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Daan van
Limburg Stirum

In Safe Hands

A project about visualizing the emotional irreplaceability of objects.

Objects are funny things. How they are defined and lauded fluctuates when their settings and owners change. Right now we find ourselves in an era where this shifting seems to be ever-present.

We are constantly surrounded by objects, which we use to expand the representation of our mental and physical bodies with. We don’t solely have different but also more artefacts around us than we did 100 years ago. According to Soetsu Yanagi, a Japanese art critic, the emotional value of objects reduces when production increases. I wanted to explore what objects we actually still feel connected to.

I researched the relationship between owners and their objects; the wild things, a term used to describe objects with an underlying sense. What objects make people feel safe, at home, or inflame a feeling of emotional connection? What objects do they overmine (exploit a bigger meaning to than just their use, red.)? The way the objects were held by the hands, became the metaphor and visual representation of emotional irreplaceability. They are the access to handling these objects.

By cutting out the hands, the emphasis on the metaphor grows. With over 80 objects a big database of visual language started existing.

After creating a photographic database of objects and hands, I started categorising them by using objective characteristics. The objects on the quilt match; all of them aren’t re-purchasable and are received as a gift.

The quilt shows the safe space that we shouldn’t lose track of and above all; reminds us to keep treasuring our surroundings.

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