The act of touching is intimately connected to the artistic process of Dan Stockholm. This is exemplified in his piece called By Hand, a site-specific installation that features a collection of red clay bricks that each have impressions of his cupped hands. Each slab varies in how much it reveals of Stockholm’s body; some feature both his hands, creases and all. Others are more demure, and they show just a finger or two.
By Hand is one part of Stockholm’s larger exhibition titled HOUSE, which was on view in spring 2016. The overall concept, however, began to take shape just a few days after his dad’s death in 2013. At that time, Stockholm spent three days “methodically touching” every inch of the exterior of his father’s home. Afterwards, the artist translated this meticulous process into plaster casts of his handprints. This laid the groundwork for By Hand, which was created in a similar manner. To construct it, he pressed 12 of the handprints into damp clay that was then dried and arranged into a low wall.
The clay sculpture installation is an abstract representation of both Stockholm’s father’s home and the mourning he went through. Through the simple brick, both of these memories live on.