Posted by: Debra Kolkka | November 6, 2017

Helping hands

Lorenzo Quinn’s hands in the Grand Canal encouraged me to visit Venice. (Any excuse will do)

I went to Venice just for a day. I bought a day pass for the ferry and set off to see the hands emerging from the Grand Canal. They are at Ca’ Sagredo quite close to Rialto.

I saw them from the opposite side of the canal, from the same side, from underneath and beside.

Here are my photos from every angle.

Lorenzo Quinn hands

Lorenzo Quinn hands

Lorenzo Quinn hands

Lorenzo Quinn hands

Lorenzo Quinn hands

Lorenzo Quinn hands

Lorenzo Quinn hands

Lorenzo Quinn hands

The giant white hands remind us that we can play a role in helping to help the save the planet from climate change.  Cities like Venice will suffer from rising sea levels.

Here is what the artist, Lorenzo Quinn, has to say about his work.

Lorenzo Quinn hands

The hands are modelled after the hands of one of his three children. He worries what kind of world we will leave to our children.

The sculpture, weighing 2,200 kilograms, was made in Barcelona using the “lost wax casting” method. The hands are constructed from resin-coated polyurethane foam.  The pieces of the sculptures were carried down the Grand Canal and lifted into place.

Time is running out to see the sculpture in place. It is there until 26th November.



  1. Oh Debra I absolutely love those hands what a truly inspirational piece of art – I am so green would love to see them – enjoy 😘

    • I was delighted to be able to get to Venice to see the hands.

  2. Yes, a wonderful inspirational installation – glad you were in Italy and able to jump from Bologna to Venice so easily. You covered the ‘hands’ so very well. Thanks

    • Public transport is good in Italy. I prefer to take buses and trains into cities…much easier than driving.

  3. WOW!! I never heard of these – I was rendered speechless at first. So powerful! So detailed!!

    • I saw the hands on various posts and wanted to go to see them for myself.

  4. I have great admiration for Lorenzo Quinn’s sculptures in general, but his hands are simply superb and this installation proves it. How lucky you are, Debra, by being able to see it. And thank you for sharing it with us.

    • I’m pleased I was able to get to Venice in time to see the hands.

  5. Fantastic post Deb

    • Thank you. I had a great day in Venice.

  6. Wow Deb, they are magnificent!

  7. Leave it to the Italians for stunning arts! Fabulous!

    • Lorenzo Quinn is the son of Anthony Quinn, the actor.

  8. Damn….wish they were still there next Marzo…..would definitely go and see….fabulosa

    • I am pleased I was able to get to Venice to see them.

  9. How amazing, would have been a experience to see this. Worth the trip for you, any excuse to visit Venice.

    • I love Venice. It was still crowded even though it is November.

  10. Debra: Thank you. The sculpture is unique!

    • It was great to go to Venice for the day to see the hands.

  11. I would go to the grand canal just to see the helping hands. What a sight to see.

    • I’m pleased I did.

  12. Such a great statement with this installation, YES Venice needs HELP. Thank you for sharing Debra. When I lived in Germany I used to go a lot to Venice, taking the night train from Munich, Germany

    • I am lucky that I am only a few hours from Venice.

  13. Aren’t they extraordinary and what a wonderful metaphor.

    • It was great to be able to see them in place.

  14. So freaky … so clever

  15. Hi Debra, Lorenzo has created a remarkable sculpture which I look forward to seeing during my fortnight there later this month. The Venice Biennale is an interesting and very diverse exhibition. Your photos are brilliant. Can’t wait to see the helping hands in person.

    • I’m sure you will have a great time in Venice.

  16. WOW! This is great art, fascinated me. And also so meaningful. Thank you dear Debra, Love, nia

    • I think the hands are wonderful.

  17. Extraordinary. How long has it been there for Debra?

    • The hands have been there since May, coinciding with the beginning of the Biennale. We didn’t have a chance to get there earlier this year.

      • Oh. I thought it was sometime this year. I knew we hadn’t seen it 2 years ago! I’d love to see it. Looks amazing.

  18. Those are haunting and thought-provoking. When my daughter was little she used to call things like that “the nobody hands”. Truly a work of art and too bad they will be coming down. Thanks for sharing the amazing photos. Hope you are well.

    • I am happy I was able to get to Venice while the hands are still in place.

  19. Ohh I would of loved to have seen those.

    • I am delighted I get there in time.

  20. How amazing!

  21. Wow! I had seen a picture of these but your photos are superb, Debra! What an amazing piece of art, with a wonderful message!

  22. Those hands are incredible!! 😮 Thanks for showing them to us at every angle.

  23. Beautiful, thank you.

  24. Stunning!

  25. Love it and the message.

  26. Just saw the “hands” 2 weeks ago as the vaporetto passed by. Was wondering about them and not able to get a picture – so glad to find your post with these wonderful pictures.

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