For centuries Chiromancy or Palmistry, as it’s more commonly known, is the practice of evaluating a person by “reading” the palm of their hand. This makes hands important in certain cultures, as the palm is considered to contain information about an individual’s character and fate. ‘Hands have a history of their own, they have, indeed, their own civilization, their special beauty’ (Rilke).
Many years ago, prison I.D. photographs included images of hands, this was called anthropological criminology. It was based on an idea that a person was born criminal, which were identified by physical indicators, mainly because of theories relating to the shape of people’s skulls and hands. This was the precursor to finger prints and was used to identify individuals.
The hands also give impressions about a person’s collective identity. Whether the person is male or female, young or old. There will even be indicators as to the type of life that person has had, rough and blemished, grease stained, dirt under the finger nails or soft and manicured, are all identifying marks that may point to certain kinds of employment. As well as identifying marks, hands are also used for gesturing symbolic meaning.
The associations between land and identity can be mediated by symbols. A symbol is a reality that communicates something intangible. Of importance to this special relationship, are the image of the hand and the representation of its relationship to the landscape. Hands are something we all use daily, not just to grasp - but to express. It is with our hands that we communicate through gesture and make contact with person and place.
The separation of the hand from anything it might have done and from anyone else, with whom it could be so intimately identified, can reveal something about people and can link to place or places they frequent. Landscapes shape individuals, the individual personality grows together with the landscape and, in such a way; different personalities develop, being influenced by the different surroundings. These various perspectives on landscapes are of great value and become interrelated when people combine, offering different perspectives.
’In the marvel of our hands, say these photos, there are powers and wonders’ (Elliot Erwitt).

Andrew Mellor is a landscape photographer from Blackpool, England. "I have a particular interest in the landscape and how we use it" Mellor says, "my photography explores natural and man-made environments, and the interaction between the two with concerns over how we use the landscape". He believes the human interactions within the landscape can influence the people and the surrounding community as these themes can have far reaching political, social and psychological effects.

See more of Mellor's work on his Instagram. // SHOP Mellor's VISCERAL8 prints here.