The starting point for “Soft Hands” was Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem “Autumn”:
The leaves are falling, falling as if from far up,
as if orchards were dying high in space.
We’re all falling. This hand here is falling.
And look at the other one. It’s in them all.
But there is One who holds this falling
Infinitely softly in His hands.
“Soft Hands” was showcased in an emptied office space housed in a skyscraper in downtown Chicago. Cartoonish hands made from carpet acted as platforms for sculptural systems, each representing a process of falling and holding. The pieces were sourced from a variety of sources, from Youtube to antique stores and online shops, gathered together to form metaphysical conceits.
For two November days, people were invited to visit the space one at a time. Many lay down on the carpet, listening to the sound of water dropping drip by drip into a ceramic vase. The space became restorative and healing. Falling, decaying, and suffering were simultaneously reflected and held safely.