Art Book: Empty Hands

Lege Handen • Ifassen Ixwan • Empty Hands: that is the complete title as all texts are in three languages.

UPDATE: All profits of this artist book are donated to MSF, to help with COVID-19 projects around the world. I has been printed on a limited edition of 100, and can be ordered, for €20 ex shoipping costs, through me, by e-mail:

One year after

In the beginning of March 2020 I became very ill with Covid 19. Scary, but I recovered.

A few months ago, while walking through the city, I ran into a number of discarded latex gloves, and while walking I saw more and more of them, scattered on the pavement. It seemed as if they wanted to tell me something, yes they were speaking to me. I photographed each one of them, just the way they were lying there. Couldn’t put my finger on it yet but sure felt that I was going to do something with this series.

‘Empty Hands’, that’s how I called the project. Reminded of all those folks in healthcare, the nurses and doctors, who have been working so hard and still are. Remembering the people who died, here in the city of Amsterdam and around the world. The elusiveness of life, death, how small and powerless we are, and yet: the comfort of being in this together, no matter where we are.

After having reached out to my friend and fellow artist, Shelley Savor, who lives in Canada, far away but stuck inside this covid situation just like everyone else, she replied to my invitation with a series of beautiful paintings. One night the inspiration was there and I wrote the poem ‘Lege Handen’ and made an English version too. 

A week later I received a most precious gift from writer and poet Baghdad El Mesbahe in the form of a translation into Tarifit, the version of the Tamazight language as spoken in the North of Morocco. 

All these treasures have been put together in this art book, which is in fact a collaboration between three artists, with three art forms, three languages and even three continents. Art travels and speaks to all of us, even when we are in lockdown. Hopefully this pandemic will be over one day soon and we will be able to hold and hug one another again like we used to.

Thank you, Shelley and Baghdad, for your enthusiasm, for your support and for your contributions.

Thank you, for taking an interest in this book.

Here’s to life, to art, to the art of living!”

Friend and artist Edith Brouwer, who is also a good friend of Shelley, is admiring the book (the cat is curious too).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s