top of page
Trabajando los purpuras y rojos de flor de terciopelo, Toronto, 2019.jpg


mil papel/1000papers

Haciendo milpa

Creative Hands / Manos creativas

Toronto, 2021


Part of the series: mil papel/1000papers, the project Creative Hands began in 2005 and includes an artist notebook and a cloth with images of the hands. It was inspired during a social crisis in Oaxaca, a place of great creativity, history and cultural diversity, where artisans used their hands to finely weave palm and embroider beautiful huipiles – often in the daylight, in the middle of the street. It is a collective creative project through which, over several years, I have been collecting images of hands representing human creativity, the idea of an imprint and the visual testimony of writing.

In contrast to the sensation of flatness in the virtual image we visit daily in cyberspace, and distancing between humans generated by a global pandemic, the images of hands and the written word in Creative Hands allude to the depth of  the two dimensional visual image, the creation made by hand, and the individual personality and originality of human writing.


This project is a visually-poetic rendering of ‘haciendo-making milpa’, or ‘growing a cornfield’, as we say metaphorically in Mexico when referring to creative thought and collective effort.  It is features a small presence in space and time, representing the millions of creative hands in the world that reinvent their own realities, and their untiring work towards the enrichment of community, and a healthy relationship with the other and with the natural world  that we all share.

This art project is a continuing process, achieved thanks to the creativity and generosity of the participants who agreed to be part of it, allowing me to photograph their hands and human writing alongside mine. A sample selection of images in the collection of documented hands is shown on this website. The sum of creative hands in the photographic material collected to date is planned to be presented in Mexico and Canada in 2022, in both a virtual and physical exhibition of a long cotton cloth as a visual poem, testimony, print and memory.

Abigail Mendoza, maestra  tejedora, Santo Tomas Jalieza, Oaxaca, 2015_edited_edited.jpg
La mano que echa tortillas, Oaxaca, 20010_edited.jpg
bottom of page