Useful Art for Communities

Artivism monument initiated by Beatriz Gonzalez Rodriguez

The People's Monument Clay Hands

This project is inspired by the Cueva de las Manos (Argentina) made 13,000 to 9,000 years ago. It is a monument for the community of Aarhus made by the citizens of this city (collecting 400 different tile hand prints). The Clay Hands symbolize the equality of all people independently of their ethnicity, gender, class, political views, or religion. This art project suggests that people can and should be involved in, shaping the future of their cities. The hands of the Cueva de las Manos belonged to the people who lived in an egalitarian inclusive community, and this artwork shows how precious these type of communities are and that they can inspire us to build a better future.

It is a long-term art project which started in December 2017- September 2020 and therefore has several stages:

1st stage:

It is composed of sixteen workshops in the public spaces where we united people to participate in a collective piece with a lot of diversity, this opened the dialogue about situations of inclusion, equality and solidarity while we collected 400 unique hand-prints from different neighborhoods and communities in Aarhus.

2nd stage:

At the public entrance of Street Food Aarhus we set up an open ceramic workshop for two months with constant activity and where the people passing and willing to participate were producing the ceramic tiles from other peoples hand-prints collected in the previous stage.

While this process was happening, people could feel empowered and in solidarity with the people who had donated their hand print in the first stage of the project. This was a pedagogical and artistic process that provided the participants a different vision and understanding of contemporary art by using their creativity in everyday environments.


15 times the Kiln was working and each firing took 2 days long.
The 3rd stage:

Took place in a public building called Folkestedet (the people’s building) and during twenty-three workshops we invited locals in the house and inhabitant of the city of Aarhus to write a personal message to humanity as an intention for the monument and the common future, they could relate with  one of all the handprints already produced and write the intention on the back of it while a performing open building process of attaching the finish tiles on a metal structure was simultaneously happening by the initiator Beatriz Gonzalez Rodriguez.


Stage 3 of the process video.

Public art exhibition at Folkestedet Aarhus (DK) 25 / 07 / 2020. Pictures by Jana Adamova.

Video of the opening day.

Visiting Erasmus Group Presentation at Folkestedet Aarhus (DK) 14 / 08 / 2021. Pictures by Kamila Maciejewska.

Project supported by Aarhus Municipality and the Minister of Culture (Denmark).