Bethany Springer


Cast urethane plastic, steel pipe, flanges
96” x 72” x 12”

A series mimicking hand gestures carved on 17th and 18th century European and colonial America era tombstones. Motifs commonly carved in relationship to the hands – a severed chain, cut flowers, and sleeves indicating gender – all reflections of loss, are intentionally omitted. Some of the tombstone gestures, such as a hand with finger pointing in a specific direction, share a close resemblance to an index or manicule, a punctuation mark commonly found between the 12th and 18th centuries in the margins of books, which functioned to direct the reader’s attention to important text. Symmetrically arranged, the gestures are reminiscent of Avalokiteśvara, the thousand-armed Bodhisattva who aspires to aid the suffering.