Hands: A journey around the world! – Introduction: Michael Palin
May 24, 2009
Basil Pao, the photographer of the hands in the book, has accompanied Palin on all his journeys around the world for television between 1991 and 2006. The book includes an eloquent and revealing series of photo essays from more than 45 countries in the world, all of which focus on the human hand!
Basil Pao crops in tight on the hand – painting hands, writing hands, stitching hands, cooking hands, dancing hands – young hands and arthritic hands – a hand holding a dove, another holstering a gun. Palin perhaps overstates the case a little in suggesting that hands & fingers can be “as expressive as faces”, but nevertheless all hands do tell tales about their owners!
One reviewer of the book described: “I found myself flicking backwards and forwards between the immaculately painted nails of a young Russian woman and the chomped fingers of an Aussie crocodile farmer.”
Michael Palin writes in the foreword
“In our Western obsession with faces we have forgotten how characterful hands can be.”