Fitzwilliam Museum

The Human Touch

Making Art | Leaving Traces

This exhibition ran from the 18 May 2021 to 1 August 2021


Acts of reverence and of protest often depend on touch. Our emotions are revealed in our gestures and how we treat the objects around us. Devotional actions require considered, solemn gentleness. Mudras, or hand positions, are crucial to Buddhist spiritual practice. Prayer beads run calmly through fingers are used to aid meditation and prayer in many different religions. Kissing and rubbing devotional images or sacred objects is common in religious rituals and pilgrimages.

Actions motivated by anger or hatred involve injurious brute force. Periods of religious or political turmoil are characterised by violent actions brought about by moral outrage. We obliterate, strike, scratch, and deface to make plain our dislike, and leave traces for others to see.

Word count 117

Sections of the exhibition

Fitzwilliam Museum
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