Hand I, 2010
Drain I, 2010
Hand II, 2010
Drain II, 2010
PeragineEN_12.JPG
Hand V, 2010
Drain III, 2010
Hand IV, 2010
Drain IV, 2010
Hand III, 2010
Drain V, 2010
Basin I, 2010
Drain VI, 2010
Basin II, 2010
Easiest Needful'est

2011- Easiest Needful'est is a body of work produced for the David J. Spencer CDC Museum on the campus of The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, to participate in Watching Hands: Artist Respond to Staying Healthy. The exhibit showcased the work of six artists who were asked to interpret the act of hand washing in innovative and unexpected ways. For my part I chose to focus on the ritualized aspect of hand washing. Hand washing and cleansing plays a role in ceremonies in every religion. There was an intuitive sense that clean hands played an important role in staying healthy (and was a "virtue next to godliness") that predated an understanding of germ theory by hundreds of year. Ritualized hand washing is also a daily mundane task and much of the imagery came from my own environment. The works produced for this show range from handmade soap sculpture to painting to animation. Individually, the pieces reveal the hand at work and embody the notion of ritual. The paintings are comprised of numerous layers of airbrush and thin glazes of oil paint. The oversize bars of handmade soap have drains embedded in them and are meant to suggest basins or baptismal fonts. Taken as whole the installation is meant to capture both the mundane nature of hand washing and the potential for transcendence that simple daily ritualized activity can bring. The title, Easiest, Cheapest, Needful’st, comes from a poem tiled Cleanliness by Charles lamb (1775-1834) in which the author describes virtue of hand washing

© Joseph Peragine

Hand V, 2010

oil on canvas, 24 x 30