter wrote:

    > ** > bywilliamcarter posted: “Touching the Heart Ruth and Olivia, 2012, > Archival Inkjet Print, ©William Carter 2012 On September 11, > 2012, I visited my beloved 97-year old Aunt Ruth. Her body systems were > shu”

    Like

    James Fuller

    September 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm

  4. Yes, I remember your dad’s sister Lynn White-Shelby Amer. Business Women’s Assoc. (ABWA) (818)512-4079 (cell) abwa-verdugoglen.org

    Like

    Lynn Shelby

    September 20, 2012 at 7:14 pm

  5. I love your landscapes but these images of hands truly move me. Thanks for sharing your beautiful work. 😉

    Like

    Cynthia

    September 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm


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