The quiet revolution of human touch

Black and white hands gesticulating.
Black and white hands gesticulating.
Black and white hands gesticulating.

Artists Alex Franco and Gillian Wilkins find catharsis by photographing the movement of hands as part of a visual series

By Corinna Burford   Images courtesy of Alex Franco and Gillian Wilkins   Wednesday 29 April, 2020   Short read

For Lolo González, the founder of creative direction studio and magazine A Flamenco Catharsis, lockdown has not been a hindrance to his creativity. Instead, it is the inspiration behind his newest project, ‘Cathartic Quarantine’ – an ongoing, 40-day visual series, featuring works by artists in lockdown, curated by González. ‘At the beginning of the pandemic, I asked creators from multiple disciplines to interpret what catharsis represents to them,’ he recalls. ‘But, of course, from home.’ 

Two of the participants in the series, visual artist Gillian Wilkins and photographer Alex Franco – partners in both work and life – approached the theme via a collection of photographs titled ‘El vuelo de un pájaro imaginario’, which explores the brief of catharsis through hand movement and gestures. 

‘We were inspired by the abstract language [of hand gestures] as an expression of emotion and the release of stagnant energy,’ Wilkins and Franco say. ‘The title of our project translates to “the flight of an imaginary bird”, and within the realm of catharsis, this feels symbolic of life in quarantine. We have time to dream, wonder and self-reflect. And through our imagination, we can expand on that which connects us, keeps us inspired and moved,’ they describe. 

View some of Wilkins’ and Franco’s images for the project, below, and see the full ‘Cathartic Quarantine’ series as it progresses on Instagram here.