Oyster Beauty: ‘A Way Of Life’ shot by Uma Termas for Oyster #114

Hand held.

There is a theory that states that we can use our hands as a medium to express suppressed emotions. While it takes time for the scientific recognition of such methods, they were applied in various cultures long before.

Before we interpret these methods in our own way, I want to ask you to lie down on the floor and place your arms next to your body. Focus now, by breathing enough air into your nose, that it goes deep down into the abdomen and comes from there again, neither long nor short. The repetitive breathing exercise can activate and connect your body and mind through invisible vessels.

Pay attention to your right arm now, by sending energy down the arm towards your hand. It spreads now in each finger, starting with the thumb, the forefinger, middle finger, ring finger, little finger.

Now return to the middle, and repeat the exercise with the left arm. Slowly wandering down the arm, towards the hands and spread energy in the thumb and then each finger. Bring back your attention to the centre of your body, and your breath. Activate your fingers with micro-movements and when feeling ready, straighten your body.

The next part is dedicated to the theory that hands can function as mediatory tools. In comparison to the first metacognitive part, the hands can now move and embody your emotions. First we work with the consciousness. Close your eyes and seek for an emotion and/or memory that concerns you at the moment. Try to use your hands expressing your notion — as abstract as it may seem. Your hands can act as agonist and antagonist on a rotating basis, giving room to compensate for another figure in this memory that is needed.

Secondly we work with the subconsciousness. Try to separate yourself from your general thoughts by focussing on your repetitive breath, and accessing deeper layers from your self. Allow your hands a free play. Once your body and mind are tuned, the hands become actors for what may be hard to express in words. Each finger plays a singular role in this action, yet corresponds with the others.

Both actions need a separation of the common gestural vocabulary as we know it, and a creation of your own vocabulary, that assembles your complex self and the many factors such as time, space and community that have an impact on you. Imagine creating a codex for yourself, that allows you a separation from the regulated system and creates an imaginary privacy.

See: ‘A Way Of Life’ Part 2

photography and creative direction Uma Termas, fashion Rafaela Kaćunić, beauty and grooming Jana Kalgajeva, words and choreography Monika Dorniak, photography assistant Dario Srbic, fashion assistant Alex McFadyen, production and casting Hayley Morgan, models Dilan Dilek and Carl Hardorp @ Viva Models. Special thanks to Mary Lennox.