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Nicole Farhi: The Human Hand - Bowman Sculpture

Nicole Farhi: The Human Hand

Exhibition preview

NICOLE Farhi will present her second solo exhibition, The Human Hand, at London’s Bowman Sculpture from September 13 to September 30, 2016.

For the exhibition, the artist will present an introspective series of sculpted hands. Inspired by Auguste Rodin’s intense study of the hand’s expressive qualities, Farhi follows in the artistic tradition of sculpting those whose hands reveal an animated energy, yet also those who have a close personal relationship with the artist.

Farhi was tutored and mentored by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, one of the most important and innovative British sculptors of the twentieth century. She has sculpted throughout her career as a fashion designer and full-time for the past five years.

Farhi aims to represent as wide a selection of hands as possible, from sculpting a baby’s hands to those of her own 100 year-old mother.

She is especially drawn to those who use their hands professionally: a baker; a glazier; a beader; the ceramicist Hitomi Hosono; the dancers Edward Watson, Lauren Cuthbertson and Marianela Nuñez; the pianists Stephen Kovacevich, Rosey Chan and Riyad Nicholas; the painter Anthony Whishaw; her husband and playwright David Hare; the philanthropist Jacob Rothschild; the flautist Patrick Williams; and the violinist Anthony Marwood.

She also memorably sculpts the extraordinary hands of her mentor Eduardo Paolozzi.

Nicole Farhi comments on her thought process behind her new body of work:

“I was drawn to the idea of sculpting the hand because it represented such a huge challenge. From the beginning of mankind, the first marks left on the walls of caves were by the human hand. Because the hand is the instrument of creativity, it reveals different aspects of the subjects.

“There is something liberating in zooming in very close on a fragment of the body. Ignoring the whole and concentrating intimately on just one part of the body focuses not only the sculptor, but also the person who looks at the work.

“I feel that hands are somehow bigger than life. I am giving them the importance and power I feel they have.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by photographs of sitters by Walter Van Dyk.

Times: Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm. Saturday by appointment only. Closed Sundays and public bank holidays.

Bowman Sculpture, 6 Duke Street St James’s, London, SW1Y 6BN