A book of my photographs of artists' hands - 105 Artists' Hands: Touch Tell Create - was published in August this year by Peculiarity Press, an independent micro publisher specialising in art books. Design by Jane Glennie.
At the heart of the book are 105 photographs of artists' hands that I made between 2018 and 2020.
I find hands fascinating - as individual and as expressive as faces. To take the photographs, I met artists at exhibitions, in their homes and studios, or in parks and online during lockdown - seeing their latest work, catching up on news, eating and drinking, and, on one occasion, swimming in the sea.
In this book, the artists themselves write about their hands, lives and work; they make clear the close and complex relationships of artists' hands to their hearts, minds and eyes. In addition, there are entertainments, essays, stories, poems, and picture projects - all about hands - by over thirty of the artists.
To buy a copy of 105 Artists' Hands: Touch Tell Create (£20, including UK postage), go to Peculiarity Press.
"The photographs are all so unique and convey a lot about the artist's practices and interests through their hands." (Rosina Godwin, artist)
"What a wonderful collection of essays and photographs!" (Lydia Julien, artist)
"105 Artists' Hands is a vivid, thought-provoking work, which challenges us to look at the world anew and to reassess how much our hands are part of us (or we just the extension of them). A book to hold on to." (Victoria Lambert, Education and Careers Editor for the Daily Telegraph and award-winning journalist)
Read full review by Victoria Lambert
"A really rich selection of actions and identities." (Annie Rapstoff, artist)
"I'm so blown away by the illuminating writing and thinking about hands touch bodies creativity and making brought together here. And by how Cally's stunning hand portraits embody the life of the hand in our artist lives. Each photograph by Cally is an insight into the tactile inner worlds of making. I'm also somehow so moved by this book. By our togetherness in it. Our single body with multiple hands like so many feelers reaching out to touch the world and be touched by it." (Salma Ahmad Caller, artist)
"The book is full of surprising, clearly carefully thought-out images, and I can see why you describe the photographs as having been 'made' rather than 'taken'. My favourite images/texts were those of your hands, Tony Moody, and Katrin Gaska (I love explosions of colour when done well). My award for the perfect text goes to the words by Steve Perfect, who knows how to startle and evoke, rather than merely describe." (Michèle Nayman, novelist and journalist)
" ... so many rich imaginative sort of mini performances captured." (John McDowall, artist)
"What a splendid collection of images and thoughts about hands. Each page unique in its originality." (Malgorzata Bialokoz Smith, artist)
"Glorious! Magical images and such a good design." (Julia Maddison, artist)
"... lovely handfuls of words, photos and insights." (Stephen Guy, artist)
"It's rich in images, experiences, perspectives and stories." (Ahmed Farooqui, artist)
"I was so much impressed by its contents, work, aesthetics, the list can go on and on. ... this is exquisite." (Olympia Polymeni, artist)
"The book is superbly put together; so well thought through in every way." (Guy Tarrant, artist)
**** "This book is an interesting tabletop art book that came about as the result of a two year project by Trench to photograph artists' hands out in the wild. Some are musicians, some are graffiti artists, some are potters and the rest cover pretty much everything in between. I went to a book launch event for this at Wycombe Arts Centre and I was sufficiently impressed by the talk that Trench gave to want to grab a copy. ... I don't mind paying a premium for inspiration, and this book was full of the stuff. I wasn't sure at first about the way that it included some extra written pieces about hands, but I was converted by the end. Cool." (Dane Cobain, writer and radio host, on 'goodreads' and 'socialbookshelves')
105 Artists' Hands: Touch Tell Create was launched at Space 36 in London on Sunday 1st August 2021, with a programme of readings and performances, hosted by Ahmed Farooqui and Alan Swann. 105 Artists' Hands: Book Launch programme
Cally Trench gave an illustrated talk, and did a Q&A with designer Jane Glennie, at Wycombe Arts Centre, High Wycombe, on 4th September 2021.
Cally also gave an illustrated talk, and did a Q&A with designer Jane Glennie, with two readings from the book ('The Right Hand' by Nick Trench, and 'The Red Hand Gang' by Marco Calí), hosted by Loucia Manopoulou, at South Hill Park, Bracknell, on 23rd September 2021.
Cally also gave an illustrated talk, and did a Q&A with designer Jane Glennie, with four readings from the book (by Jim Attewell, Salma Ahmad Caller, Chris Mercier, and Nick Trench), hosted by Neile Wright, at the Rising Sun Arts Centre, Reading, on 15th October 2021.
Cally was also interviewed about the book on The Arts Show, Wycombe Sound, with presenter Dane Cobain, 19th October 2021.
Some of the 105 photographs of artists' hands are shown below.