In 2003, troubled by the increasingly fearful and dark tenor of the world, I began this series dedicated to hope. My process involves photographing people’s arms and asking them to write down their wish for a miracle or positive change in the world or in their life. I then create collages from these images and texts and title them with a phrase from the handwritten wish. The completed pieces serve as visual affirmations, emboldening these wishes for positive change.
This series was inspired by milagros (literally “miracles” in Spanish) — small metal talismans often sold outside of churches in places like Mexico. They come in myriad shapes — arms, legs, hands, hearts, cars, babies, and many more. A person would select the milagro that symbolically resonated with his or her wish for a miracle, and then put that intention into that object and hang it in a special spot in the back of the church. Arms and hands are the focus of my series, because it is with our arms and hands that we build tangible results in the world.
Mary Daniel Hobson has been practicing photography since she was fourteen years old. Whether bottling photographs, creating intimate collages or printing still lives, her work explores inner geography and layered experience. Hobson holds an MA in the history of photography from the University of New Mexico, where her studies of Surrealism encouraged her to take a mixed-media approach to photography. Her work has been widely exhibited nationally, is represented by Modern Book Gallery in San Francisco, and is in collections such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She lives in Muir Beach, California. www.marydanielhobson.com
See Embolden, another milagro in this series.