Welcome to the blog for Peace in 10,000 Hands

Hi, thanks for checking out our blog! Wow our first blog, who came up with the name blog anyway?

This is where you will find the latest and in-depth information about the global art project for charity called ‘Peace in 10,000 Hands’.

We are on a mission to photograph 10,000 pairs of hands from all corners of the world all holding the same white rose, a universal symbol of peace and pure love. We will need help and support for the project and also help to secure some of the people we are wanting to photograph holding the rose.

No hand tells the same story, our hands bear witness to our daily choices and silently communicate our intimate life story everyday and identify us like no other part of our body.

The project is a journey for peace and growth across the globe, collecting and sharing inspiration and stories etched onto the hands of everyone photographed.

More info in our next blog for you including, how our month in India was and why a white rose.

Follow us on Facebook/peacein10,000hands and twitter.com/in10000hands for regular updates and up to the minute action on the project.

Have a great week. Peace

PS Remember to make a difference, some one is counting on you.

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Beverly Hilton to photograph Ricky Gervais

I’m sitting in the Beverly Hilton waiting to photograph Ricky Gervais. I know, it is crazy. This is always what I imagined for this project. Waiting to photograph Ricky Gervais. I think. I’m here early, really really really early. It is the LA Marathon today and LA is essentially cut in half, no traffic across Sunset in West Hollywood or Santa Monica Blvd all the way to the ocean, it is LA traffic mayhem. 
 
The Beverly Hilton is right on Santa Monica Boulevard the route of the marathon. So to get here the trip was across town on the 10 Freeway then up the 405 Freeway then down to Wilshire. Early, really really early, like 5am early. But not too early for the women sitting next to me in the lobby to have a double shot Bloody Mary, extra tabasco. You gotta love this town. It is tinsel tastic. 
 
Everyone asks me, how on earth did you get to meet that and photograph that person! Well to meet Ricky, I was introduced by (this sounds ridiculous only due to its coolness) Jamie Lee Curtis. I know. Even more ridiculous, a couple of days ago I photographed Jamie too. 
 
The project I gathering momentum, as we reach 100,000 followers on Facebook and get introduced to more and more amazing people who do incredible things. We have some exciting people lined up for my last three weeks in LA and then I am looking forward to getting home.
 
While I sit here the television has just crossed to a guy in full Fire Fighting gear including tank, running the LA marathon and being interviewed, as he is running, by crazy news anchor. He looks knackered and he just started. Love it. 
 
I will write about my amazing time with Hans Zimmer in his studio, the incredible composer who did —– but he said to the most important part to him of the project is the question we ask everyone we photograph. For me the answers reflect our commonality in the human condition across all cultures and religions around the world I encounter photographing for this project. 
 
You realise that no matter how you strip it out, dice it up or what angle you look at it from, we are all in this together. 
 
While I reflect, I am beginning to focus on photographing Ricky Gervais. Thank you Jamie Lee Curtis, for your amazingness and gorgeousness! From one Leica lover to another :) 
 
The pic is taken after the photo shoot with Ricky, hew is looking serious about peace, I am just looking happy :) 
 
What does peace mean to you? 
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197 countries on this planet

Hi everyone! Thanks for reading🙂
 
In the last couple of days we photographed people holding our white rose from Russia, Azerbaijan, Tibet, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Nepal, Israel, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, India, Portugal, America, Spain, England, Zimbabwe, Netherlands and Colombia. 
 
Often different people from the same country have the same views on peace, a predisposition to a collective thought and therefore a predicted geographical outcome and focus of energies peaceful and not so. 
 
We filmed and photographed each person, discussed what peace means to them and why. You would automatically think peace would mean ‘world peace’ to a lot of people. Many people commented to them peace is inner peace and that peace must come from within first. 
 
