For Tim Mann, the human hand defines us as human. The hand is the most frequently symbolized part of the human body. It gives a blessing and it is expressive. In general, it is strength, power and protection. However, it can just as easily mean generosity, hospitality and stability. It is used in gestures of greeting and friendship.
The right and left have different symbols related to each: right – the rational, conscious and logical, as well as aggressive and anxious, left – opposite of the right, weakness, decay, death. However, the two can be juxtaposed to symbolize balance and the middle.
Hand gestures vary in symbol: laying hands on something – blessing, consecration, transference of guilt, healing; raising one’s hand – to swear, honesty; hand on heart – love, adoration, salutation; two hands clasped – peace, alliance, friendship; hands at side – negligence, arrogance (on hips); with water – purification, cleanliness, innocence.
The hand is used to communicate. The hand is used to demand, promise, summon, dismiss, threaten, supplicate, express aversion or fear, question or deny. We use them to indicate joy, sorrow, hesitation, confession, penitence, measure, quantity, number, and time. Hands have the power to excite and prohibit, to express approval, wonder, shame.
For Tim Mann, the use of the hand in his work is another visual celebration of the human presence.