A series of hand carved sculptures in alabaster and soapstone.
Society teaches us to prevent contamination by washing our hands. We are taught specific positions through posters and videos, in response to this dogma, I have created a series of sculptures using soapstone and alabaster that gently place our hands in these positions when we interact with them.
With the rise of COVID-19 now, more than ever we are hyper aware of hygiene practices and how the sensation of ‘feeling clean’ can be felt physically and mentally. The pandemic has deeply affected our behaviour and isolation has had a huge impact on mental health. For those already suffering with the fear of contamination – or germaphobia – the pandemic seemed to reinforce their phobia. Fear fuelled behaviours, such as excessive hand washing, now felt necessary to prevent the spread of coronavirus. I carved these tactile objects in a material that we associate with bathrooms and cleanliness. These objects can be used to gently guide the user through the correct hand washing positions. They can also be held as a meditative object , to soothe our fear of germs and provide a moment of calm.
Jo Harrison-Hall is an artist and designer from London, England. In 2020, she graduated from Central Saint Martins with a BA in Jewellery Design. She considers jewellery to be the most intimate form of sculpture due to its close relationship to the body, encompassing adornment, tools and objects we momentarily interact with. Her core interest lies in how society and experience can shape the way we think and behave and her practice endeavours to ground abstract thoughts and theories in tangible objects. Her recent work addresses our complex relationship with cleanliness and the fear of contamination, by exploring the hygiene practices we adopt to protect ourselves from the invisible enemy we call germs. Her work is in the CSM Museum and Study Collection and has been shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Copeland Gallery, and Vitsoe during Munich Jewellery Week.