Meeting so many people in one day from all walks of life really forces us into situations that you normal just don’t have to deal with. We walk up to about 30 strangers a day and engage with them, sit with them, talk to them one on one, ask them questions, take their photos in various posses holding the white rose and we talk to them about peace, many people share very intimate and personal details and philosophies, that really is at the heart of the humanity of this art project. 
 
This is challenging for us even though we have a plan and know we have got our selves into, but these unsuspecting people can be by themselves, in a group, rushing to a meeting, sleeping on a park bench, sitting on a bus and doing a drug deal (yesterday) or pimping for their local ladies (today), seriously a pimp, we get ourselves into all sorts of situations, not just middle of the road coffee shops.
 
The one thing everyone has in common is they are in their space, doing their own thing and in a split from saying hi, we’re talking with them about what peace means to them, they are being filmed, recorded and photographed with a large studio camera, being interviewed and challenged to give themselves over to requests for answers about them and their views. 
 
The stories and people we have met so far really are phenomenal, their responses are humbling and the thoughts about peace that are exchanged are often quite profound. 
 
Every person provides their first name, place of birth, where they live now, what peace means to them, what they do (job… some very interesting topics here) and we record the GPS ordinates of every image we take. All for the global art project ‘Peace in 10,000 Hands’ a conversation for peace. 
 
The journey continues, today we head to London, via Verona and Milan on the train.
 
Thank you for your support and keep your suggestions on who you would like to see photographed for #peacein10000hands
 
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Peace 
Stu 

Dubai 5.15am

‘I really like your nuts’, one of the more unfortunate lines that basically translates as such in any language, I was communicating my approval of an very nice Iranian mans merchandise. Moving on from the nut man with my cashews thinking wtf did I say that for. It’s 5.15am and after my fill of nuts I was still starving, saw a hole in the wall street vendor serving up local delights. I tend to prefer vego so ordered the Falafel Burger, very excited, ordered, paid, took my espresso to my crate seat thing and was followed by scary cook man welding a spatula. He approached fast and in sort of broken English barked an order at me, not sure I  was sitting on the wrong crate or what I just sort of stared at him waving his spatula at me while he dug for some better broken English to get his message across. To break the moment I took a sip of coffee and waited and waited, he left me there and I waited, I waited and then with a renewed determination he returned, with his spatular. And said mmmmmeeeeedim oooora mmmmmmmmedim wwwrarer.

WHAT?!?

I just want my Falafel Burger. He won’t leave till I respond and finally I work out here is asking me if I want my Falafel Burger cooked ‘medium or medium rare’.

Seriously. I thought for a moment I was being punked. Ordered medium rare, to be safe.

It was the best burger I think I have had.

Fourteen flight hours from Sydney to Dubai and six from Dubai to Venice on a completely full massive Emirates two decker plane. Two things here, you get served last whatever is left, you are next to the toilets and right side the crew quarters, hello.

The guy in seat next to me sneazed and coughed up flem for 14 hours straight and a massive Englishman sitting in front of me vomited in both sinks in the toilets and blocked them. This was of course like most situations good and bad. Good, because no-one queued by your chair leaning on it and using it as a balustrade and bad because the place sorted of smelt like Englishman’s (nic named him Vomiting George, still managed to eat and drink, bless him) vomit.

Venice, we land, into customs, lots of planes, gazillions of people, TWO Italian customs agents stamping passports.

Perfecto.

 

 

 

 

 

Dubai

Putting your face up against your camera when it is so hot the camera cards are nearly melting is always difficult, you don’t want to get your gear wet. But with little over 24 hours in Dubai you just gotta get to it. We got out target number of photographs and in total we photographed people from nine countries here, amazing diversity.

We talk about peace with all of them while photographing them about peace and what peace means to them. People’s views here were strong verging on uncomfortable discussions at time with complete strangers from the various countries including, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria. They really wanted to debate it and let it all out.

