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INFO:21 MANOS SANANDO








       



21 MANOS SANANDO

(COLOR BY GUATEMALAN CHILDREN)
31 1/2" X 23 1/4", ECTHING WITH CRAYONS, PENCIL, INK, SUMMER 2011


ABOVE: THE FINISHED INTAGLIO. BELOW: THE ORIGINAL COLORINGS BY THE CHILDREN ON XEROXES













21 MANOS SANANDO

(ORIGINAL COLORINGS ON XEROX VERSION. COLORED BY GUATEMALAN CHILDREN)
31 1/2" X 23 1/4", CRAYONS, PENCIL, INK ON XEROX, WINTER 2010


List of colorists starting from top left:

Top row: Alicia, Dimas, Joselin, Marcos, Marisol, Brenda, Alicia

Middle row: Leticia, Jose, Carlos, Elias, Basilia, Josselin, Daisy

Bottom row: Elias, Choc, Alicia, Jessica, Diana, Dimas, Jessica










THE SPANISH:




MANO: n. hand

MANO CURANDO: healing hand*

MANOS SANANDO: healing hands**


*CURANDO: the present progressive (gerundio) of the verb curar.

 CURAR: v. to recover from sickness, to recuperate. "Se curó la mano con medicina

natural." "She healed her hand with herbal medicine."

**SANANDO: the present progressive (gerundio) of the verb sanar.

  SANAR: v. to heal (an other). Restuir a uno la salúd que había perdido.*** (To restore to one

health that has been lost). "La medicina natural le sanaron por completo." "The herbal medicine

healed her completely."


*** Definition from www.wordreference.com

Special thanks to G. Giraldo and Olga for their invaluable help with my Spanish for this piece.








THE STORY:




I worked with these children as an art teacher in two different organizations and locations:

El Centro Ecuménico de Integración Pastoral (CEIPA) in Quetzalenango, Guatemala. This organization runs schools for child workers all over Quetzaltenango, among other things. For more information or to donate please go to: www.ceipa-ac.org


Casa Guatemala in the state of Izabal, Guatemala. This is an orphanage and boarding school for poor children nestled in the jungle on the Rio Dulce. For more information or to donate please go to: www.casa-guatemala.org


Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about these organizations or how to donate to them.


I was originally planning to draw a "Mano Curando" and have the kids I was working with at the time in Guatemala color it. I was still in the process of designing the style of rendering for the Mano in when I happened upon a "Mano Musical" intaglio in El Museo del Libro Antiguo in Antigua, Guatemala.The intaglio was printed on the first printing press in Guatemala. This coincidence struck me as being deeply meaningful so I decided to draw my Mano in a similar style. I found that doing so created an arc in the piece that underscored the themes and concepts that I'm interested, as well as created a function of the piece as a sort of healing spell, as it were, fore the young heirs of Guatemalan history.


The book with the "Mano Musical" is Breve Suma de Todas las Reglas del Canto Llano by Fray Antonio Martin Coll., which was printed in 1770. The printing press this was published on was brought to Guatemala in 1660 (see pic below).








 





Upon returning to the states and winning access to a print shop I converted the Mano image into an etching and then hand colored each one myself, striving to accurately reproduce the coloring done in the original colored xeroxes. I have included the xerox version with the original colorings of the children in entirety above and with some detail images below so one may see my faithfulness as well as the overall transposition that is the result of the shift in media and hand.



    





         





DETAIL OF "XEROX" VERSION: ORIGINAL COLORING BY DAISY ON ORIGINAL PEN DRAWING FROM WHICH THE XEROX WAS MADE













     





DETAIL OF XEROX VERSION: ORIGINAL COLORING BY CARLOS ON XEROX











MARCOS AND DIMAS:





     






DETAIL OF "XEROX" VERSION: ORIGINAL COLORING BY MARCOS ON XEROX











 






DETAIL OF INTAGLIO VERSION: I REPRODUCED DAISY'S COLORING BY HAND




















DETAIL OF INTAGLIO VERSION: I REPRODUCED CARLOS'S COLORING BY HAND



















     





DETAIL OF "XEROX" VERSION: ORIGINAL COLORING BY DIMAS ON XEROX





    Marcos is normally a perfectionist. He takes great care to color within the lines. He deeply admired the Mano colored by Joselin, (top row, third from left) and the Mano colored by Jose (middle row, second from left)-- both posess this value. Despite this the style of the coloring of Marcos' own Mano seems to run counter to his usual sensibility and instead is strikingly similar to the rather unique coloring style of Dimas and his elder brother Elias (another Mano colored by Dimas is bottom row, second from right and those colored by Elias are the center Mano and the bottom-left Mano). Marcos and Dimas are around the same age (4 and 5), but their lives couldn't have contrasted more: they lived on opposite sides of the country in different climates (one in the cool, dry highlands of the West and the other in the tropical rainforest off the Caribean in the East), in totally different types of environments (one lived in a dense city, the other in a straw and thatch hut in the jungle). They even spoke different languages (one Spanish the other K'iche'). They never saw each others' work.







