Stories My Hands Could Tell You

The latest theme in our Zest sessions (March and April 2022), named ‘Hands’, was led by visual artist Lucy Stockton Smith. The theme was inspired by a discussion with Canterbury Zest participant M., who has been a lifelong Greek icon painter (pictured below with one of her icon pieces).

M. with her beautiful icon painting

Lucy was inspired by how M. has used her hands to create such beautiful images with delicate precision. Based on this thought, she led four fantastic sessions around the theme of hands, exploring music, mono printing, reflexology, hand yoga, frottage, and materials such as wire, clay and oil pastels.

In the first session, the group’s participants were encouraged to think about what their hands have done for them throughout their life and each group wrote a poem called Stories My Hands Can Tell

The sessions allowed for a lot of conversation and reflection about how we take our hands for granted as we use them to express ourselves, look after ourselves and family amongst other things. 

Canterbury Zest participants had an impromptu show-and-tell segment that led to deeper insights into what some have created with their hands over the years. Some of the wonderful handmade items included a carved wooden horse, a watercolour painting, a crochet dream catcher, a tapestry, and a knitted jumper. 

Each week, the groups heard a different poem written about hands, and below you can hear J. from Dover Zest reading out Michael Rosen’s hot-off-the-press unpublished ‘A Poem Is A Hand’ from World Poetry Day on 21st March 2022.