They are really happy to let their view known when you ask, it’s like boom in your face, you asked here and here it is, people I know died, what more do you want to hear. Most people we spoke to here seemed to of escaped something. Their struggles and stories were all different, as were their reasons for being in Dubai. However there was a common theme to their rational and decisions that has lead them here.

While on this project it is important we get under the skin of the places we are in to meet the ‘real’ people representing the humanity of the places we are in. While in Dubai we haven’t seen the famous sail building, massive mall and multi storied aquarium, fancy shops or anywhere air conditioned. So I am not really in a position to pass comment on Dubai as a city or place to visit apart from saying the airport is massive and beautiful and local food from hole in the wall vendors were really good.

Such a melting pot of people, so many interesting hands.

The journey continues. Peace Stu

 

 

Peace in 10,000 Hands heading to Venice, London and Los Angeles

Since we started out on the global art project ‘Peace in 10,000 Hands’ it has challenged and humbled me. It challenges – as it is constantly changing and evolving and it humbles – because so many people have put their hand up to be part it and put their down into their pocket to support in it because they believe in this art project for peace.
Example, Wednesday this week we were booked to fly home to Queenstown in New Zealand for a solid month in the gallery and studio working on the project, raising funds for the next planned trip, editing and cataloguing images and video, establishing contact with the famous and infamous…..
Now tomorrow we fly to Dubai on our way to Italy for the Venice Biennale. We were sent an invite to attend about a week ago by The President of La Biennale di Venezia Paolo Baratta and the Curator of the 55th International Art Exhibition Massimiliano Gioni. Wow!!
We declined for various reasons, time and money basically. Then we thought, hang on we might never get invited again and engaged the ‘carpe diem’ lore and decided to go and so the planning and booking began two and half days ago.
After Venice it was cheaper to fly out of Milan so we will train there to immediately fly to London, where we are planning meetings with agents, celebs, music industry honchos, the Royal Family and more for the project.
After a busy week in London we will head to LA where again we are lining meetings up for all of the above and more apart from the Royal Family, unless they decide to join us that is. Stranger things have happened.
Imagine, it’s late, dark, there’s a flickering fluorescent light, it’s quiet apart from the distant sound of a siren in the distance and there are a couple of pieces of rubbish floating by on a light gust of wind and you’re at a train station (ok I made the bit about the rubbish up)  you see a crazy person, he’s on something. He has an amazing face, gnarly hands….. but so interesting. They need to be part of this project so you approach him, say hi, explain the project, you repeat yourself, you pause, you tell them we what to photograph them and then offer them the rose, you let them stand however they want and then pensively you pose him for a couple more photo’s holding the rose. You get chatting and find out this guy had a family, he lost his job, his wife left with the kids and four years ago with no choice he was forced to live on the street. Turns out he is not gnarly just his unwashed look, he’s hungry so after talking you take him for a burger. He offers you advice over a coke, you take it on board, it is from the heart, from the pain of experience, you give him $20 and part with a renewed steely focus on your goal. Thankful. Respectful. Wiser.
Everyone has something to offer.
Sounds simple or stressful? Both, a lot of the last to be fair. The project will map humanity right now. Just 10,000 people will be chosen from over 7,000,000,000 (I think that is seven billion) the odds of being picked are tiny.
And the odds of not being effected by this journey or the difference it will make? Impossible.
Join us.
Peace
Stu

Delhi

 

I land in the city of 17 million people.  My first impression is India is fragrant, giving and desperate. A weird mix of relaxation, genuine thought and compassion mixed in with an under lying desperation both to deliver on a macro scale for the country and micro scale for the self. Anywhere half decent smells like Dettol (meaning we’ve cleaned it for you… ) and Kuros (a popular fragrance here) Outdoors in the poorer areas it is the intoxicating aroma of rubbish, coal, dogs, monkeys, swirled with incense and a swirl of desperation. On one hand heart breaking and on the other (the kiwi hand) you see opportunity and hope everywhere, then again I don’t live under an old bin.

Make the most of tomorrow😉

 

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