Hand’s Unseen is a conceptual installation and memorial to mill workers across the region. Throughout the sixteen days it took to make this work, my life consisted of routine and ritual as I employed a spiritual, conceptual process that was both laborious and meditative in nature. In addition to daily walks in the Olympia Cemetery, I began making trips to local second-hand shops where I scavenged for familiar products of the textile industry such as used bed sheets, table cloths, and curtains. These items were then drenched in blue, hand dyed in a large pot atop the stove, like a low-country boil.

 

As the South Carolina heat whispered woes of women and children toiling at the face of a spinning loom, I became interested in its antique construction. The circular form is emblematic of a wheel that continues to turn despite long hours spent in harsh conditions for little pay. As it was by their hands, that a larger economy and path for the future was built, I sought, collected, painted, carved, sewed, and contemplated in honor of their struggles. During this time, I listened to the layers of dirt and many coats of paint, now chipping away, from this structure of over one hundred years. I have come to recognize the old mill and its guard houses as symbols of resilience for current-day residents.