ARTIST'S STATEMENT:




    This piece was conceived in contemplation of my condition concerning my hands. I have been partially handicapped since 2003 in my dominant hand and since 2005 in both hands, by the pain and limitation of tendonitis, subluxated carpal bones and nerve inflammation. This has dramatically changed the course of my life as it has severely limited my abilities for expression and movement.  I have never been given a hard diagnosis for my wrist problems, although I’ve made progress with certain treatments the cause remains largely a mystery, and the problem persists.

Because of this great, debilitating mystery in my life I’ve gone very deep in my contemplations of my problem and my observation of my body. It has become a sort of spiritual course as I’ve had to work very much in the dark and alone on this for many years. Not wanting to neglect any aspect that could link into my healing, my contemplations and observations have covered a range outside that of modern Western medicine—namely that of my energetic bodies, my spirit body and my mind. Thinking not just of the hand but of the context of the hand-- the context of my energetic being which is this universe.

One thing I observe when looking at the spiritual pattern of things is great energetic block in my wrists and in my back.

A block against my spirit nature, against the expression of my mind which, being a visual artist, is in largely the material realm.

Appreciating the significance of this is what bore into being Manos – an as of yet still in progress artist’s book of which the singular image of the hand labeled “Mano Curando” is meant to be part of.

Manos is the contemplation of this insight about how people have natures—mental/spiritual natures—which express themselves through the person’s work—that is, through their hands. So just as there are spirit natures of whole people, there are, correspondingly, spirit natures of hands.

I am a visual artist. I can also be described as “crafty”, “handy” or even “manual”.

I have shaped and crafted this image with my hands. Lovingly and slowly—very, very slowly, because of my physical debilitation. Ever bracing my inspiration with patience, tolerance and determination to not lose focus due to the pace that’s significantly slower than my motivation. My toiling, artist’s hands have created this piece as a sort of act of devotion to their overcoming their affliction. The working of this piece is my working on my problem on its spiritual level. It is a spell. It is the healing of my hands. In the process of connecting my healing work with my art work, my hands have become vehicles of healing. This is the “Mano Curando” become “Mano Sanando”*: my hands simultaneously the receiver and vehicle of my healer nature. As a result, the piece is an index of my artist hands (mis manos artiscicas) in their art-as-tool-for-healing mode (mis manos sanadoras).  The burning hand or the fire lighting from the finger tips is a vision of this spirit energy: in the manner of traditional, iconographic imagery of healing or spiritually conductive hands from all over the world.

 

Because this image of the “Mano Curando” is the index, or record, of a genuine, deep healing process, I think it’s only natural that the healing energy looped it’s energetic threads into the world immediately around me at the time I was creating it: Guatemala and my young art students. This is the context of the hand at that point in time. This is the web it was woven into.

The coincidence that brought the “Mano Musical” from the Museo del Libro Antiguo in Antigua, Guatemala across my path just as I was designing my “Mano Curando”. I believe this coincidence is the result of the responsiveness of the energetic web of the universe—the interconnectedness of all things beyond our own perception. Therefore, I took the coincidence as significant and I honored the occurrence by modeling the look of my “Mano Curando” after the “Mano Musical”. Once that bridge was made, the piece took on it’s own (healing) life, with it being passed through the hands of the children I was working with—the heirs of the history of the “Mano Musical”.

 

The universality of healing energy—it’s activating force which runs in all directions at once and works on all levels of reality, completely independently of the realm of the logical mind and its will, is what formulated the incarnation of the “Mano” image as 21 Manos Sanando.

 

21 Manos Sanando therefore is more than even an index of healing. It is also a magickal working. It’s what the universe spit out in response to my delving into the shamanic depths of my physical disability and honoring my vision through my work—the latter being what brought me into the world of the children of Guatemala. It is a working of healing energy going in all directions outside the original conception, and even aim, of the healer. It is healing going into unexpected places—to places most immediate where healing is most needed.

 

Considered in this light, it is no great mystery that that place then was to the children I was working with in my everyday life and to their inheritance of their history. It is also no great mystery that one aspect of the history that my work is connecting them with is the legacy of colonialism, as I was a foreigner of privilege come to their country.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*See explanation of the distinction of the Spanish curar vs. sanar near top of page


















 
Hand copying my drawings of the Manos (the "Mano Curando" and the

                     "Mano Verde")by candlelight in the volunteer's cabin at the

                     orphanage in the jungle off the Río Dulce. I had no electricity

                     nor had I yet discovered the photocopy machine in town.


                     December 2010