Writings by Tim Girvin
The Gesture

Greetings!

This is a personal exploratory of the meaning of the gesture. It speaks to my own work, in experimenting with creative communication; yet as well, it explores my professional interests.

We all know that listening, with intention, involves the observation of the whole person who is telling the story. The way they look at us, the tone of the voice, the nuances of speech, the stance of the body, the movement of the hands -- each is part of the unfolding experience.

The hands can play a special role; for in the movement of the fingers, the arrangement of the hands to the body, more is told. To really listen, we observe fully, our imagination takes flight, and the entire telling can be experienced.

But the hands and their movements have an even greater history. In different cultures, the articulation of the hands unveils far more. An abruptly raised hand, palm out, means: halt! A single finger raised might mean...an exclamation -- an emphatic point. These are
universally understood.

More can be said of this: there is a whole language of gestures and their expressive content -- beyond the known and the superficial. For thousands of years, in the art and representation of the storyteller, the gesture offers rich and layered insight into culture. I have been exploring this in a series of drawings and journal writings; I'd like to share these with you.

In the western traditions, historically, sculpture and pictographic art have used the hands to convey meaning. Here is the teacher; there -- the listener; see -- the surprised observer -- we can understand these non-literal interpretations. In the eastern path, the hands speak with deeper symbolism. In Sanskrit, the ancient language of India, this iconography of the gesture is called: Mudra.

This is what the drawings and journal renderings are about: The Mudra (pronounced: moo-dra). Each of the drawings explores a form and its name, with commentary on its meaning -- from traditions thousands of years old.

You can see these studies in Illuminations . Click on the Mudra icon to see the renderings, then click again, to advance the images.

For me, this study is also emblematic of what we do at Girvin. It is about understanding the way of the story and the telling of it. We seek what can be added, to make the idea and content more emotionally relevant -- to speak to all the senses.

In our work, we look for the deepest and most powerful way to reach into the heart of the brandspirit, grasp the potency of meaning and illustrate the potential. We try to make the brand luminous -- to truly reach, with these gestures, the listener.

Thanks for taking the time.

Best wishes

tsg


(Originally sent: Sunday, April, 7, 2002)

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