100 Hands Project
Hands of Freedom celebrates difference, inclusion, and unity. It recognises the extraordinary power of community, and champions individual liberty. Artist Vishal Joshi developed the Hands of Freedom movement with University of Leicester as a way to reach out to communities and encourage them to stop, reflect, and take time out of their day to focus on their liberties; the freedoms they have, the freedoms they don’t, and the freedoms they want for others.
Hands and hand-gestures are used across all cultures to express emotions and feelings; sometimes confusion and anger, at other times friendship and hope. Hands of Freedom draws on the iconic hand symbolism used to express ‘Freedom’, ‘Peace’ and ‘Liberty’, and uses this imagery to prompt acknowledgment and appreciation of these most strived for ideals.
Over 2021, Vishal Joshi will work with University of Leicester, Attenborough Arts Centre, ArtReach, and New Walk Museum to invite contributions to this project. Using community submitted drawings and photos. Vishal will record these submissions to create a digital archive of peoples sense of identity, then using the physical copies to decoupage two, two meter long wooden hands. Vishal will finish the piece by overpainting his own design, symbolising the commonality of individuality. The piece will be hung on campus at University of Leicester to allow the community to interact with it.