Helping Hands

Helping Hands Sketch

Helping Hands Sculpture

Written Proposal:

The title of this sculpture is Helping Hands. The sculpture of the hands and the quote surrounding the sculpture located on the foothold/base itself will be constructed from bronze and will sit on top of a gray cement foothold/base. The cement foothold will be held down with metal rods at that base to ensure support for the entire sculpture. The concrete base will be 6 feet long, 5 feet wide, and 3 ½ feet tall. The hands sculpture itself will be 5 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 2 feet tall.

On the foothold/base of the sculpture, a quote by Audrey Hepburn will be listed around the front of the hands (the fingers area). The quote will state, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

This sculpture would be placed at the Truly House at the University of Washington, Bothell. The Truly House is located on the back road behind both UW Bothell and Cascadia. The Truly House has a community garden in front of it. I see this sculpture being placed in the area between the garden and the forest area (where most of the trees are located) of the property.

Title: Helping Hands

Materials: Bronze ($4 per pound)

Dimensions: Hand Sculpture- 5’ X 4’ X 2’
Concrete Base/Foothold- 6’ X ‘5 X 3 ½ ‘

Quote: “Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand, the first to help yourself, the second to help others.” -Audrey Hepburn

Artist’s Statement:

This sculpture was brought about due to my first encounter with homelessness. I first realized homelessness was a problem around the age of 12 years old. I was at the time currently living in New Jersey and my parents decided to go to New York City for the first time on a family trip. I remember seeing the Empire State building, watching Broadway, and just having a good time with my family. It was not until I turned the corner of a building and looked down an alleyway when reality hit me. I had seen a man lying on piece of cardboard, under a pile of scrunched up newspapers, and in the pouring rain. I walked over to my parents and asked them, “Why doesn’t that man have a home?” “Why doesn’t he have a warm place to sleep?” At that very moment, I remember drowning my parents with questions. I could not, as a child, wrap my mind around the fact that this man had no place to sleep, no family to turn to, or a home to go to. As the only child, growing up, I was always taken care of, always had food on the table, and a warm bed to sleep in at night. This encounter with the man came as such a big surprise to me. This is the encounter in which I drew inspiration from. I remember the emotions I felt at the very moment I first saw the homeless man and how much I just wanted to help him find a home or a warm place to sleep. I myself wanted to lend him a helping hand.

The hands themselves are to signify hope, community, family, and love. This sculpture is intended to portray all the emotions I felt when witnessing the homeless man as a child. The hands serve as a beacon of hope and light for those who are in need of help especially those that are homeless. My thought process first began as I brainstormed ways to portray these emotions I initially felt when encountering homelessness. First I came up with ideas that dealt with money signs or an actual house in which people could literally sit in. All of these ideas were great but a bit too complicated. I felt that this sculpture should be as simplistic as possible yet portray the many emotions I felt as a child. I then decided to go with human hands. People obviously use their hands on a daily basis but how much of that time do they use their hands to help others? When they do help others, how many of those people are of the homeless population? A vast amount of people are unaware of the growing number of people that are or are becoming homeless in our nation (especially in the state of Washington). I decided to go with human hands but was unsure of what I wanted the hands to look like exactly. I then began putting my own hands together or even used other people’s hands (I asked my friends and they agreed to help). I then decided to go with a child’s hands cupped together laying within an adult’s hands cupped together. This to me came off as hope, community, love, and family. I thought it was exactly what I was trying to get at it with my final art project. Not only does this sculpture portray the emotions I felt as a child but also portrayed the diversity of homelessness. This sculpture shows that homelessness is not only a problem is the city of Seattle but a growing problem throughout our state of Washington. Hence why this sculpture would be placed at the University of Washington, Bothell. I hope that this sculpture would capture emotions of empathy, love, a sense of family, and etc. in viewers. The hands also symbolize the sense of community feeling of the homeless community. To others, when looking at this sculpture could think that the hands are of a group of people not just a mother and her children. The hands could also be two people of a different races or genders experiencing homelessness. It could be a couple of different people holding hands to signify that they’re all in it together—signifying community. This sculpture would capture that essence of community and family.

Along with the hands, I decided to add a quote by Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn states that “Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it’s at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand, the first to help yourself, the second to help others.” This quote would be listed on the foothold that the sculpture itself would be placed on. This quote goes to show that we should always lend a helping hand to those who are in need of help. This is definitely true when it comes to homelessness. I remember going to Tent City the Art in Public Spaces class. Some of the homeless people, even though they did not have very much, they were still willing to lend a helping hand to other homeless people in need. One of the many things that the homeless people want or promote is a sense of community. They’re willing to help one another in any way possible for them. One of the best ways to solve a problem is to lend a helping hand.

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6 responses to “Helping Hands

  1. This is a really neat idea for a sculpture, and I like the way you describe just how much the hands can represent. I think you make a good point with your question about how often people use their hands to help others—very relevant, I think, regarding the issue of homelessness. I do have a question for you: is the sculpture meant to be purely decorative, or does it function as something else? I also have one concern, and that is the quote you plan to use and credit to Audrey Hepburn. If I remember correctly, she enjoyed quoting the poem, but is not the original author. I feel it would be worth making sure you’re crediting the right person before continuing the process. Oh, and one more question—I’m having trouble due to the image’s small size, but are those coins in the sculpture’s hands?

  2. This is a fantastic idea, i really like how you were able to draw it and make it out of clay flawlessly. The quote is definitely something that adds to the content as it would make me come closer to read what this sculpture would be about. I also like how you should symbolically how we can all help with what we have extra. like you did with the hand example, not that no one needs two hand, but just the fact that if someone has more of something they could share.

  3. tinekagronlund

    This is an awesome sculpture!! I like how you are able to see exactly what you are trying to say in this sculpture. I really like the quote as well, i really thinks it speaks about exactly what this sculpture is trying to represent. I like how you did one hand in the other because it does demonstrate how one person needs to help another one.

  4. This is a really unique idea! I really love the fact that you are using hands as a way to collect what looks like coins in your sculpture. The quote really adds to this piece because everyone can relate to the quote one way or another. I also like the way you explained, in your artist statement, how you first had an encounter with a homeless man which was inspirational to you to make a piece that can contribute to the homeless. Good job!

  5. I really enjoyed your final idea! I also did something similar and incorporated hands into my project. Although mine was very different from yours, your concept and overall objective are very unique and it made me very intrigued!

  6. this is very impressive. i am amazed by your idea. The hand is the portrayal of the emotions and it can also be a symbol of help or support or caring or sharing. It has many meanings and I really like it.

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