This whole project started when I was in a junkyard and noticed what turned out to be an excellent find: a small, rubber, three fingered hand that must have come from a puppet or doll of some kind. I photographed the rubber hand where it laid and then picked it up from the ground. Once the rubber hand was in my own hand I flipped it over and to my delight there was a long pronounced crack on the backside of the hand. I immediately thought “Lifeline” and began setting the rubber hand in different “lined” environments and backgrounds within the junkyard and finally, into my own hands. Seeing the cracks of the rubber hand interlaced with the cracks and lines of my own hands was a magical moment for me. I subsequently began a series of deliberate, in-camera double exposures of my hands, feet and face layered with cracks in rocks along the shoreline of Lake Superior. Later I experimented with “digital negative sandwiches” where I layered an image of my face and full body with lined textures. Certainly the images in this series are about aging and acceptance. But, to me, these images are also about life’s journey, impermanence and that all things are either evolving from or returning to nothingness.

© Jack Mader 2023
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